EIBA National finals at Melton: Big guns enter the fray

Mayor of Melton Jeanne Douglas prepares to deliver the first bowl with EIBA national president Jenny McConnell and Melton Indoor Bowls Club president David Fry. EMN-161204-112306002
Mayor of Melton Jeanne Douglas prepares to deliver the first bowl with EIBA national president Jenny McConnell and Melton Indoor Bowls Club president David Fry. EMN-161204-112306002
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It’s five titles down, but there are still six to be decided as we head into the climax of this year’s EIBA National Finals at Melton IBC.

The two triples titles will be decided today (Thursday) with both the men’s and women’s semi-finals off at 10am ahead of the 3pm finals.

The men's pairs gets the action under way at Melton EMN-161204-112317002

The men's pairs gets the action under way at Melton EMN-161204-112317002

Former world champions Andy Thompson and Greg Harlow begin their campaigns tomorrow (Friday) when the first round of the men’s singles gets under way.

Thompson, a three-time world singles champion, has won the national crown four times, including three successive years from 1989 to 1991, and is in action at 10am, while defending champion Harlow begins his quest for a fourth title at 1pm.

There will also be some home interest as Melton club member Les Gillett returns to the national finals.

The world top 16 player and 2001 champion opens against Marc McCaughan (Folkestone) at 10am.

The first round of the ladies’ singles begins tomorrow afternoon, featuring England international Ellen Falkner who represents the strong City of Ely club.

Saturday sees the quarter-finals and semi-finals of both competitions as well as the final of the ladies’ inter-county when Devon will try to emulate their under 25s men’s success as they take on Norfolk.

The big finish on Sunday will see three titles decided.

The singles finals will act as the starter before the afternoon’s main event - the men’s inter-county final for the Liberty Trophy between 11-time champions Durham and 2014 winners Kent.

* Entry for spectators is £2 per day, and free for club members, and the restaurant and bar will be open throughout.