EIBA National Finals at Melton: World champions and internationals set for battle

World number two Nicky Brett is back at Melton in the men's pairs next week EMN-180321-085353002
World number two Nicky Brett is back at Melton in the men's pairs next week EMN-180321-085353002
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Some past regulars have won through to the final stages, including three-time world indoor champion Andy Thomson who skips the Cyphers duo in the men’s pairs (Wednesday).

Thomson first appeared at Melton in the 1989 finals, but will face a host of tough rivals in his path.

Kingsthorpe will be looking to retain their national men's fours title EMN-180321-085226002

Kingsthorpe will be looking to retain their national men's fours title EMN-180321-085226002

They include the Lincoln pair of Danny Brown and former world indoor champion Billy Jackson, as well as reigning world indoor bowls champion Mark Dawes who skips for Blackpool.

Other teams to watch in the pairs are Clarrie Dunbar, skipped by Graham Shadwell, and Whiteknights (Robert Newman).

The men’s singles (Friday, March 30) looks wide open with just one former winner in the last 16 – the 2006 champion Paul Coleman (Wey Valley) who also reached the final six years ago.

In the men’s triples (Wednesday), world number two Nicky Brett, leads the Huntingdon trio, while Kingsthorpe will be skipped by Neil Mckee, and Riverain return to defend their crown.

Anna Chalk has won the ladies' triples with Ipswich for two of the last three years. This year she leads the club's pairs team. EMN-180321-085213002

Anna Chalk has won the ladies' triples with Ipswich for two of the last three years. This year she leads the club's pairs team. EMN-180321-085213002

Wayne Willgress, of Norfolk, also enjoyed a great tournament at the recent WBT World Championships.

Kingsthorpe will also be among the favourites to retain their men’s fours crown and open against Sleaford on Saturday.

* Among the last 16 in the ladies’ singles (Friday, March 30), Rebecca Field (2012) is the only former champion.

But there are a few beaten finalists who will want to go one better this time around - last year’s runner-up Devon Cooper (Riverain), Blackpool’s Janice Gower (2014), and Katherine Hawes (2011) from Banbury.

In the ladies’ pairs (Wednesday) there will be a number of familiar faces at Melton, including England internationals Sarah Seymour (City of Ely), Field and Gower, all former champions here.

The strong pair of Wendy King and Sandy Hazell (Swale) will also take some stopping, as will Ipswich, led by Anna Chalk who toasted her second lades’ triples title in three years 12 months ago.

Beaten triples finalists Blackpool will be keen to make amends this year after letting a handsome lead slip in 2017.

In the ladies’ fours (Saturday), Desborough will also hope to erase the memory of last season’s final when they were outfought by a young Hornsea team, who have not made it through to Melton this time round.

Schedule –

FRIDAY

9.30am – Men’s Two-Bowl Singles round one

11.30am – Ladies’ Two-Bowl Singles round one

1.30pm – Men’s Two Bowl Singles quarter-finals; Ladies’ Two-Bowl Singles quarter-finals

4pm - Men’s Two Bowl Singles semi-finals; Ladies’ Two-Bowl Singles semi-finals

6pm - Men’s Two Bowl Singles FINAL; Ladies’ Two-Bowl Singles FINAL

SATURDAY

9.30am – Ladies’ Fours round one

1.30pm – Men’s Fours round one

5.45pm – Men’s Fours quarter-finals; Ladies’ Fours quarter-finals

SUNDAY

9.30am – Men’s Fours semi-finals; Ladies’ Fours semi-finals

1.30pm – Under 25s Inter-county FINAL: Yorkshire v Devon

5.45pm – Men’s Fours FINAL; Ladies’ Fours FINAL

MONDAY

9.30am – Men’s Triples round one

1.30pm – Ladies’ Triples round one

6pm – Men’s Triples quarter-finals; Ladies’ Triples quarter-finals

TUESDAY

9.30am – Men’s Triples semi-finals; Ladies’ Triples semi-finals

1.30pm – Over 60s Inter-county FINAL: Norfolk v Surrey

5.45pm – Men’s Triples FINAL; Ladies’ Triples FINAL

WEDNESDAY

9.30am – Men’s Pairs round one

1.30pm – Ladies’ Pairs round one

6pm – Men’s Pairs quarter-finals; Ladies’ Pairs quarter-finals

THURSDAY

9.30am – Men’s Pairs semi-finals; Ladies’ Pairs semi-finals

1.30pm – Vivienne Trophy FINAL: Arun Ladies v Colchester Ladies

5.30pm – Men’s Pairs FINAL; Ladies’ Pairs FINAL

FRIDAY (Mar 30)

9.30am – Men’s Singles round one

1pm – Ladies’ Singles round one

5pm – Men’s Singles quarter-finals; Ladies’ Singles quarter-finals

SATURDAY

9.30am – Men’s Singles semi-finals; Ladies’ Singles semi-finals

12.30pm – Liberty Trophy FINAL

4.45pm – Men’s Singles FINAL; Ladies’ Singles FINAL