Carly hop­ing to win her first world ti­tle

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds - by BOB FRANK bob.frank@jpress.co.uk

TWICE Euro­pean cham­pion Carly Smith be­gins her bid for world glory in Black­pool on Mon­day.

The Evening Tele­graph Sportswoman of the Year has been drawn against Ire­land’s Cathy Hunt in Mon­day’s open­ing round, by which time she hopes to have al­ready made a win­ning start for Eng­land in the team event.

Smith is the vice cap­tain of the Eng­land team who bid to de­fend their ti­tle and they will be clear favourites.

The 29 year-old is hope­ful of team glory but warned: “We’re the reign­ing cham­pi­ons but we’re also the team ev­ery­one that wants to beat. We’re con­fi­dent but we’re not tak­ing any­thing for granted.”

Eng­land be­gin by fac­ing Wales and then Aus­tralia and North­ern Ire­land on a busy open­ing day on Sun­day. Smith will then be in­volved in team matches against Ire­land and Scot­land on Mon­day be­fore be­gin­ning her sin­gles cam­paign that night.

As far as that sin­gles tour­na­ment is concerned, Smith ad­mits she is un­sure what to ex­pect as work com­mit­ments have pre­vented her from play­ing as of­ten as she would like.

She added: “I’m play­ing okay but it’s dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how I will do be­cause I haven’t been play­ing as much as usual.

“That said, I won two open com­pe­ti­tions at Le­ices­ter re­cently and also won three out of four frames as the county team beat Nor­folk at the week­end. I’ve been prac­tis­ing a lit­tle so I’m go­ing there hope­ful of play­ing well.

“If I beat Cathy I will play Sharon Dick­son in the next round. She has a bye in the open­ing round and was fourth seed last year so wouldn’t be an easy op­po­nent, but if I play well I can give any­body a good game.”

Two years ago, she lost to Dick­son 6-3 in her opener so if the pair come to­gether in the sec­ond round this time she’ll be keen to re­venge.

Smith, who has twice reached the quar­ter-fi­nals, has been in good form this year al­though she has not been blessed with luck.

She lost to nine-time world cham­pion Sue Thomp­son in a last frame de­cider in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the UK Ladies Tour opener and also went down in the de­cid­ing frame against Kim O’Brien in the fi­nal of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, where she helped Eng­land ex­tend their 100 per cent win­ning record in the team event.

The for­mer na­tional cham­pion won the player of the tour­na­ment award for the team event at last year’s World Cham­pi­onships, hav­ing won 23 of her 30 frames. But she only played one frame in the fi­nal as Eng­land quickly wrapped up an 8-1 vic­tory over Wales.

The sin­gles didn’t go so well though as she lost 6-1 to Lynette Hors­burgh in a bat­tle of the then­world and Euro­pean cham­pi­ons.

Fel­low city pot­ter Liz Dis­ney makes her de­but at this level af­ter com­ing through the qual­i­fy­ing stages. She faces Ire­land’s San­dra Bryan in the open­ing round.

BID­DING FOR WORLD GLORY: Liz Dis­ney (left) and Carly Smith.

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