Britain's best lined up for bowls festival

AROUND 1,700 competitors are ready to take to the greens for the 2010 Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival.Action gets under way in the month-long tournament, the biggest outdoor bowls festival in Britain, on Sunday.

AROUND 1,700 competitors are ready to take to the greens for the 2010 Great Yarmouth Bowls Festival.

Action gets under way in the month-long tournament, the biggest outdoor bowls festival in Britain, on Sunday.

The event is in its 65th year, and some of Britain's best players are lined up for the action, which continues until September 24.

World indoor No 3 Mark Royal will be among the favourites in the men's singles, having won the title four times in the last eight years.

Royal's confidence will be even higher given the absence of defending champion, Norfok's Jamie Chesney, on international duty.

Also in the men's competition North Walsham's Chris Ward will be making a 50th consecutive festival appearance. A former England international, Ward has won a total of 16 major titles.

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The following competitions are taking place: Men's Singles; Men's Pairs; Men's Triples; Men's Fours; Ladies' singles; Ladies' Pairs; Ladies' Triples; Under-25 Singles; Mixed Pairs; Mixed Triples; Over 60s Singles; Over 60s Mixed Pairs.

Tournament manager Derek Webster said: “Entrants are slightly down on last year, but I am well satisfied with that, given the economic climate.”

The Bowls Festival is organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism. The Eastern Daily Press and Yarmouth Mercury are media sponsors.