Youngster Kieran Suffolk helps put Thetford’s short mat bowls club on the map

Thetford Short Mat Bowls Club's Kieran Suffolk with NCSMBA Vice-President Bob Oatway. Picture: NCSMB

Thetford Short Mat Bowls Club's Kieran Suffolk with NCSMBA Vice-President Bob Oatway. Picture: NCSMBA - Credit: Archant

Since the formation of the first short mat bowls club in town the Thetford club has quickly grown its membership to nearly 30 bowlers under the guidance of founder Pauline Barsby.

With the large number of clubs across Norfolk it was odd that a major town like Thetford did not have one and Pauline set about rectifying that with her boundless enthusiasm.

Their players meet regularly at the Charles Burrell Centre and are celebrating the efforts of young bowler Kieran Suffolk who became the first young Thetford bowler to enter the Norfolk regional heat of the ESMBA National Under 18s Championships.

The 14-year-old bowler figured in a best of three match play-off with Halvergate, Norfolk squad and England Under-21 bowler Ryan Fox with the prize a place representing Norfolk in the National Championships at Tamworth.

Although Suffolk eventually lost to the far more experienced player he did his club proud and showed he has great potential for the future.


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Fox had blazed away to lead 9-1 in the opening game but Kieran fought back bravely to lose by just 10-7.

Another slow start in the second game saw him trailing again but this time he fought back to within one shot of Fox with an end to play. Fox showed his experience as he shut the young Thetford bowler out on the final end to clinch victory but the youngster can be proud of his performance.

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Much credit goes to Wymondham and former England international Chris Mann who has given up his time to help coach at Thetford. Anyone interested in trying short mat bowls would be warmly welcomed and can contact Pauline Barsby on 01953 717275 for further details.

Rugby Union: Thetford will be aiming to move into the regional semi-finals of the RFU’s Senior Vase competition on Saturday.

They have a home tie in the third round against Bromley, who are currently fourth in London 3 South West. Thetford will go into the match in good heart after beating visitors Woodbridge 34-8 in London 3 Eastern Counties on Saturday.

Swaffham’s bottom two finish in Eastern Coounties 1 North was confirmed when they lost 38-14 to visitors Norwich Union. They have re-arranged home match against leaders Fakenham on Saturday.

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