LUCY and Katy Smith just missed out on adding to Royal Wootton Bassett’s winners list at the English national championships at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

Lucy, 23, and younger sister Katy, 21, were beaten on the last end 15-11 in the ladies junior (U25) pairs final last Sunday.

The Smith girls lost to Hertfordshire’s England junior internationals Devon Cooper (Baldock Town) and Rachel Tremlett (Royston).

They were always adrift of the England international duo, trailing 5-2 at five ends, 10-5 at 10, but had cut the deficit to only 14-11 at 17 before finally going down 15-11 after 18 ends.

Earlier in the day, the Wiltshire junior (U25) pairs champions for the past six consecutive seasons had beaten Cumbrian twins Victoria and Rachel Forster from Workington 18-11 in the semi-finals.

Despite dropping a five on end two, they led 8-5 at five ends, 11-8 at 10 before moving 16-10 clear at 15 and finally winning 18-11 to book a place in the final for the first time despite several years of trying.

The Smiths began on Saturday with a comprehensive 27-9 victory over Suffolk’s Beth Topping and Georgie Marwood, and in round two beat Cambridgeshire’s Rebecca Moorbey and Amber Coleman 16-10.

In the quarter-finals on Sunday morning against Northamptonshire’s Shannon Swift and Louise Haladij, the Smiths came back from 7-3 down after four ends and 14-5 at 10 to be tied 15-all at 16 and go on to seal a very hard fought 19-15 victory.


Quarter-Finals: Cumbria (Rachel and Victoria Forster) beat Bedfordshire (Keeley Appleby and Robyn Hall) 19-13; Wiltshire (Lucy and Katy Smith) beat Northamptonshire (Shannon Swift and Louise Haladij) 19-15

Hertfordshire (Devon Cooper and Rachel Tremlett) beat Sussex (Hannah Maslen and Kira Donno) 24-9; Lincolnshire (Ruby Hill and Chelsea Tomlin) beat Essex (Jasmine Wilson and Stacey Fryer) 14-13.

Semi-final: Wiltshire (Lucy and Katy Smith) beat Cumbria (Rachel andVictoria Forster) 18-11; Hertfordshire (Devon Cooper and Rachel Tremlett) beat Lincolnshire (Ruby Hill and Chelsea Tomlin) 15-10

FINAL: Hertfordshire (Devon Cooper and Rachel Tremlett) beat Wiltshire (Katy Smith and Lucy Smith) 15-11.

  • COUNTY bowlers go looking for more success at the national championships being staged at Victoria Park, Leamington as week three draws to a close this weekend, with the emphasis having switched from the women’s events to the men’s competitions.

Royal Wootton Bassett have already won two men’s national titles, the senior men’s (O55s) fours skipped by Dave Snell, and the men’s national fours skipped by his son Steve.

Bassett also went extremely close in the junior (U25) pairs with sisters Lucy and Katy Smith losing in the final to Hertfordshire.

This weekend sees Box ladies bidding to win the ladies senior fours title, the penultimate women’s discipline, with Carol Grenfell, Jean Collier, Sue Cooke and Alex Jacobs having reached the semi-final stages.

But in the men’s triples championships there was no joy for Salisbury or Royal Wootton Bassett.

Salisbury went out in the first round 24-14 to Rugby, Warks skipped by Darren Ward while Bassett won their preliminary round tie 17-16 against Bromley Kent but Craig Hatherall, his father Graham and Neil Collett lost their next match 21-15 to Avenue Coventry.

Mel Biggs is Wiltshire’s most successful bowler having lifted six titles.

He won the men’s national pairs, fours and triples while representing Westlecot in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A barren spell was ended when he added two senior (O55) titles in the pairs with Dave Snell in 2013 and 2015.

He switched to Bassett a couple of years ago but the titles continued to come, winning the inaugural seniors fours crown in 2017.

Now this weekend, Biggs goes hunting the men’s senior singles crown to complete a full set of senior men’s titles.

He begins his quest on Saturday with a first-round senior singles tie against Bedfordshire’s Roly Barker (Sandy Conservative BC) with the final stages being played on Sunday.

Early next week sees the start of the men’s pairs featuring Holt’s Wayne Simmonds and Wayne Snook as well as Bassett’s Dave Godwin and Steve Snell, both national fours winners already.

And in midweek, both the two-wood singles, with Neil Smith (Bassett) and Tom Warner (Salisbury) taking part, and four-wood singles commence, with Wayne Snook (Holt) and Dave Godwin (Bassett) competing.