KCC Wins HK Premier League Lawn Bowls Title After a 2-Year Absence
By Claudius Lam On October 17, 2012 @ 10:09 pm In Other | No Comments
Defending champion Kowloon Bowling Green Club (KGBC) fell agonisingly at the last hurdle in the title race when they lost to archrival Kowloon Cricket Club (KCC) on the weekend.
Playing at home in the penultimate game on Saturday Oct 13, KGBC handed the title over to their archrival and neighbour KCC in Division 1 of Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association (HKLBA) Men’s Premier League.
Before the game, KBGC was trailing KCC by five points, so they needed to win to keep alive their slim hope of retaining the championship.
The KBGC team, which boasted eight Hong Kong team members, was up against a team led by ex-Hong Kong No.1 Noel Kennedy and experienced Hong Kong team member Danny Ho and Chadwick Chen.
The draw paired together Noel Kennedy and Lee Ka Ho—the two leaders in the skip table who had both won 14 games leading into the match. So this was also a game that may likely decide who would take best skip honours in the Premier League.
All three rinks started their games cautiously, with Lee quickly opening up a lead over Kennedy. Towards the middle of the game, with Kennedy almost certain to lose, the other two KCC pairs began to gain momentum and open up winning edges.
With KBGC desperately wanting to win the game, their two skippers, Heron Lau and Jerry Ng, started to take some risky shots to reverse the situation, but in vain.
With only one solitary victory from Lee, KCC won the game 6-2 and took the title back to their trophy cabinet after a 2-year absence. This was also their third title in the past six years.
The past 10 years has seen four clubs win the men’s title in Division 1’s 10-team competition; KCC (4), KBGC (3), Police (2) and Hong Kong Football Club (1). In fact, such has been those four team’s dominance that since 1981 the only other team to win the title was Craigengower Cricket Club (CCC) in 1994. CCC still has bragging rights as the most-successful club though, with 14 Premier League titles since the HKLBA was established in 1961—but after this season’s achievement, KCC is closing with 13 titles.
In the best skip race, Lee now leads Kennedy by 1-point, but the title is still undecided. Both players have away games and should Lee lose and Kennedy win, the later will take the honours. While it’s not a foregone conclusion, Lee should win given that KBGC meet a struggling Victoria Lawn Bowls Club (VLBC).
While the Division 1 Premier League title has been decided, the relegation battle is still on until the last game. Bottom-placed VLBC confirmed their position in the Division 2 next season a few weeks ago; but the second team to drop to the lower division will be between Greende Lawn Bowls Club (GLBC) and the Police, as they both lost over the weekend. The Police are hot favourite for survival as they have a lead of eight points and a massive shots advantage over GLBC.
In the women’s league, Hong Kong Football Club won their sixth consecutive title, with a game yet to play, after beating bottom club Victoria Lawn Bowls Club 7-1 at home. Their club-mate in team B also moved up to second place and should they win their last game, HKFC will take the quinella in Division 1. More good news for HKFC on the weekend as their team C were also crowned champion of Division 3.
At the bottom of the table, five teams are still fighting for survival entering the final week of the season. The loser will join Victoria Lawn Bowls Club in Division 2.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.
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