Ladies and Gentlemen, its that time of the year again. The schools have broken for the summer holidays, some bowlers are about to fly off to warmer countries, some have returned looking tanned or tender. The bowlers who remain or who have qualified know that one of the glorious days in the bowling calendar is almost upon us.
The 2017 British Senior Merit will be held at the Griff and Coton Sports and Miners Welfare Club in Nuneaton (CV10 7JQ) on Saturday 29th July. This day the bowling world will descend from the four-corners of the bowling world as all year players from across the country have been trying to qualify for this event. This is the day where we crown our national champion.
The field includes past winners from 2015, 2009, 1998 & 1993 plus runners-up from 2015, 2007 & 2003.
There are many mouth-watering games to look forward to but if I was to pick then I suggest the following games are the pick of the games in the first round. James Wilcox, recent Isle of Man Festival Champion playing 2015 runner-up against current Warwick & Worcester Champion Gareth Herbert.
Lancashire’s Kevan Shaw, Yorkshire’s Chris Mordue, 2015 Champion Tom Vickers and South Yorkshire’s Neil Fletcher play local stars Darren Plenderleith, Shane Day, Paul Lamb and 1998 Champion Stuart Perry respectively.
Who will win it has been discussed at length on various social media pages and there will be a story to be told as the day unfolds. I am delighted to confirm that Globegig Media will be broadcasting this event (as well as the Junior Merit and mens and ladies Champion of Champions) across the globe and my thanks to them.
Sadly FLOWFIT are no longer sponsoring the event and I know the bowling world would like to thank them for the support they gave this event.
The betting is courtesy of Phoenix Sports and is led by Preston’s Simon Coupe who was quoted at 7/1 and the top of the betting is listed below. This year’s event is thought to be wide open and any of the competitors has a great chance to do well in the event this year. The prices were correct at the time but could be stupendously different now.
7/1 Simon Coupe; 10/1 Callum Wraight; 12/1 Paul Lamb, Darren Plenderleith; 14/1 Scott Simpson, Ryan Prosser; 16/1 Stuart Perry, John Kennish, Gareth Herbert, James Hanson, Ben Harris; 20/1 or higher bar those listed above.
The draw is below with the county merit winners highlighted in bold and the event will be streamed around the world on this link.
The event starts at 10:00am with a ground admission of £10 and a seat in the stands costs another £10. Hopefully over a thousand people will be there to watch the best this year has to offer in the search for the national champion.
1.Adam Kirby (Warwick & Worcs) v 2. Callum Wraight (Shropshire)
3. Stuart Perry (North Midlands) v 4. Neil Fletcher (South Yorkshire)
5. Adam Douglas (Yorkshire) v 6. Simon Coupe (N Lancs & Fylde)
7. Jimmy Hynes (Greater Manchester) v 8. Jon Guess (Derbyshire)
9. Ben Percival (North Midlands) v 10. Richard Parkes (Warwick & Worcs)
11. Kieran Roberts (Wales) v 12. Peter Illidge (Cheshire)
13. Liam Griffin (Yorkshire) v 14. Matt Kelly-Wally (Derbyshire)
15. John Durrands (Lancashire) v 16. Scott Simpson (Staffordshire)
17. John Taylor (Lancashire) v 18. Robert Winnington (Cheshire)
19. Ross Meese (South Yorkshire) v 20. Jim Robertson (North Midlands)
21. John Kennish (Isle of Man) v 22. Josh Towey (Potteries & District)
23. James Wilcox (Yorkshire) v 24. Gareth Herbert (Warwick & Worcs)
25. Andrew Raymond (Greater Manchester) v 26. James Hanson (Yorkshire)
27. Liam Baxter (Cumbria) v 28. Colin Beaman (Shropshire)
29. Chris Slater (Wales) v 30. Phil Lee (Merseyside)
31. David Williams (Warwick & Worcs) v 32. Ed Furniss (Derbyshire)
33. Jason Jones (Wales) v 34. Phil Dowgill (Yorkshire)
35. Dean Ferris (Greater Manchester) v 36. Joe Melvin (Potteries & District)
37. Paul Lamb (North Midlands) v 38. Thomas Vickers (Cheshire)
39. Peter Slinger (Isle of Man) v 40. Andy Thornton (Cumbria)
41. Robert Holmes (Yorkshire) v 42. John Dewey (Derbyshire)
43. Kevan Shaw (Lancashire) v 44. Darren Plenderleith (North Midlands)
45. Peter Bound (Shropshire) v 46. Robin Bennett (Wales)
47. Ryan Prosser (Warwick & Worcs) v 48. Kevin Handley (Staffordshire)
49. Danny Barwise (Merseyside) v 50. Danny Towning (Yorkshire)
51. Aaron Tapper (Staffordshire) v 52. Robert Thompson (South Yorkshire)
53. Mitchell Harvey (Warwick & Worcs) v 54. Steven Morrey (Cheshire)
55. Conor Chamberlain (Derbyshire) v 56. Mark Britton (Lancashire)
57. Steve Parkin (Potteries & District) v 58. Daniel Jones (Wales)
59. Shane Day (North Midlands) v 60. Chris Mordue (Yorkshire)
61. Ben Harris (Warwick & Worcs) v 62. Lee Longland (N Lancs & Fylde)
63. Matt Gillies (Greater Manchester) v 64. Glyn Herbert (Shropshire)