WE'RE counting down and ready for lift-off in one of the most popular and prestigious events on the local crown green bowling calendar.

The St Helens Star Masters tournament is re-launched this year and promises to be bigger and better than ever with total prize money of £1,200 up for grabs, including £400 to the winner.

Sponsored by Carlsberg/Tetley Walker, this year's Star Masters will be fought out at the Unison club in Bishop Road, with the first and second rounds being staged on Saturday, June 30, Sunday, July 1, Monday, July 2, Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8.

The third and fourth rounds will be staged on Sunday, July 8, and Monday, July 9, from 6.30pm, with the Last Eight and Final on Saturday, July 14, from 6pm.

First round matches this week are as follows:

Saturday, June 30, noon: 1. C. Potter (Unison) v K. Kearns (Railway), 2. J. Heathcote (Leigh) v C. Massey (Liverpool), 3. P. Gartside (British Plate) v W. Tuson (Chorley), 4. T. Round (Greenalls) v D. Tabener (Garswood), 5. J. Daniels (British Plate) v G. Curran (Liverpool), 6. T. Allen (Railway) v W. Harrison (Garswood), 7. L. Stringfellow (British Plate) v H. Taylor (Brown Edge), 8. G. Hudson (Railway) v F. Anderton (Garswood).

6.30pm: 1. D, Yates (Railway) v M. Hart (Eccleston), 2. R. Fitzpatrick (Liverpool) v R. Smith (Unison), 3. L. Wildman (Eccleston) v M, Whalley (Liverpool), 4. P. Kelly (Unison) v A. Sims (Green Dragon), 5. R. Harding (Crewe) v P. Jones (Liverpool), 6. N. Barrett (Unison) v B. Simm (Garswood), 7. A. Pickervance (British Plate) v A. Thompson (Liverpool). 8. P McGoven (Green Dragon) v K. Edwards (Newton).

Sunday, July 1, noon: 1. Ed Webster (UGB) v S. Smith (Unison), 2. M. Woodward (Wigan) v D. Eustace (British Plate), 3. J. Morgan (Haydock) v M. Holden (Unison), 4. F. Perkins (Wigan) v L. Leadbetter (British Plate), 5. A. Wolfe (Formby) v M. Pendlebury (Bethel Misson). 6. J. Searson (Brown Edge) v F. Derbyshire (Lowton), 7. G. Williams (UGB) v K. Kelly (Unison), 8. G. Glover (Rainford) v S. Webster (British Plate).

6.30pm: 1. P. Shaw (Wigan) v D. Norbury (Unison), 2. K. Roylance (Brown Edge) v J. Hignett Snr (Liverpool), 3. K. Smith (British Plate) v D. Langlois (Unison). 4. A. Fiddler (Billinge) v R. Horton (Haydock), 5. B. Whalley (Eccleston) v A. Hart (Warrington), 6. J. Derbyshire (Bispham) v J. Hignett Jnr (Liverpool), 7. N. Shaw (Wigan) v R. Crowther (Huddersfield), 8. D. Roylance (Brown Edge) v I. Manchester (British Plate).

Monday, July 2, 6.30pm: 1. D. Holden (Carr Mill) v M. Dillion (Burnley), 2. J. Ashcroft (British Plate) v T. Cleary (Chapel House), 3. T. Gatley (Warrington) v P. Culley (British Plate), 4. G. Hodgeson (Chapel House) v D. Gilmore (Tranmere), 5. M. Bradshaw (British Plate) v A. Duggan (Chapel House), 6. M. Gilmore (Tranmere) v M. Huxley (Alsager), 7. B. Thompson (Liverpool) v M. Wensley (Burnley), 8. A. Gartside (British Plate) v M. Grady (Unison). Saturday, July 7, noon: I. Rutter (Garswood) v K. Taylor (Widnes), 2. C. MeEgan (BICC) v T. Halliwell( Wrexham), 3. A. Grady (Unison) v D. Scarisbrick (Eccleston), 4. V. Jameson (Haydock) v A. Kenny (Liverpool), 5. N. Ditchfield (British Plate) v R. Belshaw (Garswood), 6. A. Meadows (Our Lady's ) v L. McEgan (Railway), 7. A. O'Neil (Liverpool) v C. Carwell (Widnes), 8. H. Birch (Up Holland) v D. Jones (Wrexham).

Saturday, July 7, 6.30pm: 1. Eric Webster (Greenalls) v D. Frodsham (Unison), 2. P. Forber (British Plate) v G. Marsh (Carr Mill), 3. M. Reed (Railway) v S. Wallwork (Rainford), 4. K. Forber (British Plate) v J. Gatley (Warrington), 5. B. Roberts (Liverpool) v B. McCarrick (Unison), 6. J. Lomax (British Plate) v J. Harrison (Eccleston), 7. S. Lomax (Railway) v A. Moorcroft (Haydock), 8. M. Leonard (British Plate) v S. Cartwright (Unison).

Sunday, July 8, noon: 1. T. Shiels (Haydock) v S. Keenaghan (Eccleston), 2. D. Leyland (Unison) v J. Worswick (Golborne), 3. A. Prescott (Leigh) v D. Bell (Widnes), 4. M. Owen (Railway) v E. Mars (Greenalls), 5. S. Bell (Widnes) v P. McNulty (Our Lady's), 6. K. Tabener (Garswood) v C. Ashton (Warrington), 7. A. Fargher (BICC) v J. Hayes (Golborne), 8. T. Kelly (Unison) v A. Williams (Leigh).