We look at the 1st quarter of the 2016 Flowfit Senior Merit Finals. One of these players will qualify for the Senior Individual Merit Finals on Saturday 30th July at Llay Miners Welfare.
1. Wayne Rogers (Burway)
Premier League form: 9 out of 11
Wayne Rogers has been one of Shropshire's most consistent performers, mainly at number 12, over the last 20 years but has not got his hands on the Charles Beddard Trophy. He showed his competition pedigree last season when he got to the Midland Masters Final, only to come up against an imperious Greg Smith, which proves he is capable of winning the whole competition, and will be one of the favourites to do so given his good form so far this year.
2. Andy Wigginton (Meole Brace)
Premier League form: 5 out of 12
Andy Wigginton is trying to reclaim the form that saw him earn a county spot about 15 years ago after taking 6 years out of the game last decade. He has struggled so far in the league this season, however closer inspection sees that he has scored 16 in all but 2 of his Premier League games. He reached the finals last year but lost to team mate Darren Wellings 16 and faces another tough draw this year. But if he can get through that, Wiggy could reclaim the form he is capable of that could see him be a threat this Sunday.
3. Stuart Clee (Bowring)
Premier league form: 5 out of 12
The first time Stuart, or Brucey as he is more well known, has entered the Shropshire Senior Merit, and it was first time lucky as he qualified! After recently moving from his home club Wrockwardine Wood to Bowring over the last Winter, he has enjoyed the challenge Bowring has offered and will be hoping that his team mates success from last year, when they held the three top county titles, rubs off on him. He enjoyed a great season in the Premier League last year, winning 15 games, and if he can reclaim that form then he is capable of having a good run.
4. Martin Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood)
Premier League form: 4 out of 12
Martin is the cousin of Stuart so it is a family affair for them in the 1st round. Martin has struggled to match the heights of 2013 when he won 17 games in the league but having entered many competitions over the last few seasons has the experience to be able to go far. He reached the Semi Finals of the Under 25 Merit last Saturday so this shows he is in good form ready for this Weekend.
5. Kieran Buckley (Donnington Wood)
Mid Shropshire League form: 8 out of 11
Young gun Kieran Buckley has qualified for the Merit for the 1st time, after only a few seasons of playing. A natural talent, learning his trade under his uncle Chris Worthington, has meant he has come on leap and bounds at Donnington Wood progressing to their Division 1 side and enjoying a fine start this season winning 8 out of his first 11 games. He beat the in form Aaron King in his first qualifying game and then Scott Harries, on one of his former greens, showing the talent he has, and if he repeats that today, he could go far.
6. George Williams (Wem USC)
Premier League form: 3 out of 12
George is another debutant at the Merit, and will have home knowledge on his side. He grew up at Wem BC so will have the most knowledge of the green and will be hoping that will help him go far in the competition. He has been unlucky so far in the league with a few close losses, but was part of the Shropshire Inter League side who won in the Wem area just last week, so will be hoping the confidence from that success will rub off on him.
7. Ash Wellings (Hanwood)
Premier League form: 5 out of 9
Ash has enjoyed his debut season in the Premier League this year and has showed good form winning his last 4 out of 5 after missing out on games earlier on due to work and holidays. He has been in the Shropshire Midland Alliance side the last two years showing how much he is rated as one for the future and will be hoping that success on Sunday will make it a perfect month as he is getting married in a few weeks time!
Rob Burroughs (Hadley USC)
Premier League form: 5 out of 12
Rob enjoyed a fine season last year as he won the Flowfit Shropshire Premier League Averages as well as enjoying a fine run to the Bowring Open Final, only defeated by Callum Wraight, which earned him a County place this season. But he has struggled so far this season but has shown glimpses of form reaching the Spring Waterloo Finals and will be hoping to reclaim the form of last season to enable him to achieve a good run in the competition.