Hong Kong—Elite young bowler Vivian Yip vowed to end her drought in the National Pairs after overcoming a strong challenge from Tseung Kwan O Bowling Club (TKOBC) in the semi-finals last Sunday, April 29.
Yip, the youngest ever winner of the National Indoor Singles and National Champion of Champions, partnered with her Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) teammate Celena Kwok and finished runners-up of the competition in 2014 and 2015. She teamed with 2016 Bowler of the Year Dorothy Yu last year and lost in the semi-final.
This year the duo combined to challenge for the title again. They defeated Joey Luk and Coby Wu from the Hong Kong Youth Development Team 19:10 in the quarterfinal on Sunday morning and progressed to the semi-final in the afternoon, when they faced Sian Hung and Joanna Nam from TKOBC.
The TKOBC duo opened the account with a shot in the first end but after that, it was all HKFC. In the eighth end when HKFC were leading 5:7, TKOBC was lying with two close shots in the head and Yip decided to play a heavy shot to take out the two shots. Her shot did not hit the target but somehow took the jack to the back to hold two, Nam drew a close shot to cut down the lost to one shot.
The win boosted the morale of Yu and Yip and they continued the game with confidence. The TKOBC team offered little resistance and the game finished 8:16, without needing the play the last end.
In the other semi-final between Erica Leung and Joanne Leung of Filipino Club (FC) and Millicent Lai and Queenie Lai from Seabird Sports Club (SBSC), the game was again a one-sided affair as the FC team quickly opened up a lead of 0:7 after just four ends. The SBSC team gathered some momentum in the latter part of the game but it was a bit late and they were defeated 9:15 in the end.
Both skips believed that the game was won by the superb performance of their leads.
Yip said, “The green is a bit tricky so it is difficult for the skip to turn the head. In this situation, the performance of the lead is especially important. Dorothy played really well today and she won the game for us.”
“I have been runner-up for two years and I don’t want to extend this record,” Yip was clearly devoted to the cause this time.
Leung also praised her lead, “Erica played well in this game and always held the shot against her opponent. It took some pressure off me and allowed me to perform better.” The pair partnered in last year’s competition but were knocked-out in the third round.
The final will be played on the first Finals Day of the year, which is scheduled for July 1 at the Filipino Club.
This week in Lawn Bowls
The Premier League will be in full swing this Saturday (May 5) when all divisions will play at 2:30pm at all greens in Hong Kong. The semi-finals of the men’s National Pairs are scheduled for Sunday at USRC at 3pm.
Claudius Lam is an officer of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.