ILBC and HKFC Fight for Premiership Title till the End
HONG KONG—The race between Island Lawn Bowls Club (ILBC) and Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) enters its finale this weekend when the women’s Premier League plays the final match of the season.
ILBC, who has been leading the table for the whole season, hold the slight advantage of a single point over its competitor. They will play mid-tabled Kowloon Cricket Club at home, the venue they have won all the games this season. The team needs to win 8-0 to ensure their first ever Premier League title.
Second-placed Hong Kong Football Club will play Craigengower Cricket Club at home, where the only visitor came out victorious was ILBC. They need to win the game 8-0 and hope for any slip-up from ILBC to retrieve the title they surrendered to Shatin Sports Association (STSA) last year. Before the 2016 season, HKFC has won a record-breaking nine consecutive titles.
Defending champion STSA have mingled in mid-table for most of the season but a mini-revival in the last few weeks moved them to third and they are only four points less than the leader. However, their last fixture is the toughest of all as they need to travel to Victoria Park to play a relegation-threatened City Lawn Bowls Club (CLBC). Even if they win, they need to rely on the results of the two teams ahead so the chance is slim.
At the bottom, Club de Recreio (CdeR) cannot replicate the great escape act of their brothers in the men’s Premier League and are relegated already. The remaining relegation spot will be between CLBC (57 points), HKFC-B (56 points) and United Service Recreation Club (55 points). HKFC-B have a slight disadvantage as they are the only team that need to play away but the good news is that they are playing already-relegated CdeR.
In Division 2, Seabird Sports Club will instantly return to the top flight after relegated last year. They will be joined by Tseung Kwan O Bowling Club who will join the elite division for the first time. Similar to Division 1, the two teams are separated by a single point so they will put all effort to fight for the championship this weekend.
In all other divisions, the first two places have been decided before the last game but the only champion confirmed is STSA-C in Division 4.
All games will start simultaneously at 3 pm this weekend.
Claudius Lam is an officer of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association