Jon Dunham – Snooker, bowls, boxing and archery. It’s all happening here!

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Our area of north Northamptonshire is flourishing when it comes to sport at the moment.

While football, rugby and cricket will, no doubt, dominate everyone’s thoughts due to their popularity, it is fantastic that other sports are coming to the fore.

This week’s main edition of the Northamptonshire Telegraph featured three sports on the back page – snooker, archery and bowls.

And while many would consider them ‘minority sports’ the achievements of some extremely talented youngsters in our area are rightly stealing the headlines from those you may expect to see on the back page week in, week out.

Just for good measure, our Corby edition was dominated by boxing and featured a picture of the unified World Heavyweight Champion on it. I can’t remember the last time that happened!

Let’s start with the snooker and Kettering’s Kyren Wilson who beat former world champion Graeme Dott in his final qualifying match to reach the World Championships at The Crucible for the first time.

This has been coming from Wilson. He has established himself as one to watch in the sport and caught the eye during the Shanghai Masters this season.

To knock out Dott, the 2006 winner, was an achievement in itself and now, with nothing to lose and everything to gain when he plays Ricky Walden in his first-round match, the stage is well and truly set for him.

On to boxing and Corby’s Simon Barclay, who made a winning start to life as a professional last weekend.

It’s hard to believe that such a nice guy is capable of what he does but the very fact he was signed up by Frank Warren suggests we will see plenty of Barclay in the months and years to come.

Such is his stock that he was invited to Wladimir Klitschko’s training camp in Austria for his upcoming world heavyweight title defence straight after defeating Igor Borucha on points in London last weekend.

You don’t win two ABA titles and two different weights by a fluke. Barclay has earned his way into the professional ranks and is determined to go on from here.

In bowls, Jamie Walker – representing Wellingborough – became the first Northamptonshire player to win the National Indoor Men’s Singles at Melton Mowbray.

Regular followers of our bowls coverage may not have been surprised by this. At junior and senior level, Walker has been establishing himself as one of the best players in the country.

And, just in case anyone doubted it, he now has the trophy to prove it.

Finally, from this week at least, we had the news that Raunds archer Bradley Denny has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Archery World Cup in Shanghai next week.

Again, he is a name that has featured heavily in recent years and another who has earned this opportunity. He will, no doubt, flourish in good company next week.

So there you have it, just one week of stories and it is clear that we have some serious stars in the making on our hands.

And I say that without even mentioning Burton Latimer’s Charley Hull, who continues to take the golf world by storm and Corby’s Daniel Keatings, who is preparing for the European Gymnastics Championships and this summer’s Commonwealth Games in his home country of Scotland.

Sport in this are is buzzing at the moment.

I am proud, delighted and lucky to be able to tell you all about it.