Defending champion Val Smith powered her way into the women's
singles final with a superb demonstration of draw bowls at
the World Championships in Adelaide today.
Her start in the gold medal playoff on Sunday will be Smith's
second successive world final, following on from her victory
over England's Ellen Falkner at Burnside in 2008.
The diminutive Black Jack was far too accomplished for
Canada's Kelly McKerihen in today's semifinal, winning their
entertaining encounter 21-12 in front of a large audience at
Lockleys Bowls Club.
"I caught it pretty early and found the green much kinder
that it was yesterday in the pairs final," Smith said.
"I played reasonably well but there were a couple of poor
ends, so I'll be hoping to improve on that aspect of my game
on Sunday if I'm to succeed."
Smith will face the winner of the corresponding semifinal -
featuring Karen Murphy from Australia and England's Natalie
Melmore - but she refused to be drawn as to which she would
prefer to play.
"They both go pretty well," she said. "But whoever it is will
be tough, they're both great champions."
Smith outlasted Murphy 21-20 in the opening round of women's
singles qualifying last week, while it was Melmore who
narrowly defeated Smith in the 2010 Commonwealth Games
singles final to clinch the gold medal in Delhi.
Tomorrow sees the Black Jacks combination of Mandy Boyd, Jan
Khan and Lisa White taking on Murphy, Lynsey Armitage and
Natasha Van Eldik from Australia for the gold medal in the
women's triples final.