It’s the fifth World ranking event of the season and there is everything to play for! We’ve got 42 of the World’s top 50 ranked players entered, so we’re in for a cracker. We’ve selected some great matches to play on the Show Mat, some of which will be broadcast live. We will, as always, bring you live, end by end scores of every show mat game and updates on all matches via our dedicated live feed page on our website. Sunday morning’s Show Mat line up will be announced on the Saturday evening via our Facebook page.
You can access all tournament information over the weekend by visiting our website www.shortmatplayerstour.com and then click on the English Masters Live page. The full schedule can be found here.
All live streamed matches will be shown via our Facebook Live channel. To access this service, simply search Short Mat Players Tour on Facebook and ‘Like’ our page. To make sure you don’t miss out on the live action, be sure to enable notifications for our page and then you will be notified immediately when we go LIVE!
Here’s a run-down of the fixtures for Saturday 8th February.
09.00am | Group 02 | (11) Pauline Beattie (Ire) vs (50) Lawrence Moffat (Sco)
Our opening match is a corker. World No11, Pauline, returns to action after missing York and will be looking for a good run here as she pushes for a World Cup place. It was a semi-final appearance last time out in Norway and Pauline will want to continue that good form. Former UK Open Champion Lawrence, is in good form. A Quarter final appearance in York, last time out was followed up by winning the ESMBA open singles title. Can Lawrence join an elite club by winning two SMPT singles titles? It’s a tough group for this pair so a good start is crucial.
09.50am | Group 19 | (113) Alastair McCrea (Eng) vs (15) Stephen Proctor (Eng)
Current World Fours Masters Champion, Alastair has a very impressive 79.31 win percentage from his 4 tournaments so far. A close 13-12 loss to Joe Beattie in the UK Open Quarter finals last time round will give the Hampshire man a target to aim for, here at the same venue. For Stephen, It’s been a bit of a rough ride lately that has seen his ranking drop to 15. A Quarter final spot at the UK Open has been followed up with two plate appearances and a shield victory at last month’s British Open. Can the former World No1 clinch a cup knockout spot this time around?
10.40am | Group 28 | (61) Stephen McAlister (Eng) vs (–) Ryan Knight (Eng) * LIVE STREAMING *
Two greats in action for our first LIVE match. It was a mixed bag for 56yr old Stephen in his only outing this season in York. A great start in the group was followed by two defeats and then elimination at the first hurdle in the Cup knockout. He will draw on his vast experience however, and look to climb further in the rankings. It’s a return to action for Ryan after a three year absence. His last outing was in this very tournament in 2017 when he lost out in the Semi-Final to Martin Simcock 9-8. They’ve both been singles Champion of England twice and the pressure is on with three further top 50 players in this Group.
11.30am | Group 08 | (81) Sean Hughes (Wal) vs (20) Tone Bøe (Nor)
Just three defeats from his 25 matches played on the Tour shows you what a strong player Sean is. No losses in any of his group matches will again be his target here and Tone, on paper, should provide his toughest test in Group 8. Last season’s Silver medallist should be confident of another strong run and who knows, a gold medal to boot. Tone will be hoping to make her first cup knockout appearance in this competition following 3 previous plate runs. This is Tone’s 2nd group appearance on the Show Mat following here fantastic match against World No2 Mark Beattie in Norway.
12.20pm | Group 20 | (67) John Lax (Eng) vs (4) James Trott (Eng)
A very respectable last 32 appearance in last month’s British Open, including a brilliant 13-7 win against Mark Beattie will give John great confidence heading into this group 20 clash. John is steadily climbing the rankings again following a drop in 2019 and his determination to win will be evident again we’re sure. Can he finally make it on to the podium? For James, a good season so far, and he’ll be hoping to improve on a Quarter-Final best appearance here. The former World No1 is pushing to return to the top of the rankings and will want to win this match for sure. These two players have accumulated 26 draws between them, the highest of anybody on the Tour, so don’t be surprised if that’s the outcome.
