Smith’s stunning Nationals run ends in the semi-finals

Royal Leamington Spa's Dawn Horne in action against Julie Marsh in the National two-wood singles at Victoria Park. Picture: Mike Baker
Royal Leamington Spa's Dawn Horne in action against Julie Marsh in the National two-wood singles at Victoria Park. Picture: Mike Baker

Avenue’s Hannah Smith had a fine run to the last four of the Sutton Winson Trophy at Victoria Park.

The competition, for under-18 players, was played as part of the Nationals and Smith cruised through her opening round with a 3-0 win over James Powell (Kent).

She squeezed past Somerset’s Fraser Ham 3-2 in the second round before edging out Lois Woodward (Northants) 2½-1½ in the third round.

A 3-1 win over Jack Bunting (Hertfordshire) took her into the last eight, where she beat Buckinghamshire’s Jamie Seymour 3-2.

However, she lost 2½-1 ½ in the semi-final to Liam Harris (Suffolk), who had earlier beaten her brother Mark 3-1 in the second round.

Harris went on to beat Hampshire’s Nicole Rogers 3-1 in the final.

In her opening women’s national triples match, Whitnash’s Helen Slimm went down 30-13 to Bolton BC’s S Kitson.

Royal Leamington Spa’s Dawn Horne also bowed out at the first hurdle after suffering a 16-11 defeat to Julie Marsh (Richmond BC, Yorkshire) in the women’s two-wood singles.

Meanwhile, Whitnash’s men came out on top by 115 shots to 97 in their home encounter against Royal Leamington Spa last week.

While there were three rink wins apiece, the Whitnash victory owed much to resounding wins for M McGuire, Ken Dolby and Harry Billington over Spa’s John Rheams (30-11) and Kevin Bly, Les Clarkson and Graham Cluff who beat Malcolm Wickens 25-13.

It was a particularly impressive performance from Billington’s trio who won nine of the final ten ends to emphatically turn around an 8-5 deficit.

In a much closer game, Chris Lea beat Jerry Horne 21-18 to secure Whitnash’s other rink win.

For Spa, Alan Taylor, Bill Griffin and Dick Williams overcame Fred Sawyer 17-10 and there were also wins for Dick Allibon over Hamish Crawford (19-14) and Mike Wallace over Keith Glenn (19-15).

Spa’s ladies were edged out 45-43 in a three-rink triples clash at Rugby.

Club captain Jenny Wickens skipped Mavis Dale and Karen Rheams to a convincing 18-11 win, but a 16-9 defeat for Cynthia Briggs left the match evenly balanced.

On the deciding rink, it was a particularly topsy-turvy game as Spa’s Wyn Jackson trailed 12-2 after 11 ends.

She recovered superbly, taking 14 unanswered shots to lead 16-12 with just three ends remaining.

However, six dropped shots saw Jackson eventually go down 18-16 and Spa just edged out by two shots.

Avenue were also edged out by two shots in their mixed derby match at home to Lillington.

Avenue’s highest winning rink went to John Hughes (skip), Steve Franklin, Bernadette O’Donnell and Keith Orme who held the lead throughout their match to win 20-15.

Their other winning rink featured Mike Kelly (skip), Richard Muir, Bill Biddle and Hazel Higgins who were level at ten ends and went on to win 16-13.

The highest of Lillington’s three winning rinks was skipped by Ted Rheams, supported by Grace Gallagher, Pippa Mace and Alan Harbour, who picked up a four on the final end to beat John Harris 22-18.

The other winning rinks were skipped by ladies’ captain Val Joyce (3 shots) and John Buggins (3 shots) to give Lillington a 93-91 win.

Lillington had began the week with a fine win in their rearranged three-rink triples match at Warwick Boat Club.

They had two winning rinks on their way to a 52-43 victory, the highest of which was skipped by Rheams, supported by Paul E Smith and Mike Calvert, with a seven-shot margin.

The other rink was skipped by Malcolm Welch who oversaw a five-shot success.