32 players take part in the 2019 Shropshire Senior Merit at Tilstock today looking to get their hands on the Charles Beddard Trophy. For most it will be their first time, for others it won’t be. Reigning champion Spencer Clarke will look to make a good fist of defending his title, and faces a good mate in Mark Shore. He beat Mark in the Quarter Finals last season, but Mark got him back on Wednesday in the Premier League, winning 18 from 16-3 down. Callum Wraight lost in that final and will look for his fourth triumph as he plays Will Tarrell first game, Will being part of a father and son qualification. His father Bill reached the final of this Merit in 1996, and would love to do that again this time round. He opens up with a tough tie against Rich Lawson, another former finalist in 1985 and 2001. Other winners include two time Champion Rich Goddard who plays Gary Beff, the player who took out four time winner Pete Farmer to qualify. Charlie Weaver beat Rich in that 2001 final, and has young gun Rob Fuller first game. Martin Lloyd has won this before and is involved in the tie of the 1st round against Jon Palmer, who won the Autumn Waterloo last season. Paul Latham reached the final in 2009 and has up and coming youngster Ash Wellings first game.
There are several players in the field that are more than good enough to win the event given their county and competitions experience. Stuart Rutter has won the Dennis Lewis Open and plays Nige Bound first game, while Wayne Phillips has won plenty of big competitions and has Doug Edwards. Paul Williams has won the Meole Open and reached the semi finals of this before and is up against Scott Moseley, while Scott Harries has won the Bowring Open in consecutive years, and faces Dan Beeston. Russ Pegram has qualified for the first time but knows how to win a big competition or two outside of the county, and has Duncan Pressley first game. Tony Rhodes qualified for the All England last season and has reached the Semi Finals before of this, but faces an awkward tie against team mate Dave King.
There are some surprise qualifiers who will look to show their talents off. Simon Bloomfield is from Warwick and Worcester and will look to use his experience from there when taking on Liam Stevens. Ian Williams has recently returned to the game and the Bridgwater and Baschurch bowler will look to upset the in form Martin Williams. Graeme Wornell and Josh Cotton were surprises to get through and face each other.
The SCGBA would like to wish all bowlers the best of luck.
Admission with a programme is £3. The postcode for Tilstock is SY13 3JL.