Lorna Smith – Linlithgow’s record three-in-a-row winner of the Scottish Outdoor Singles Title – added to her triumphant 2014 season by recently capturing the coveted West Lothian ’Champion of Champions’ crown.Read more
Whilst the world stage star – formerly from South Africa- has proved herself to be ‘abune them a’ in Scotland she did have to pull out all the stops to clinch her C of C’s success against Sandra Steven of Uphall Station in an epic final played at Kinneil BC. Steven is also a player of outstanding reputation having won the Scottish Pairs Title on three occasions the most recent of which was this season but she also has the unique distinction of being the youngest ever winner of Scottish Singles Crown (1998). The final of the Champion of Champions was played in gusty wind conditions that challenged the skills and temperament of both players and the outcome was an encounter that lasted a marathon 28 ends and went right down to the wire before Smith edging a thrilling 21-19 victory. The early exchanges were ding-dong with Smith leading 8-7 after nine ends but three ends later trailing 11-8 then answering that challenge with a five end run of 1, 1, 1, 2, 1 cross 14-11. Steven edged her way back to 14-14 then answered the loss of a double with counts of 1, 2, 1 to bring the 21 shot winning line into sharp focus at 18-16 and went on to trade a single to retain the upper-hand at 19-17. But great players keep their nerve and respond to pressure and both qualities were demonstrated in full by Smith with the Linlithgow ace conjuring up a magic 1, 1, 2 finish to turn up trumps in the most intense of circumstances. “Sandra is a great champion in her own right and I enjoyed our battle for supremacy in a final that was fought out on a tightrope and the outcome always hanging in the balance”, reflected Smith. Steven booked her place in the final at the 21-13 expense of Blackburn champion Delia Flannigan – winner of the national pairs title in 2007. The semi finals play threw up a high profile clash between Smith and Doreen Reeder of Kirkliston who was achieving the pinnacle of her career to date when winning the Scottish Seniors Singles Title at Ayr Northfield this year. Smith was alert to the danger posed by Reeder and proved she was on her toes when making a strong start to lead 14-5 and having asserted that authority pressed on to score a commanding 21-11 victory. Reeder though will retain pleasing memories of having made a major impression in the quarterfinals having come out on top by winning a 21-17 battle against Commonwealth Games internationalist Lorraine Malloy of Deans. Kinneil champion Ellen Carr put up a sterling fight against Steven in their quarterfinal but lost a 21-19 thriller while Delia Flannigan beat Shona Hogg of Glenmavis, 21-11, and Smith beat 2000 Scottish Junior Champion Vikki Turner of Buchan Park, 21-8.