Ireland’s Simon Martin admits he has a ‘big act’ to follow when his 2013 British Isles Championship singles challenges gets under way at Stanley Indoor Bowls Club on Tuesday.
The Belfast player booked his ticket to the showcase event by winning the Irish title for the first time back in January, defeating Stephen Gibson in an epic final.
Not only does he now face a daunting British debut, but he has the added pressure of trying to retain the title his club colleague, Mark McPeak, won so impressively in Swansea 12 months ago.
“Winning the Irish title was a big thrill,” said Martin.
“This is now another step up – it’s a massive challenge. Mark did superbly well to win the trophy and I’ll be doing my best to repeat that performance.
“I’ve managed to avoid a preliminary round, so I’ll play either Thomas Mann (Scotland) or England’s Perry Martin in the semis. I don’t know much about them, but I’ll be giving it my best shot.”
Meanwhile, the Irish triple of Stephen Gibson, John McCullough and Michael Merritt are hoping it will be third time lucky.
The Belfast boys wrote themselves into the record books by becoming the first combination to win the Irish triples title three years on the bounce in January.
However, they’ve had no luck in the British event for the past two years, falling at the semi finals stage on both occasions.