Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

A weight was lifted off Fin­ley Bowl­ing Club’s Nan Smith, fi­nally break­ing through as the win­ner of the Mur­ray Val­ley Bowls Ladies Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons.

Smith played at her ab­so­lute best when she was able to win the semi fi­nal and fi­nal both com­fort­ably in Strath­mer­ton on Sun­day.

Smith won her semi fi­nal in the morn­ing against Fiona Rourke from Katan­dra West 25 to 14.

She quickly fol­lowed up with a win in the fi­nal against Co­bram bowler Kerry Bal­dacchino 25 to 17 to be crowned Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons for the first time.

She was cheered on by a small group of fel­low Fin­ley bowlers who ven­tured down for the day.

Smith said while it was the first time she’d won the event, she had been run­ner-up three times.

‘‘I said on Sun­day I’m no longer the brides­maid and fi­nally the bride,’’ she said with a laugh.

‘‘I had a re­ally good time, my op­po­nent in the first game was a good friend.

‘‘I’m not sure where I beat her. She did win the first cou­ple of ends but then I was able to run away from it.

‘‘In the se­cond game I jumped to the early lead and then it was pretty even af­ter that so it was good to hold on.

‘‘Kerry chal­lenged me re­ally well in the last few ends.

‘‘To come run­ner-up three times and now to win, I'm pretty happy and ex­cited about it.’’

Smith will now com­pete in the Cen­tral Mur­ray Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons in Sey­mour; with a date yet to be con­firmed.

She said if she en­joys her­self then she’ll be play­ing at her best.

‘‘I know it’ll be pretty nerve rack­ing. I’ll need to go out there, re­lax, en­joy it and have fun,’’ Smith said..

‘‘I’m al­ways ner­vous when I start but it does set­tle me down when I’m hav­ing fun, know­ing I have noth­ing to lose and try­ing my best.’’

Fin­ley Bowl­ing Club’s Nan Smith (right) with op­po­nent Kerry Bal­dacchino (left) and Mur­ray Bowls pres­i­dent Marj McDon­ald (mid­dle).

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