Gary Smith wins WLBA Champion of Champions

Gary Smith triumphed at Bankton Mains
Gary Smith triumphed at Bankton Mains
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Linlithgow’s Gary Smith claimed the WLBA Champion of Champions title with a 21-14 win over James Speirs of Newbridge in a marathon 27-end final at Bankton Mains, Livingston.

Smith, 58, had taken a 10-8 advantage after 16 hard-fought ends but ends 17 to 20 signalled a game-changing spell with a run of 2, 1, 2, 2 thrusting him into a commanding 17-8 lead.

Speirs did show signs of a fightback with a good count of 3 to 11, then stayed in touch at 19-13 but Smith hit 21 by carding two singles for the loss of one.

Smith was involved in a superb semi-final 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 last-four tie then, from 14-12, added 2, 2 to 18 and won 21-13.

Smith’s quarter-final saw him defeat Andy Forrest of Middleton Hall 21-12 while Speirs was beating David Hay of Polbeth 21-11.