Defending National Fours champion Heron Lau and Raymond Ho are on course to retain their title after overcoming challenges from Greende Lawn Bowls Club (GLBC) in the Semi-final on Sunday Jan 12.
Lau and Ho, who play for Kowloon Bowling Green Club (KBGC), were forced to make a change from last year’s winning lineup because skipper Lee Ka Ho switched to Craigengower Cricket Club. New members in the team are Hong Kong international Tony Cheung and Macau international James Cheng.
“The new lineup has worked well so far,” said Lau. “I have been playing Triples with Cheung and Ho in the last two years, so we just add Cheng as our skipper to lead us in the competition.”
In fact, Lau and Cheng partnered to win the competition in 2006 and 2010, so this time they are aiming for the third successful partnership.
The team’s Semi-final campaign was played at the Indian Recreation Club against a GLBC team skipped by former Hong Kong international Willie Lai, who knocked out a Kowloon Cricket Club team consisting of top bowler Ken Chan and Noel Kennedy in the previous round.
GLBC made a bright start in the game, winning the first four ends. But their lead was quickly caught as they lost the next three ends. But both sides showed their fighting spirit, displayed some highly skilful techniques, and the shot difference never really opened up and they were tied at 12:12 after the 14th end.
In the 15th end, when GLBC is winning a shot, KGBC’s Cheng trailed the jack into the ditch and won three shots. Apparently the outcome of this end dejected the GLBC team and KBGC moved on to win the game 18:13.
The KBGC team will play Hong Kong Football Club, which skipped by another ex-Hong Kong international SK Ng, at the second Finals Day of the season on Feb 23 at the United Services Recreation Club.
Despite being confident of winning the Final, Lau expressed some concern about the schedule.
“Two of our members, Cheung and Ho, will join Hong Kong’s training in Australia in February and they will come back one day before the Final,” said Lau. “Whether they can maintain their form, or in time recover from jetlag, is a big question for us. But we will try our best to win it.”
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.