BOWLS: Smith edges closer to Champion of Champions crown

First published in Sport

NEIL Smith is through to the inter-area final in the National Champion of Champions competition.

The Westlecot indoor player won the Area 10 champion of champions title after coming back from 19-13 down against Mark Atkins (Malvern Hills) to win 21-19.

Smith will now face Area 9 winner Craig Carter (Rugby Thornfield) in the inter-area final shortly on a neutral green with a place in the final stages (last 16) at Warner Lakeside, Hayling Island, early next February the prize for the winner.

Last weekend Smith played in the Tye Green Open at Harlow, Essex, the second of 13 tournaments on the newly established planetbowls.com singles circuit.

Smith lost in the last 16 in a tie breaker 8-4, 5-8, 2-1 to World No.10 Nicky Brett (City of Ely) who went on to reach the semi-finals but then lost out 2-1 to Sam Tolchard (Torquay United).

Tolchard won the Tye Green Open final beating World No.1 Greg Harlow (City of Ely) 7-6 3-8 and 2-0 to take the £1,000 first prize.

Smith, a beaten semi-finalist in the first tournament at Lincoln, only dropped one place in the overall rankings after his last 16 Tye Green placing to fourth spot.

Harlow, runner-up in the opening two planetbowls.com events, leads the rankings on 43.162pts, with Lincoln winner Les Gillett (Leicester) second on 32.051.

Tye Green winner Tolchard is third with 30.769, Smith fourth on 19.231 with Brett fifth with 14.957.

Tournament three on the planetbowls.com circuit will be the annual Westlecot Open sponsored by Dexion over the weekend of December 8/9.

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