13.10pm | Group 28 | (25) Mitchell Young (Eng) vs (13) Jörgen Karlsson (Swe) * LIVE STREAMING *
We’re back with group 28 for our second live streamed match of the day. 24yr old Mitchell has had a good season so far, topped off with a Bronze medal last time out in York. A win percentage of nearly 80% this season has seen the Essex man climb into the World’s top 25. Can he progress from this tough group though and make his 4th Cup knockout in a row. Jörgen is well placed for another appearance in the Swedish World Cup team and a good run here will cement that place. He will become only the 5th player to reach the 300 matches mark on the Tour and the former Swedish Masters silver medallist will be hoping for another victory here and take a 2-1 lead in their head to head record.
14.00pm | Group 09 | (456) Tony Bell (Ire) vs (65) LeeToleman (Eng)
Tony returns to action after a year out and the former World Cup winner will be keen to perform well here. His last singles action was at the British Open last season where he lost out to Joseph Beattie in the Plate last 16. We all know what a good player he is and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on in this match. For Lee, the target of bettering his best singles result on the Tour of a Quarter-Final spot must be in his sights. The multi international champion should be favourite to top group 9 although Tony does lead the head to head 2-0.
14.50pm | Group 12 | (104) Faye Ray (Eng) vs (8) Glenn Harvey (Ire)
It’s a return to Show Mat action for Faye following her impressive debut on it in York when beating Gunnar Frantzen to qualify for the cup knockout. A further win and a draw against top 30 players Andy Howard and Jorgen Karlsson will give her confidence heading into this tournament. Faye will be looking for revenge in this match after Glenn defeated her 13-7 twelve months ago. For Glenn, cup qualification in every event this season puts the Irishman in the running for the Order of Merit title. A run to the final here, as in 2018, would also surely cement his spot in the Irish World Cup team too!
15.40pm | Group 31 | (52) Tony Ealham (Eng) vs (2) Mark Beattie (Ire) * LIVE STREAMING *
Our next LIVE match features recent British Open Silver medallist Tony and 5 time SMPT singles winner Mark. Tony will be looking to capitalise on his great run in York but will realistically have to beat either Mark or World No30 Bronagh Toleman to progress into the cup knockout so this match is an important one. Mark’s target here will be to improve on his best finish of 3rd at the English Masters. Another decent cup run should see him maintain his lead in the Order of Merit and a possible return to World No1.
16.30pm | Group 03 | (33) Andy Howard (Ire) vs (309) Leigh Hall (Eng)
Andy is enjoying his best season so far with a win percentage of 68.42. Another cup qualification will be in his sights here but a tough match here and another against Dan Winmill will make it hard work. Andy will look to consolidate his position in the top 40 and will want to string some wins together. Leigh makes his 2nd appearance in SMPT singles following his debut in York last month. The former World Fours Champion would love another cup appearance here and will hope to go further than the Last 64 last time out. An intriguing match up this one.
17.20pm | Group 13 | (17) Stephen Gale (IoM) vs (137) Sam Harvey (Wal)
It’s been a tough season so far for Stephen and following just one cup knockout appearance his ranking has slipped from 5 to 17. He will be keen to get things back on track here and will need to be at his best to beat the 2017 UK Open Champion. Can the ‘Force’ finally produce the goods? This is Sam’s second appearance of the season following his run to the last 16 at the UK Open. The last two English Masters have seen the Welshman make the plate only so he’ll be keen to finish in the top two of the group. This is the pairs’ 3rd meeting with 1 a piece so far. Who will come out on top?
18.10pm | Group 24 | (3) Jonathan Payne (Bel) vs (1) Edward Sawbridge (Eng) * LIVE STREAMING *
We’ve saved arguably the best until last with this battle between World No1 Ed and Jon ranked third. Jon had a good run last time out in York taking home a bronze medal after just missing out on a final spot. This took him up to 2nd in the Order of Merit race and he’ll be hoping to make his first final since the UK Open in 2018. Ed has qualified for the cup knockout in every event so far this season but will be slightly disappointed he hasn’t made it past the round of 32 yet. He needs to do well here to amass enough points to fend off both Jon and Mark Beattie in the World rankings. It’s one win a piece from their previous meetings so who will take the lead?