BIG bowling names heading back to South Cumbria
TWO of South Cumbria’s biggest bowling competitions – one attracting top players from the across the country, the other a showdown between the area’s best rollers – will return this summer.
The BIG Smash and BIG Smash League will roll into action within days of each other in May.
The former takes place on Sunday, May 27 on the greens of Askam and Dalton Cricket Club, with 128 players from across the UK taking part.
That is three days after the opening round of fixtures in the league, which features the likes of defending champion Gareth Jones, Barry Lowden, and Roy Moxham.
For the BIG Smash, competitors will compete for the biggest one-day competition prize in the sport, with £2,000 for the winner, and £1,200 for the runner-up. The top-32 players will also receive prize money.
The UK’s top players will once again be in attendance, with Greg Smith, Gary Ellis, Callum Wraight and Matt Gilmore coming to the area to battle it out alongside top Cumbrians such as Andy Thornton, Ian Nicholson, Martin Gilpin and Lowden.
The three previous champions – Danny Ferris, Jones, and last year’s winner Matty Stewart – are all competing.
Play starts at 9am, and the first-round draw for the competition will take place at Dalton CC on Sunday, at 7.30pm.
The BIG Smash League has doubled in size for 2018, with 16 fantastic players and eight rounds of fixtures over the summer, followed by the grand finals night for the top-eight on August 30.
Favourites include reigning champion Jones, Thornton and Ian Nicholson.
BIG Smash co-founder Neil Jones said of the two competitions: “This year is going to be fantastic.
“The modern format brings a new excitement to the sport, and we have seen our audience grow each year.
“This is down to how the competition has been taken to the hearts of the players and spectators and the continuing partnerships with our sponsors.
“We are already planning 2019, which again will be bigger and better.”
The BIG Smash team thanked sponsors Ross Estate Agency, Andy Rigg Carpets, The Old Vicarage, Brathay Lodge, Progression Solicitors, Chequers Hotel and Steakhouse, MGL Group, Paul Rawlinson at Barrow Golf Club, Driving Sales, Harry Barker Properties, Job Vacancies Direct, Huddle Hub, RFM Accountants, Sports Betting Syndicate, Strategic Placements, Charnleys Home and Garden, Stan and Kate Jones, Virginia House, Piping Hot Plumbing and Heating, Cumbria Training Centre, Market Street House, The Bridge Inn, Joe Murphy Flooring, Auto Diesel Technics, The Black Dog, and Drakes Pride for their support.