ENGLISH INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Spalding ace Smith takes the title

English singles champion Graham Smith.
English singles champion Graham Smith.
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Graham Smith from Spalding last night (March 23) became a national indoor bowls champion.

A few days after helping England retain the British men’s team title in Paisley, Smith became the first ever winner of the English national men’s two-wood singles title when he defeated Tom Bishop from Kent 21-16 in a high quality final.

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

Earlier Smith had beaten Chawton Park’s Adam White 21-6 and in-form Martin Puckett from Weymouth 21-15, before reaching the final with a 21-14 victory over WIBC World Under 25 indoor champion Ed Elmore, from the famous City of Ely club.

Smith always seemed to have the upper hand in the final, but Bishop, who plays alongside legendary Anglo-Scot Andy Thomson at the Cyphers club in Beckenham, stayed in the hunt until the very end.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT

Last 16

Graham R Smith (Spalding) bt Adam White (Chawton Park) 21-6;

Martin Puckett (Moonfleet 2000) bt Paul Gandey (Adur) 21-2;

Jonathan West (Boston) bt Ben Sharpe (Kingsthorpe) 21-15;

Ed Elmore (City of Ely) bt B J Byles (Whiteknights) 21-7;

Norman Coad (Bodmin) bt Perry Martin (Swale) 21-11;

Jason Horwood (Watford) bt James Austin-Mills (Wymondham Dell) 21-18;

Martin Heitzman (Ipswich) bt Paul Hartley (Hartlepool) 21-18;

Tom Bishop (Cyphers) bt Jack Bird (Scarborough)

Quarter finals:

Smith bt Puckett 21-15; Elmore bt West 21-16;

Horwood bt Coad 21-6; Bishop bt Heitzman 21-16.

Semi-finals: Smith bt Elmore 21-14; Bishop bt Horwood 21-6.

Final: Smith bt Bishop 21-16.