BOWLS: Smiths on-song to boost their England hopes
5:30am Saturday 22nd March 2014 in By Dave Eaton
NEIL SMITH will represent England next month in the World Indoor Bowls Council’s 2014 World Championships.
He gained selection for the April event being staged in Jersey by reaching the final of the English men’s national singles championship final last season.
The competitors are divided into four groups of four who play in a round robin format with the top two in each group moving forward to the quarter-finals and knock-out stages.
Smith has also been partnered with reigning English ladies singles champion Carole Baker (Diss, Norfolk) in the Mixed Pairs Championship.
Similar to the men’s championship a round robin group stage is followed by the knock-out stages.
Neil’s daughter Katy Smith is hoping to complete an indoor bowls treble for the Smith family.
She has been called-up for an England Mixed 18 trial at Rugby Thornfield on Saturday, April 26.
If she gains selection it will mean all three of the bowls playing Smith family will have competed for England this year.
The trials are for next season’s England junior side when they contest October’s British Isles Indoor Bowls Council Under 18 International Series.
Katy’s sister Lucy, 18, came off the bench for England Ladies Under 25 side against Scotland last month.
Father Neil took part in the men’s trial at Melton & District and was chosen as a reserve and was on the England bench for last weekend’s men’s International Series in County Durham.
Seventeen-year-old Katy’s trial spot is just reward for the giant strides she has made on the ladies senior front in the past two indoor seasons.
In the 2012/13 season she won the Area 10 ladies national singles competition beating Gill Fry (Gloucester) 21-15 before going out 21-14 to Gillian Cliff (Bromsgrove) - the national ladies singles champion in 2010 - in the inter-area final. She also lost out with sister Lucy in the Area 10 ladies pairs final.
This season Katy lost in the Area 10 semi-final, this time to sister Lucy who has gone on to qualify for the last 16 in the national singles next month.
The sisters paired up again, this time winning the Area 10 pairs championship and then the inter-area pairs final beating a duo from Welford-on-Avon 20-10.
The Smith girls have now qualified for the last 16 in the national pairs championships in early April and every chance of gaining more valuable experience and a few notable scalps at the top level.