BOWLS: Family fortunes for the Smiths

Neil Smith in action

Neil Smith in action

First published in Sport

THE Smith family are enjoying a fine run in national indoor championship competitions in Area 10 this season, writes DAVE EATON.

Neil and his teenage daughters Lucy and Katy, representing the Westlecot indoor club, are still running in no fewer than six events - three men’s, two women’s and one mixed competition.

Dad Neil is a seasoned player on the national indoor circuit but his daughters Lucy, 17, and Katy 15, are competing this season for the first time in women’s championship events and with success.

The girls have reached the Area 10 final in the ladies’ pairs championship having beaten Jill Webb and Ellen Bolland (Westlecot) 18-13 in the quarter-finals.

They followed that up with an impressive 18-15 semi win over Sylvia Wells and Wendy Anderson (Westlecot).

The Smith girls now play Val Pedlington and England senior international Amy Stanton (Malvern Hills) on a neutral green with the winners advancing to the national finals at Melton & District.

Unfortunately the Smith sisters faced each other in the semis of the Area 10 draw and Katy won the family clash 21-6 with an impressive performance.

That saw her book a final tie against either Gill Fry (Gloucester) or Leominster’s Jennie Cole, with the winner moving into the inter-area final. Lucy has the consolation of having reached the Area 10 final in the mixed pairs with dad Neil.

After a big 36-7 quarter-final victory they followed that up with a comfortable 19-7 success over Fairford’s Richard Young and Linda Kingston.

The duo now face Jean Meek and Ryan Atkins (Malvern Hills) in the area final.

Besides being one match away from last 32 in the mixed pairs in Northampton, Neil Smith has already booked his place in the men’s champion of champions event.

He is through to the last 16 at Warner Leisure, Hayling Island, on Friday, February 1 and will play Tony Webb (Riverain, Hitchin Herts).

And Smith is also still running in two other Area 10 championship events - singles and triples.

He reached the semi-finals in the singles after overcoming Westlecot teammate Ian Jefferies 21-17.

Also partnering Kevin Embling and Jefferies, Smith has reached the semis in the triples after thrashing Baden Sparkes’ trio from Carterton 24-3.

But he missed out in the fours quarter-finals with Embling, Chris Cheesley and Jefferies after losing 25-21 to Carterton.

In the ladies’ championship, the Westlecot quartet of Val Coles, Jill Webb, Jenny Vowles and Wendy Anderson are through to the area final.

They booked their place in the area fours showdown against Maryan Pye’s rink from MidGlos as they recorded a comfortable 26-16 semis victory over Annie Bradley’s four (Cotswold, Stroud).

And in the triples the trio of Sylvia Wells, Vowles and Anderson have qualified for the Area 10 final after beating Doris Woodley’s triple 14-7 in the all-Westlecot semi-final.

Wells and Anderson have also reached the Area 10 final in the Ladies Over 60s Pairs and have to face Ann Leach and her partner from MidGlos by January 27.

The Ladies Over 50 Two Wood Triples in Area 10 was poorly subscribed with only two entries.

The Westlecot trio of Ellen Bolland, Sylvia Wells and Wendy Anderson beat Maryan Pye (MidGlos) 20-4 in the area final and move forward to the inter-area final against Welford-on-Avon.

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