NEIL Smith just missed out on a place in the final of the World Indoor Bowls Council 2014 World Championships that were staged in Jersey last week.
The 47-year-old Westlecot indoor champion was beaten in a sudden death, one end, tie breaker in the semi-finals by Welshman Damian Doubler losing 2-1 (1-10, 7-5, 1-0).
Doubler, two shots down in the tie breaker with one wood left, took the jack into the ditch with his bowl for shot and victory.
A very disappointed Smith said: “I was gutted to lose the semi on the last bowl, I played really well in the semi, similar to the previous game against Steven Allan.
“I was in control, winning the first set 10-1, and 4-1 up in the second but he came back to take it 7-5.
“In the one end tie-breaker, I held a good two shots and had two back bowls, he had fired with his third and took his only back bowl off the green.
“He decided to go for the jack and hoped to stay with it, he played the shot perfectly and buried the jack and sat right on top of it.
“It was heart breaking, if he had hit the jack any other way I would have been in the final.
However, Smith added: “It was a great week, really proud to represent England and to play well in front of two of the selectors, that can only do me good for next year.”
Cardiff’s Doubler then went on to beat England’s other representative in the championships, Mark Dawes, (Blackpool) in straight sets 2-0 (12-6, 8-7).
Smith and Dawes were chosen as England’s representatives in the WIBC World Championships this year in Jersey as they had contested the 2013 final of the English Indoor Bowling Association Singles Championship in Nottingham, which Dawes won beating Smith in hard fought duel 21-16.
Sixteen players contested the men’s world championship in Jersey and were drawn into four groups of four.
In the initial round robin competition, Smith topped Group A winning all three of his games beating Win Van Belzen (Netherlands) and Scott Ruderham (Jersey) both 2-0 before overcoming Scotland’s Steve Allan in the top of the table showdown. Smith drew the seven-end first set 4-4 but took the second 8-3 to book a place in the quarter-finals against Ireland’s John McCullough.
He took that with ease, winning the two sets played over nine ends this time 11-4 and 10-4 to book his place in the semi-final.
In the last four Smith was on fire in the first set against Doubler (Wales) winning 10-1 after only seven ends.
He raced into a 4-1 lead in the second after four ends but did not score on the next four as Doubler hit back to lead 7-4.
Smith could only pick-up a single so lost the set 7-5 meaning a sudden death tie-breaker was needed to decide the match.
And that unfortunately went Doubler’s way as with his last wood he moved the jack to snatch a last gasp victory and ruin Smith’s hopes of glory in Jersey.