Smith thrashes opponent, creates history

CHRIS BARCLAY
Last updated 21:17 01/12/2012

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Reigning singles world champion Val Smith finally sounded a warning to her rivals after an inconsistent start to her title defence when she created history with a crushing victory in Adelaide today.

The New Zealander's 21-1 rout of Norfolk Island's Debbie Wilford - the world's ninth-ranked player - was engineered in just nine ends, the shortest duration of an international singles encounter though one that will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it at the Holdfast Bay club.

Smith built an 8-0 lead after four ends, conceded a single on the next and then went into overdrive to leave Wilford wilting.

She racked up a three, four, two and four on the following ends to effect the quickest of kills and enhance her standing in pool one and helped compensate for earlier losses to Canadian Kelly McKerihen and Ruth Gilor (Israel).

Smith then followed up her emphatic victory with a 21-12 win over Botswana's Pauline Lekone to sit comfortably inside the top three of her pool after seven of the 11 rounds - a prerequisite to advance to post-section play next week.

Although delighted with the execution of her triumph over Wilford, Smith empathised with her opponent.

"Debbie would be gutted. I know how she feels," she said, recalling how Australian Karen Murphy drubbed her 21-0 when she made her New Zealand debut at the 2007 Asia-Pacific Championships in Christchurch.

Smith's only consolation was "the match lasted longer than nine ends."

The men's triple of Tony Grantham, Matt Gallop and Ali Forsyth continued their unbeaten run to sit atop pool two after recording comfortable wins over Namibia and the Philippines but the women's four suffered their first loss when the impressive Filipino quartet secured a deserved 21-14 win.

The Kiwis bounced back to thrash Thailand 28-7 so are still well-placed to progress while the inconsistent pairing of Shannon McIlroy and Richard Girven are still alive in their event after much-needed victories over the USA  and Japan.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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