"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson


Jack Pye to defend English Masters title this weekend

Wymondham’s Jack Pye (pictured), ranked 11th in the SMPT World Rankings, will lead a contingent of Norfolk bowlers in the SMPT English Masters in Essex this weekend. He will defend the title he won last year at the same venue and attempt to win the £500 first prize. Pye has been drawn in Group 1 and plays his first game at 9am on Saturday against Martin Harries of Wales on the Show Mat giving everyone the opportunity of seeing this game between the two leading bowlers in the group. He then faces Essex bowler David Chittock at 11.30am before playing Northern Ireland’s Matthew Hamilton. Scotland’s Fred Wyness provides his last opponent on Saturday afternoon. His last group game is on Sunday morning at 9am against Muhammad Arif of the United Arab Emirates. Chris Mann of Wymondham was in superb form last season in the event before losing a classic game against Steve McAlister. This season the draw provides Mann with tough opposition in Group 15. Among his group opposition is the Welsh legend Stephen Williams and Northern Ireland’s Pauline Beattie as well as Sam Harvey of Wales but Mann has been in brilliant form all season and is ranked number one in Norfolk and will relish the challenge. Mann’s match against Sam Harvey at 2.50pm on Saturday will also be played on the Show Mat. The draw has been kind to Neil Davidson of Hempnall, ranked number 57 in the SMPT World Rankings, with his toughest opposition in Group 9 likely to be provided by Sweden’s Christer Nordin. Their match at 2pm on Saturday will be on the Show Mat. Young Norfolk County Council bowler Owen Cranston has developed into a class act and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Ireland’s Joseph Beattie in Group 30. There is no doubt that Cranston has the ability to make it through to the closing stages of this event. Jack Marshall of Wymondham is in Group 10 where he plays Russell Harmour in his opening game, Gethin Edwards of Wales is also in this group and Marshall will gain more valuable experience. Mark Linsdell of Wymondham and David Blundell of Wortwell are both in Group 17 and play each other in their opening game on Saturday morning. This interesting group also features popular Essex bowler Tony Ealham, Mitchell Young of England, Cennydd Howell of Wales and Muhammad Abbas of the United Arab Emirates. Simon Warnes of Horsford BC is drawn in Group 11 where he has Welsh opposition in his first two games against Rhys Evans and Catherine Roberts, then English opposition in Steve Burrows and John Jillings before playing Norway’s Joakim Jensen in his last group game. Laura Hawksworth of Deaf Sports is drawn in Group 22 which features Northern Ireland’s Nathan Haires while Wymondham’s Debbie Pye is in Group 29 which Ireland’s Glenn Harvey is likely to win. Looking at the other groups an interesting clash between Steve McAlister and P J Gallagher is in prospect in Group 16. The next SMPT events are the European Open at Sporthal Vossenberg in Belgium on 9-3-19 & 10-3-19 and the Belfast Open Pairs & World Masters competitions which run from 5-4-19 to 7-4-19 at Belfast IBC. These events are already fully booked. Future SMPT events scheduled are the UK Open at Falcon Bowling & Social Club in Essex on 24-8-19 & 25-8-19, the Irish Open at Belfast IBC on 14-9-19 & 15-9-19 and the Norwegian Open at Skien Fritidspark on 26-10-19 & 27-10-19. 

Jack smpt winner 

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