A rare mistake from Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nor Hashimah Ismail gifted the Wales team the Hong Kong International Classic Women’s Pairs title.
Hashimah, who usually represents Malaysia, was invited back to Hong Kong as the defending champion of the Singles event. She partnered with local youngster Pinky Chan (17-years-old) to represent the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association and faced Kelly Packwood and Judith Wason from Wales in the Final on Sunday Nov 11.
The HKLBA team were always in control during the first set and held a three shot lead into the last end. The Welsh team drew some good shots and were holding three when Hashima delivered her last bowl. The Malaysian champ tried to cut down the loss so that she can win the set, but her shot was so powerful that it pushed her closest shot away. Both teams called for the umpire and they confirmed that the Welsh gained four shots in this end.
This proved to be the turning point of the game, not just because the HKLBA team lost this set 8:7, but it seems that the outcome demoralised the team from that moment onward.
“When we had three bowls in the head I would be so happy to have half a set each,” said Wason, the Welsh skipper. “But unfortunately for Hashima [she] just gave us the fourth shot.”
First organised in 1981, the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic is recognised as one of the best outdoor bowls tournaments in the world. Over the years, famous bowlers from all leading bowling countries have participated in the event.
Hong Kong has won the Pairs title on five occasions and the Hong Kong Team last won it in 2007. In the Singles, Hong Kong players George Souza Jnr and Noel Kennedy won their titles in 1984 and 1994, respectively.
Last year the Classic was not held as the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association celebrated its 50th year with the HKLBA Golden Jubilee International Bowls Mixed Pairs Classic.
It was a landmark year in 2012, when for the first time in the history of bowling in Hong Kong every final match was televised live on Now TV.
In the second set, Wason also made a mistake on the second end and lost three shots. But, this was not enough to boost the morale of the Hong Kong team and the Welsh team quickly regained their dominance. The set finished 7:5 and the Welsh team claimed the title.
Wason believes that determination is the key for the team’s success.
“At this level it really depends on how keen you want to win and I am pleased that we are strong enough to hold onto the victory.”
Despite participating in most Classics in its 30-year history, this is only the second time that Wales has flown their flag in the tournament. The last time they did it was in 2001 when Jason Greenslade won the Men’s Singles.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.