Shropshire stars gunning for title
A double former champion and four other Shropshire Premier League stars will look to bring home the bacon tomorrow on finals day in the £3,055 West Brom Open.
Newport’s Russ Pegram has won the title twice before and is as short as 13-2 to pocket the £750 first prize again.
And although the competition was cut in half this year to a 128, it still attracted a quality field – and tomorrow’s last 16 includes Yorkshire’s former British No.1 Graeme Wilson, Dave McDermott, Gary Owen, Dan Petcher and Nathan Dawes.
But Pegram and his fellow Premier men look to have a great chance of landing another blow for Shropshire in the Champion of Champions qualifying stakes after Callum Wraight’s third Meole Open triumph last weekend.
Burway No.1 Wayne Rogers, for instance, won the Meole in 2014 and then was crowned County Merit champion while Clay Flattley (St Georges) and Darrell Handley (Highley) are open circuit regulars and Chester Road’s Gary Beff is starting to make a name for himself with his tenacious qualities.
Their first round ties, (with odds) are: Flattley (9-1) v Bob Hickman (20-1), Rogers (14-1) v Nathan Dawes (12-1), Beff (33-1) v Dave McDermott (16-1), Pegram (13-2) v Gavin Dunkley (16-1), Handley (16-1) v Phil Lee (9-1).
Back in Shropshire, tomorrow sees the County Junior Trials at Old Shrewsbury from 10am with the under-18 selectors hoping for a big turnout of young talent.
North Shropshire host Shropshire in their warm up friendly for the British Ladies county championship – with legs at Malpas Sports and Malpas Farmers starting at 2pm, but the Tanners Shropshire League’s held-over 2018 Champion of Champions has now been put back to April 28.
Tomorrow is also deadline day for entries in the revamped Shropshire senior inter-league championship, with eight-a-side ties at neutral venues in a straight knockout due to start on April 27.
Venues for those ties on Saturday nights will be picked by the County Cup committee, who will meet for the first time this year on Monday.
Spokesman Rob Burroughs said: “The draw for the five preliminary round ties of the KGJ Insurance County Cup ties will take place on Monday from 11.30am.
“Albert Road have withdrawn from the KGJ Insurance Shropshire Cup, meaning 32 clubs will take part in round one on Wednesday, May 22, with no preliminary round – and that draw will be on Monday too.”