Hi Profile figure Gary Smith of is no stranger to the limelight and the 2017 Linlithgow club champion is currently basking in it following his headline capture of the Bankton Mains sponsored WLBA Champion of Champions title.Read More
Smith lined up at Bankton Mains in Livingston against the accomplished James Speirs of Newbridge in a final held over from Sunday and he emerged from a near marathon 27-end confrontation as the worthy 21-14 victor. The opening exchanges tilted in Smiths favour as he set the pattern of the final with an accurate and consistent lead bowl that enabled a 10-8 advantage after 16 hard fought ends still all to play for however.
Ends 17 to 20 signalled a game-changing spell with a four end purple patch run of 2, 1, 2, 2 thrusting Smith into a commanding 17-8 lead and thereby blunting the challenging efforts gallantly being served up by Speirs. Speirs older brother of Neil – did show signs of a fight-back with a good count of 3 to 11 then stayed on the fringe of the fast developing picture at 19-13; but Smith hit 21 by carding two singles for the loss of one.
Winning the champion of champions title in a hot bed like west Lothian does give me a great sense of achievement and for us amateurs getting your name on the trophy and into the record book for posterity is part of what it is all about it was my lead bowl that done it for me I believe. Capped by both England and Scotland the 58 -year old Englishman was etching his name on The Burnside Trophy as the 41st C of C with the 2017 event being the 40th Anniversary of its launch as a WLBA (Then Linlithgowshire) Major in 1977. Smith is no stranger to making his mark on Bowls In West Lothian having reached three finals of the WL Masters and capturing the £1000 title in 2010.
The husband of Lorna The Legend Smith of former World No1 fame the newly crowned WLBA Champion of Champions is widely known around the sporting globe as CEO of World Bowls Ltd. The pathway to the final saw Smith involved in a major semi final drama where in a real ding-dong battle with recently crowned County Singles champion Glenn King of West Calder he was under pressure at 18-17 down; but escaped to 21 with a great full house count of 4. Speirs was locked on 11-11 after 14-ends with Stuart McKie of Kinneil in their semi final then from 14-12 added 2, 2 to 18 and won 21-13. Smiths campaign started with him flying in from South Africa late Friday night then on Saturday showing excellent touch to be beat Grant Ramsay of East Calder, 21-15, and Callum McLean of Oakbank, 21-5. Sundays quarterfinals action saw him dilver yet another impressive performance to defeat Andy Forrest of Middleton Hall, 21-12, at which stage James Speirs defeated David Hay of Polbeth, 21-11.