BOWLS: England junior call for Lucy

This Is Wiltshire: Westlecot indoor player Lucy Smith Westlecot indoor player Lucy Smith

LUCY Smith has been named in the England junior squad for the Home International Series early next year.

The 18-year-old Westlecot indoor player came through trials held a fortnight ago at Nottingham & District.

Peatmoor’s Smith has been selected as one of the two reserves in the under 25 four-rink side to contest the British Isles Women’s Indoor Bowls Council International Series on February 8-9 at Nottingham & District Indoor Bowls Club.

No player from the ladies’ indoor section at Westlecot has ever been selected for international honours, so it is a fine achievement by Smith to be picked, especially given that she has only been playing bowls since 2007.

Smith began at Westlecot outdoors and indoors but switched to Wootton Bassett outdoors a couple of years ago.

She has won the Wiltshire women’s under 25 outdoor title twice and the under 25 pairs with sister Katy, 16, this year for the first time.

Meanwhile, indoors this season in the national championship events, she has reached the Area 10 singles final and the Area 10 pairs final with Katy.

Last year with her father Neil, she reached the latter stages in the national mixed pairs, eventually losing 22-15 in the quarter-finals to Chawton Park (Alton, Hants).

“Lucy had a really good trial,” said Neil.

“She has worked hard on her game and all the practice and hard work is paying off for her.

“It is great for her to be chosen in the squad and with five of this season’s team too old to play next season, hopefully Lucy will make the full team next year.”

  • NEIL Smith missed out on scooping the £3,000 first prize in the Premier Threes finals at Erewash Indoor Bowls Club in Nottinghamshire.

He was one of 16 players from around the country to reach the televised final stages of the new competition played with three woods over three sets of three ends.

Smith who had originally won a qualifier at Lodden Vale, Basingstoke drew the 2011 former world champion and current world number seven Greg Harlow (City of Ely) in his first-round match.

He won that match 2-0 in sets, taking the first set 3-1 and the second 2-1.

However, in the re-drawn quarter-finals, Smith won the first set 2-1 against another City of Ely player, England international Nicky Brett but lost the other two 4-1 and 4-0.

  • WESTLECOT bowlers were still running in several women’s and men’s national championship competitions going into the festive break.

Lucy Smith has qualified for the Area 10 singles final and the Area 10 pairs final with her younger sister Katy.

Meanwhile, Wendy Anderson and her teams still have an active interest in the area triples, fours and over 50s two-wood triples competitions.

Janet Willis and her partner in the over 60s women’s pairs will face MidGlos in the Area 10 final early in the new year.

The men’s interest in national championship events was greatly reduced just before Christmas with a number of defeats.

However, Neil Smith and Chris Cheesley are still running in the Area 10 pairs, while Smith, Kevin Embling and Ian Jefferies have reached the semi-finals in the triples.

And in the senior competitions, Kevin Embling and Dave Snell are through to an Area 30 over 60s pairs semi-final against Martin Hope and his partner from Fairford.

  • WESTLECOT Indoor Club supply half of the Wiltshire county men’s team for a second-round Liberty Trophy clash next month.

Twelve members of the men’s section at the Old Town Club have been selected to play Somerset at North Wilts IBC in Chippenham on Saturday, January 11.

The rest of the 24-strong squad is led by North Wilts with five representatives, while Christie Miller (Melksham) have four and the remaining three are from the Five Rivers Club (Salisbury).

Eight of the Westlecot players form two separate rinks - the first is Paul Kistle, Denis Holborow, Kevin Embling and Ian Jefferies (skip), while James Nobbs, Chris Cheesley, Steve Remington and skip Neil Smith feature in the other.

In another rink Josh Cottle, Hedley Bowen and Dave Snell (skip) are joined at lead by Alan Greenland from North Wilts, while Westlecot’s 12th player Kyle Anderson links up at number three with a trio from Five Rivers.

In round one Wiltshire secured a 135-121 victory over Gloucestershire, but despite that win, the selectors and team manager Neil Smith have made four changes.

Dale Hayward (Christie Miller), North Wilts duo John Buckland and Max Clark, and Michael Titcombe Jnr (Westlecot) all switch to the reserves’ bench.

Replacing them are Hedley Bowen (Westlecot), Keith Hutchens and Justin Davis (both North Wilts), and Chris Cheesley (Westlecot).

The Moonrakers have lost to Somerset in the Liberty twice in the last two seasons and will be hoping it is third time lucky this time round.

  • THE Westlecot ladies’ Yetton Plate team is the only side from the Old Town club still running in a national inter-club team championship.

They went out in round one of the main Yetton Trophy event 76-59 to MidGlos but have taken their second chance with both hands in the Plate competition.

In round two, Westlecot Ladies came from 16 shots down at the halfway point to win a second-round tie against Cotswold (Stroud) 86-77.

They moved into the third round (last 32) and have been drawn against Avon Valley (Lighthorne, Warks) on Saturday, January 11.

There are numerous positional changes to the side that beat Cotswold but only one different player, with Maureen Rogers coming in at lead to replace Linda Clarke.

The winner of the Westlecot and Avon Valley match will play St Neots (Cambs) or Northampton in the fourth round (last 16).

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