Ex-cricketer Smith a hit on bowling green

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Derek Smith, a former Copley cricketer and now a Greenroyd bowler, won the Sowerby Bridge Association’s Roberts Rose Bowl Handicap.

Smith beat Siddal Park’s Terry Ness 21-18 in the final of the Tony Leach-sponsored event at Kingston Social Club on Sunday.

Smith, a fairly recent recruit to crown green bowls, began his challenge against Simon Conway from Crow Wood. Ends were shared on a regular basis and Smith edged home 21-17.

Smith’s next opponent was Hill Crest’s Geoff Jaskolski. The changing green proved too quick for Jaskolski and he went down 21-10.

In his next match Smith faced Sowerby’s Andy Lefley and after being 12-10 down he took control with a break of seven before edging home 21-17.

In the semi-final Smith found himself in an epic encounter with Phil Brown from Luddenden Foot. After racing into an 11-5 lead the scores were tied at 11 and 16. Brown edged ahead 19-18 but a single and a pair helped Smith to a 21-19 victory.

Ness, who had won the competition in 1997 and 2002, opened his campaign in the other half of the draw against home bowler Roger Gray. Ness hit the green running and opened up a 13-4 lead before Gray closed to 14-10. Ness again took control and won 21-12.

In his second game, Ness played Hill Crest’s Alan Forrest and although Ness again got off to a good start he found himself 12-11 in arrears. From that point he took control, racing home 21-14.

Ness’s third match was against another Kingston player, Mick Page, and from holding a 13-10 lead Ness found himself 17-13 behind and almost out of the competition at 17-20. However, a pair and two singles saw him edge home 21-20.

Sowerby Tennis and Bowling Club’s Leyland Smith was Ness’s next opponent. Although giving six start, Ness won comfortably by 21-12.

In the semi-final Ness’s opponent was Hill Crest’s Scott Haynes, the 2008 champion.

This promised to be a classic encounter as both had been playing the tricky Kingston green well. After 10 ends Haynes led 8-4 but Ness seemed to move up another gear and bowling corner marks exceptionally well raced to a 21-13 victory.

Smith had six start for the final and surged into a 12-1 lead. Ness closed the gap to 12-5 before Smith again took over to lead 18-7.

Ness regained the jack and played a short pegging mark down the top green edge to close to 15-18.

A loose lead allowed Smith to register a pair and he was standing on the threshold at 20-15.

Ness, a fighter to the end, stuck in and three singles allowed him to reduce the lead to 18-21.

Inexplicably, he then changed from his favourite short pegging mark to a short straight mark on different land and a poor lead allowed Smith to clinch victory at 21-18

One highlight of an excellent day’s bowling, for once played in superb weather, was the performance of 10-year-old Ben Halliday, who defeated two opponents before losing 21-16 to Phil Brown in the quarter finals.

Quarter finals: A. Lefley 17 D. Smith 21, B. Halliday 16 P. Brown 21, L. Smith 12 T. Ness 21, J. Hamer 13, S. Haynes 21.