BOWLS: Smiths knocked out in pairs

First published in Sport

NEIL Smith and his eldest daughter Lucy, 17, produced a fine performance at Northampton Indoor Bowls Club in the final stages of the national mixed pairs championships.

They did not lift the trophy but played well and collected a couple of notable scalps despite it being teenager Lucy’s first appearance at the national indoor championship finals.

Neil and Lucy had qualified for Northampton by winning the Area 30 mixed pairs title and in their opening match at Northampton in the last 32, ousted the reigning mixed pairs champions Barbara Lewis and Chris Moore (Barwell, Leics) 20-18.

The Smiths trailed the Barwell duo 6-4 at five ends, 10-8 at 10 and 12-11 at 15. Their hopes of success seemed to have gone as they were 18-11 adrift at 18 ends but then produced a stirring finale.

The duo grabbed three successive counts of three to snatch a dramatic last-gasp two shots victory.

Then on Wednesday morning they faced a vastly-experienced Egham, Surrey pairing of Sarah Howick and Steve Tuohy.

They were 5-4 down at five ends but led 12-9 at 10 ends.

The Smiths then powered away to move 21-14 up at 15 ends and 24-15 clear at 18, before claiming a 25-16 victory after 20 ends.

Later that day in a tight quarter-final against Chawton Park, Alton, Hampshire, Neil and Lucy were tied at five, 10 and 15 ends and were only one shot down at 18 ends but their opponents then pushed for home with six unopposed shots to win 22-15.

Despite the disappointment of losing, it was a superb run by the Smith’s in this season’s mixed pairs and bodes well for the future.

Westlecot's Ellen Bolland, Sylvia Wells and Doris Woodley were pipped on the last end at Northampton in the last 16 of the Over 50s Two Wood Triples championship, losing 20-19 to Hounslow despite holding a 14-9 lead at 10 ends.

They were 19-15 down at 15 ends but fought back on the last three ends to only go down by one shot.

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