BOWLS: Graham grabs national title

Graham Smith
Graham Smith
  • English Indoor Championships
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Spalding’s Graham Smith is the first-ever winner of the English men’s two-wood singles title.

Smith, who helped England retain the British men’s team title in Paisley less than a week ago, beat World Outdoor Champion of Champions winner Tom Bishop 21-16 in a high-quality final at Melton Mowbray on Friday.

“I had to work really hard for that because Tom played very well,” said the 46-year-old. “In fact, it was a hard day with four games to play.”

Smith had beaten Chawton Park’s Adam White 21-6 and in-form Martin Puckett (Moonfleet 2000) 21-15 before reaching the final with a 21-14 victory over world under-25 indoor champion Ed Elmore (City of Ely).

Smith always seemed to have the upper hand in the final but Bishop, who plays at the Cyphers club in Beckenham, stayed in the hunt until the end - and bowls more than a foot from the jack had little chance of counting.

Last 16

Graham R Smith (Spalding) beat Adam White (Chawton Park) 21-6; Martin Puckett (Moonfleet 2000) beat Paul Gandey (Adur) 21-2; Jonathan West (Boston) beat Ben Sharpe (Kingsthorpe) 21-15; Ed Elmore (City of Ely) beat B J Byles (Whiteknights) 21-7; Norman Coad (Bodmin) beat Perry Martin (Swale) 21-11; Jason Horwood (Watford) beat James Austin-Mills (Wymondham Dell) 21-18; Martin Heitzman (Ipswich) beat Paul Hartley (Hartlepool) 21-18; Tom Bishop (Cyphers) beat Jack Bird (Scarborough).

Quarter-finals

Smith beat Puckett 21-15; Elmore beat West 21-16; Horwood beat Coad 21-6; Bishop beat Heitzman 21-16.

Semi-finals

Smith beat Elmore 21-14; Bishop beat Horwood 21-6.

Final

Smith beat Bishop 21-16.

Meanwhile, Spalding’s Ruby Hill lost in the women’s two-bowl championship semi-final.

Last 16

Devon Cooper (Riverain) beat Gail Barnes (White Oak) 21-3; Rebecca Field (Norfolk) beat Sandra Jones (Camberley) 21-13; Ruby Hill (Spalding) beat Louise Woodrow (Dorchester) 21-8; Michelle Coleman (St Neots) beat Donna Knight (West Berks) 21-4; Margaret Dyer (Clevedon) beat Jacquie Edgar (Sudbury) 21-16; Janice Gower (Blackpool NH) beat Emma Cooper (Adur) 21-7; Amy Walters (Welford-on-Avon) beat Barbara Bellamy (Torquay United) 21-14; Nicole Rogers (Loddon Vale) beat Jackie Yelland (South Forest) 21-2.

Quarter-finals

Field beat Cooper 21-19; Hill beat Coleman 21-20; Gower beat Dyer 21-20; Rogers beat Walters 21-18.

Semi-finals

Field beat Hill 21-18; Rogers beat Gower 21-12.

Final

Rogers beat Field 21-10.