WEST Swindon teenager Lucy Smith has reached two inter-area finals in the women’s national indoor bowls championships.
The 18-year-old Westlecot indoor player is through to the section 9/10 inter-area final in the ladies’ singles, and together with sister Katy, 17, has also qualified for the inter-area pairs final.
An England under 25 triallist, Lucy produced a brilliant comeback to win the Area 10 singles title. She trailed Gloucester’s Gill Fry 20-13, but hit back brilliantly to grab a superb 21-20 win.
Lucy moves forward to the inter-area final and meets Area 9 champion, Amy Stanton, the 2012 world indoor under 25 champion, at MidGlos on Monday.
Lucy and Katy won the Area 10 pairs title when they were given a walkover as their opponents from MidGlos withdrew due to illness.
The sisters move will face Area 9 champions Viv Hall and Joan Parfitt (Welford-on-Avon) in the inter-area final, just one step from the last 16 at Melton & District in April.
Meanwhile, Westlecot ladies still have an interest in one other women’s national competition, the over 60s’ pairs.
Ellen Bolland and Janet Willis beat a duo from Cotswold (Stroud) led by Pat Thorley 18-11 and then defeated the MidGlos’s Ann Leach and Pauline Gunn 18-5 in the Area 10 final.
Bolland and Willis advance to the inter-area final and will face Area 9 champions Di Green and Janet Scott (Birmingham) at Banbury on February 8, one stage away from the last 16 in March.
In the men’s national championships and competitions, Westlecot bowlers are still running in the triples and over 60s’ pairs.
Kevin Embling, Ian Jefferies and Neil Smith have reached the inter-area final in the national triples.
In the early rounds they recorded victories over Dave Howes (Cotswold) 22-10, clubmate Dave Snell 23-15 and Robert Turley (Carterton) 18-10.
Then in the Area 10 triples final, the trio outbowled Malvern Hills’ Mark Atkins, Luke Harwood and Ryan Atkins to record a 17-7 victory.
Embling, Jefferies and Smith move forward to the inter-area final where they will meet either a trio from Desborough (Maidenhead) or Foxhill (Aylesbury).
Embling and Dave Snell are still running in the over 60s’ pairs. They defeated Fairford’s Martin Hope and his partner 27-15 in the semi-finals at Westlecot and are scheduled to play Roger Preece and Jack Dempsey (MidGlos) in the Area 30 pairs final tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Neil Smith came close to recording his first victory of the 2013/14 season on the planetbowls.com open singles circuit last Sunday in the Wey Vale Open (Guildford).
He lost 2-0 to Matt Hyde (Desborough, Maidenhead) but collected a £400 consolation prize and considerably boosted his planetbowls ranking.
To reach the final Smith overcame Nigel Lee (Essex County), Joe Abercrombie (Folkstone), Arthur McCaughan (Folkstone) and England international Perry Martin (Swale).
In the semi-finals Smith beat Scott Edwards (Adur, W Sussex) 1.5-0.5 before losing to Hyde.
“I was very disappointed to lose in the final,” said Smith. “I played really well all weekend, coming through one or two tight matches.”
- WILTSHIRE ladies gained revenge for last season’s one-shot defeat by taking honours in the annual showdown against the county men’s representative side.
The ladies ran out 148-99 victors at North Wilts last Sunday courtesy of a well-timed late surge.
The match was tight early on as the women only led 28-27 across the board at five ends, but they moved 71-58 clear at 10 and were 91-83 up at 15.
They powered away in the final six ends across the board, scoring 57 shots and only conceding 16 to claim an emphatic victory.
The ladies took the honours on five of the six rinks with Janet Hardie’s team just edging out Fizz Mace’s four.
Evelyn Tape won the battle of the county presidents against Keith Baker (Westlecot), enjoying an 11-shot success as a member of Joan Coleman’s foursome against Maurice Byron’s four.
Janet Bowker-Praed led her rink to a six-shot win while Brenda Bowen’s four produced a late rally to beat the rink skipped by county men’s secretary Dave Williams, 21-19.
Wiltshire men’s lone success was recorded by the quartet of Ron Salsbury, Dave Newan, Fred Tape and skip Dave Edmonds, who beat Jean Collier’s rink by three shots.
However, Wiltshire Ladies suffered a 126-105 defeat at the hands of Somerset in their previous women’s friendly match.
The men fared little better as they were sunk 131-116 in a previous friendly at home at North Wilts.
Meanwhile, Westlecot men increased their chances of reaching the Wessex League play-offs with two wins in the last fortnight.
They beat fellow play-off hopefuls West Berks (Newbury) 90-81 and followed that up with a 101-55 success over Banbury Cross.
In both cases Westlecot were indebted to the two home rinks who both won to ensure an overall victory and in each match the Old Town Club collected 12 points out of 16.
Meanwhile, Westlecot ladies are out of the Yetton Plate after losing 85-73 to Avon Valley in a last-32 tie.
The Swindon club, who trailed across the board throughout the contest, drew on two of the four rinks but lost on the others by two and 10 shots respectively.