In one of the greatest escapes in the history of lawn bowls in Hong Kong, the Kowloon Bowling Green Club’s team A waited until the last game of the Triples League season to record their first 8:0 victory and drag themselves out of relegation.
Going into Division 1’s final match on Saturday, Feb 16, in a relegation-decider, KBGC-A occupying the bottom position—as they had since day one of the season—hosted second-from-bottom Shatin Sports Association (STSA). As third-from bottom CLP Lawn Bowls Club had already finished all their matches and held a fragile seven-point cushion, both KBGC-A and STSA needed to win this final game to avoid relegation to Division 2.
KBGC-A did not start well on the last day and all three teams were losing in the early stages.
Warren Kwok, who had lost all previous eight matches, was trailing his opponent Stanley Ho 12:7 on the 12th end. In the 13th end, Kwok moved the jack with his last bowl of the end to win five shots and level the score. From then on he was formidable and took three shots to win his first game of the season.
While the other KBGC-A team led by Edward Chan did not have much problem despite an early scare, the focus turned to the game between Tony Chiu and Chau Wing Hon.
Chiu, who had only won twice before the weekend, was trailing his opponent by nine shots after just four ends. He crawled back slowly and, same as Kwok, levelled the score on the 13th end. Chiu then won three shots in the 14th end and hung on to this lead to kill the game 18:17.
The eight points allow KBGC-A to leapfrog into the safety zone and condemn both CLP and STSA to relegation.
At the top of the table, while KBGC-B had confirmed their title three weeks ago, the fight for the runners-up intensified as the three leading teams all won their last game over the weekend. In the end it was Craigengower Cricket Club who narrowly claimed second—level on points with the Police, but with a shots difference just two better.
Meanwhile, in Division 2, leader Indian Recreation Club and second-placed Greende Lawn Bowls Club both won their games in convincing fashion and will return to the elite division next season.
While KBGC-A performed an impressive escape, their brothers in Divisions 2 and 5 did not demonstrate the same fighting spirit and were both relegated. Their other teams also finished rock-bottom in Divisions 8 and 9 and the fate looks doomed.
The men’s Divisions 7 to 9 will play their last game this weekend, along with the Divisions 1 to 3 of the women’s.
Charity Fund Raising
While most Hong Kong people celebrated the Chinese New Year in a joyful mood, the underprivileged were not forgotten by the local bowling community. Tuen Mun Sports Association organised a one-day tournament last Thursday Feb 14 to raise funds for ORBIS International.
Around 60 bowlers from seven clubs joined the meaningful event at TMSA’s home of Wu Shan Bowling Green. The teams started the round-robin games at 10.00 am and finished with a knock-out by 5.00 pm.
The team from United Service Recreation Club lifted the trophy after some tense competition but it did not really matter in the end as all bowlers came for a good course. A total of HK$21,790 was raised for ORBIS International, a charity organisation that helps to save sight worldwide.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.
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