The Telegraph Shropshire Senior Merit Countdown: 1st Quarter Preview

  • 1. Andy Stevens
  • Club: Wrockwardine Wood
  • Qualifying: Albrighton
  1. Bye
  2. Beat Dave Rhodes 15
Andy is the most remarkable qualifier given that he only had 30 minutes practice before qualifying on Albrighton! He has played since in the Shropshire Cup, and surely will have another practice before the big day! He won the Mid-Shropshire Merit in 1988 and 1989, as he helped Donnington Wood to silverware in the Mid-Shropshire league, before moving to Wrockwardine Wood. He hasn't played the last few years, but did qualify back in 2016.
  • 2. Rob Roden
  • Clubs: Trench & St Georges
  • Qualifying: Sinclair
  1. Beat Martin Williams 15
  2. Beat Craig Baugh 10
Mid Shropshire Division One Record: 5 out of 6 Rob is a former winner of the competition back in 2015 at Allscott. That earned him a place in the Senior County side and has kept it since. He won the County Cup with the Bowring and started the season there this season, but then moved closer to home to play at Trench and try and keep them up in Division One of the Mid Shropshire league. This hasn't stopped him losing any quality from his play, he enjoyed an excellent win in the North Midlands last county game.
  • 3. Spencer Clarke
  • Club: Sir John Bayley
  • Qualifying: St Georges
  1. Beat Tim Cotton 11
  2. Beat Aaron King 15
Premier League Record: 9 out of 10 Spencer is a twice former finalist in 2008 and 2014, as well as a former Junior Merit winner in 1990! He will be hoping his unique left handed delivery will be hard to follow today. He stayed loyal at the Bayley and rewarded with recent County Cup and Premier League successes, and has been in great form so far this season, winning April player of the month in the Premier League and only losing one game since.
  • 4. Nick Mullinder
  • Club: Hadley USC
  • Qualifying: St Georges
  1. Beat Martin Gaut 19
  2. Beat Liam Stevens 17
Mid Shropshire Division One Record: 9 out of 11 Nick is another former winner of the Junior Merit back in 1997 when at Charlton. After a break from the game he moved to Hadley USC where he helped them into the Premier League, and is currently trying to help them back again this season. Will be easy to spot given his unique wooden bowls, some saying they date back to the days of Sir Francis Drake, and will surely be heard too, encouraging them to run more normally!
  • 5. Keith Wall
  • Club: Castlefields & Hodnet
  • Qualifying: Adderley
  1. Beat Steve Rogers 9
  2. Beat Dave Ellison 12
Premier League Record: 5 out of 10 Keith has been a former runner up in 1998 and 1983 so will it be third time lucky this time around? He has won the County Handicap in 2002 and 2010 showing he can win the big competitions in Shropshire. He moved back to Castlefields this season to play in the Premier League after winning the league several times before for them in a distinguished career. He is back in the Merit Finals after a few years playing for Telepost in the Tanners League, as well as Hodnet in the Whitchurch League.
  • 6. Martin Lloyd
  • Clubs: Chester Road & District
  • Qualifying: Adderley
  1. Beat Tim Jordan 11
  2. Beat Carl Preece 6
Premier League Record: 8 out of 11 Martin is another former winner in the field, back in 2010 on Bicton. He has won plenty in the game, travelling up and down the county for success. He has racked up the caps for the county, mainly playing away, and at number 12 or 1 as he has produced some awesome performances for the county, beating some top players in their own backyard.
  • 7. Stuart Rutter
  • Club: Wrockwardine Wood
  • Qualifying: Sinclair
  1. Bye
  2. Beat Andy Morgan 10
Premier League Record: 8 out of 10 Stuart is a former Premier League Merit Winner as well as scoring previous successes in other major competitions, and doubles with his wife Jackie. He has been a consistent player for Wrockwardine Wood over many years, often leading the way each season with his calmness and competitiveness. He has played in many big competitions over the years, reaching the final of the Charlie Tattersall Memorial in recent years, and will have plenty of competitions experience.
  • 8. Mark Shore
  • Clubs: Hanwood & Baschurch
  • Qualifying: Crescent
  1. Bye
  2. Beat Glyn Wellings 5
Premier League Record: 5 out of 11 Mark has played in the Premier League over many seasons, starting at Sir John Bayley and then moving to play with his Dad at Childs Ercall until they couldn't field a team. Moved to Hanwood, and helped lead them to the Premier League and has been a consistent player for them since, being captain most years as they go from strength to strength. He has won multiple double titles with his wife Emma in 2016, and father Brian in 1985 and 2010. So hoping to go solo today!

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