Stanmore’s Pat Kirk went one better than last year by reaching the final of the EIBA ladies national champion of champions competition at Lakeside Coastal Resort in Hayling Island.

Having dismissed Lynda Jarman from Cambridge 21-2 in the first round, the Herga Indoor Bowls Club member, which is based in Wealdstone, then edged past Linda Gray 21-18 to set up a semi-final clash with England skip Janice Gower from Cumbria.

Gower who had previously beaten fellow international Kathy Hawes knew she was in for a fight when Kirk matched her shot for shot in a game that saw the lead change hands six times.

The large crowd were spellbound as Gower edged into a 20-19 lead and Kirk stood one shot up with her last bowl to play.

By this time Kirk’s skill and tenacity had made her the crowd favourite and an immaculate draw to within two inches of the jack helped claim a 21-20 victory which brought the biggest roar of the day.

The final against Bournemouth’s Julie Leake, yet another England international, saw Kirk holding her own at 9-9 after nine ends but the toll of playing two full games in the day began to tell and she went down 21-10.

“I don’t know what I’m doing here among the young bright things” said Kirk. “I’m getting too old for this caper.”