BOWLS: Smith suffers Champion of Champions misery
6:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in Latest News
NEIL Smith missed out in his bid to win a first national indoor bowls championship title last weekend at Warner Lakeside, Hayling Island.
Runner-up to England international Nicky Brett (City of Ely) in the champion of champions final in March 2007, Smith was unable to go one better in this year’s tournament.
Despite leading 6-3 and then 15-11 the Westlecot indoor player did not score another shot in his last-16 match against Tony Webb (Riverain, Hitchin) and was sunk 21-15.
“I played well to lead 15-11, but then went off after that. I am gutted as it was a match I should have won,” said Smith.
Smith will be seeking better fortunes on Tuesday, February 12 (1.30pm) at Northampton Indoor Bowls Club. Having won the Area 10 title he is through to the latter stages in the mixed pairs championship with his eldest daughter, Lucy, 17.
They are set to face Barbara Lewis and Chris Moore (Barwell, Leicestershire) in the first round.
It is the first time that Lucy has reached the final stages in a national indoor championship event, although she has played outdoors at Royal Leamington Spa for Wiltshire several times in the ladies Under 31 Amy Rose Trophy competition.
Smith’s youngest daughter Katy, who recently celebrated her 16th birthday, missed out on booking a place in the ladies national indoor championships’ blue riband event - the singles.
Competing in the national championships for the first time this season, Katy had already surprised many by winning the Area 10 ladies singles final in defeating Gill Fry (Gloucester) 21-15.
However, in the inter-area final, just one step away from clinching a place in the last 16 at Nottingham at the end of March, her brilliant run in the championship event came to an end.
She was beaten in the inter-area final 21-14 by Bromsgrove’s Gillian Cliff, the Area 9 champion and winner of the national indoor singles crown three years ago.
Westlecot will also be represented in the national championship final stages at Northampton next week in the Ladies Over 50 Margaret Ashford Two Wood Triples by Ellen Bolland, Sylvia Wells and Doris Woodley.
The Westlecot trio will be bidding to emulate the club’s success in this competition in 2005 when Jean Bird, Joyce Laming and Wendy Anderson beat Colchester in the final.