Smyth battles to Merit title success

On the victory trail: Paul Smyth on Sunday
On the victory trail: Paul Smyth on Sunday

PAUL Smyth of Hill Crest won the Halifax League’s Briggs Priestley Merit at Greenroyd BC on Sunday, defeating Elland WMC’s James Senior by 21-13 in the final

Smyth began his day against Alwyn Guide of West End and trailed 15-13 before running out with a break of eight.

His hopes of claiming the title looked remote when he trailed 14-4 to former winner Clive Austin of Mytholmroyd BC. Austin was still in control at 15-6 before Smyth found his length on a mark across the green and compiled a break of 13, eventually winning 21-17.

James Senior led for most of his first game against Luddenden Foot’s Simon Conway but Conway levelled the scores at 15 and led 17-16 before Senior ran out.

In his second game, Senior faced former winner and Elland team-mate Robert Holmes. He took a 6-1 lead and Holmes struggled to find a way back, Senior winning 21-13.

In the semi-finals, both players had to come from behind to secure a place in the final. Smyth trailed David Warburton of Mytholmroyd BC 9-3 before making a break of eight. After a further break of seven saw him ahead 18-10 and although Warburton rallied, Smyth won 21-17.

Senior’s semi-final opponent was another former winner, Richard Helliwell, of Mythlmroyd WMC. The two were level at nine and Helliwell who looked the likelier to win when leading 14-9 and 17-14 before Senior ran out with a break of eight.

In the final, Smyth took control from the start to lead 9-4. Senior responded to draw level before Smyth, finding the mark he had used to advantage earlier, pulled 16-9 ahead and went on to claim the Wilkinson Sword Trophy.

First Round Scores: P. Demetriades 14 S. King 21; M. Sansom 15 D. Warburton 21; J. Summers 9 C. Austin 21; A. Guide 15 P. Smyth 21; R. Helliwell 21 D. Blackburn 13; P. Holroyd 18 P. Copley 21; R. Holmes 21 S. Holmes 15; J. Senior 21 S. Conway 17

Quarter-finals: King 15 Warburton 21; Austin 17 Smyth 21; Helliwell 21 Copley 8; Holmes 13 Senior 21

THE semi finals of the Halifax Association Rose Bowl and Ewart Lord competitions Sponsored by SDH Holdings are on Thursday ( 6.45).

Rose Bowl: Sowerby West End A (40) V Pellon (60) at Ripponden, Bradshaw A (10) v Sowerby West End B (scr) at Greetland. Ewart Lord: Asa Briggs B (70) v Siddal (60) at Ackroydon Victoria, Heptonstall (80) v Hill Crest B (42) at Hipperholme.