Bowls: Black Jack to go for gold

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.


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