We are delighted to confirm the following fixtures to be played on our Show Mat at next Saturday’s opening day of the 2020 Verdemat Bowls British Open in York, England. 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 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 British Open Live page.
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 11th January.
09.00am | Group 05 | (34) Peter Hore (Eng) v (6) Joel Häger (Swe)
A great game to get us underway in York as we see England’s Peter Hore take on Joel Häger from Sweden. Peter will be hoping to improve his win percentage as his rise up the rankings continues. A noticeable draw and win against Stephen Gale & James Trott last time out in Norway should give him a confidence boost ahead of this match. Joel has cemented his place amongst the elite at the top of the rankings and the two-time Order of Merit winner will be looking to consolidate that position. Joel will be seeking his 225th win on the Tour, and hoping he can continue his qualification into the cup knockout as he has done all season. Who will win this first head to head meeting?
09.50am | Group 19 | (77) Lee Toleman (Eng) v (85) Wendy Ford (Eng)
Former World Cup silver medallist, Lee, has made the cup knockout in both tournaments he’s entered so far this season. No stranger to the show mat, Lee will feel at home playing with an audience and will back himself to do well in this match and the tournament itself. Wendy is also no stranger to the pressures of the show mat. Considered one of the best draw bowlers on the Tour, Wendy is sure to give Lee a good game in their first meeting. Can she qualify for the cup as she did twelve months ago?
10.40am | Group 26 | (44) Don McNamara (Ire) v (45) Jamie Stiles (Wal) *LIVE STREAMING*
Our first live streamed match of the day pits two very evenly matched players against each other. Don will be delighted with his two outings so far this season. A plate final win at the season opening UK Open over Norwegian Open Champion Benny Sjogren was followed by a last 16 appearance at the Irish Open. Don will be pushing hard for a place on the Irish World Cup team for sure. Jamie, who has been as high as World No10, will be pushing to regain those heights once again. He reached the last 64 at the Irish Open before losing to eventual silver medallist William Boggs.
11.30am | Group 09 | (86) Kevin Peacock (Sco) v (–) Leigh Hall (Eng)
Scotland’s World Cup Captain takes centre stage here against debutant Leigh Hall from England. Kevin is another player hoping to increase his win percentage from 50% and will be eyeing a cup knockout run. Two fairly inconsistent tournaments so far this season followed some good performances in the World Cup. Can he put a good run together? 2008 World Council fours Champion, Leigh, makes his SMPT debut and will immediately fancy his chances of making it through to the Cup. Group 09 is tricky however and contains the very consistent John Lax amongst others.
12.20pm | Group 16 | (1) Edward Sawbridge (Eng) v (14) Mark Chittock (Eng)
It’s a second meeting of the season and third overall for these World Cup team mates. World No1 Ed, leads the head to head 2-0 and will be looking to take all three points here as he pushes toward the top of the Order of Merit. It’s been cup qualification all the way so far this season, will that continue? For Mark, he’ll be hoping to break into the World’s top 10 with a good run here. It’ll be a tough test with Ed and County team mate John Pye in the group but Mark will be determined to get through to the cup knockout and a potential push for a World Cup spot.
13.10pm | Group 22 | (30) Martin Harries (Wal) v (120) Robert Lenza (Sco) *LIVE STREAMING*
Our second live streamed match will see former English Masters bronze medallist Martin, taking on 24 year old Robert. This will be the second meeting between the two following their match at this season’s World Cup which Martin won 10-4. The Welshman is showing great consistency and will want to consolidate his third spot in the race to the World Cup standings. Robert is looking for his first cup berth since last season’s UK Open. It’s a tough group but a victory here in this crucial game will help his cause immensely.
14.00pm | Group 02 | (141) Liam Smith (Eng) v (8) Peter Roberts (Eng)
The 2016 World Pairs Masters Champions face off for the second time in singles. Peter won their previous meeting in Sweden back in 2017, 11-9. This is Liam’s first event in a year so he’ll be keen to get as deep as he can in the tournament. Will he be able to get past his good friend? As for Peter, he’s had a good first half of the season and is well positioned for a top ten finish in the World rankings and is set to push for the Order of Merit title. Can he better last year’s performance here of a last 16 appearance?
14.50pm | Group 20 | (53) Ian Hobson (Ire) v (28) Andrew Jones (Wal) *LIVE STREAMING*
Our third live match sees up and coming Irish star and recent World Pairs Masters Champion Ian Hobson take on Welsh stalwart Andrew Jones. This is Ian’s first singles tournament outside of Belfast and he’ll be keen to show the form that took him to back to back silver medals in 2018. Andrew is still looking for his first podium finish but a creditable 4th place at last season’s World Masters will drive him on. He will be hoping for a result in this match with tricky games against World No5, Nigel Nicholls and World No 37, Steven Roberts also in Group 20.
15.40pm | Group 23 | (3) James Trott (Eng) v (70) Sandy McDonald (Sco)
Next up we see World No3 James Trott take on Scotland’s Sandy McDonald. James is yet to take gold at a singles event on the Tour but his 12 medal haul is nothing to be sniffed at. It is surely only a matter of time before we see him take a singles event, but he’ll need a good win here with the likes of Jon Payne & Ingvar Nelson in the group too. Sandy has performed well in the four previous singles events he’s entered, with Cup qualification achieved in them all. The target of beating both Qtr-final spots at the previous British Opens for him, will be in his sights, and finally eradicate the memory of the infamous ‘fendergate’ match against fellow countryman Paul Walker in 2018.
16.30pm | Group 10 | (2) Mark Beattie (Ire) v (303) Ollie Hipkiss (Eng)
Our current Order of Merit leader, Mark Beattie, is on show this time and he faces England international, Oliie Hipkiss. Mark has had a great season so far and is on course to return to the World No1 spot he held for so long. The UK Open Champion has only lost 3 of his 26 matches this season and is favourite to top group 10. Ollie is making only his 5th appearance in an SMPT singles event, but the seasoned international should give Mark a great game here. The 2016 World Fours Masters Champion will also be looking to make it through to his second cup knockout stage.
17.20pm | Group 13 | (84) Lawrence Moffat (Sco) v (64) Tony Ealham (Eng)
2016 UK Open Singles Champion, Lawrence, is hoping to make it through to his third cup knockout stage of the season. Progression beyond the first round however is a must if Lawrence is to maintain his position in the Scottish World Cup team. For Tony, he’ll be hoping to repeat the form he showed here in 2018 when he took a brilliant bronze medal with victory over Scotland’s Paul Walker. A place in the World’s top 50 could also be achieved with a good run. Both players should qualify from the group and so the importance of top spot could be on the line in this match.
18.10pm | Group 29 | (68) Stephen McAlister (Eng) v (74) Benny Bass (Eng) *LIVE STREAMING*
Our final match of the day sees an interesting battle between, arguably one of the greatest of all time, and a rising star of the sport. Stephen will need to put his vast experience to good use here against a talented player. Stephen is slowly making his way up the rankings and all wins in what is seen as one of the toughest groups will be vital. Benny will be hoping to make up for the big disappointment of losing last year’s final on the last bowl to Stephen Williams of Wales. If he can negotiate through the group, who’s to say he won’t make the final again! We look forward to seeing how this match pans out.