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Perfect Pairing at Kamala Open Bowls Championship

Perfect Pairing at Kamala Open Bowls Championship

BOWLS: With competition season in full swing at Kamala Lawn Bowls Club, the latest “major” tournament to take place was the 12th Phuket Open Pairs Championship last Friday (Feb 10).

By Robert Knight

Saturday 18 February 2023, 10:00AM

Another bumper field of 22 top quality players participated, with representation from Thailand, England, Canada, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden and Wales.

The draw for pairings was made at random shortly before the competition started, leaving everyone on tenterhooks as to who they would be drawn to partner with.

The format featured 11 pairs initially grouped into four mini leagues, with the winners of each mini league progressing to the knockout semi-finals. Everyone was fully aware that with such a strong field on show there would be no clear favourites and only top quality bowling would decide the winners, although progression could still be achieved even with a defeat thanks to the points difference factor.

Notable pairings once the draw had been made included two all female teams, two mixed teams and the husband and wife team of Barry and Catherine Smith.

Once the action was under way the top places in two of the mini leagues were indeed decided on points difference as all the teams recorded one victory and one defeat. Advancing from those to face each other in the first semi-final were Dean Simmonds and Glenn Collins, and “Policeman” Paul Edden and Frank Born, whilst the undefeated mixed pairs of Nidnoi Waranka and Rob Knight and Aon “Sunnee” Sriraska and Roger Goodwin made up the other semi-final.

The game between Rob and Nidnoi and Aon and Roger was expected to be a tight affair although it never materialised as the latter pair surged into an early 7-1 lead, starting with 5 points in the first end, before comfortably winning 16-6.

The other semi-final was a much closer contest, with Dean and Glenn ultimately prevailing on the final end by a score of 9-7.

The stage was therefore set for a highly anticipated quality final, with three representatives from England and Aon representing Thailand.

Stern Stuff

Internal - Phuket News TV

It looked like a repeat of their comfortable semi-final was on the cards as Aon and Roger smashed the first end of the 8-end final with another magnificent score of 5 points. However, Dean and Glenn are made of stern stuff and were unwilling to buckle, replying with a score of 3 on the fourth end.

It thereafter continued to be a closely contested affair and after 6 of the 8 ends the match was finely balanced at 7-5 to Aon and Roger, with top quality bowling from both pairs being appreciated by the increasingly vocal onlookers.

End number 7 was pivotal as Aon and Roger racked up another score of 4 to leave Dean and Glenn 11-5 behind and needing a score of 6 to tie and 7 to win. Not an impossible ask but unlikely, especially considering the fine form Aon and Roger were in.

Risking all on the final end Dean and Glenn were outmanoeuvred by Aon and Roger who not only protected their lead but also snatched another 2 points to win the championship by a score of 13-5.

The final score arguably distorted exactly how close the match was but there was no disputing the winners were worthy of their title as they both bowled outstandingly throughout the day.

Aon and Roger were crowned as first-time winners and deservedly presented with the brand new pairs trophy, which was generously donated by Cath Simmonds.

In the plate competition for league runners up, Carl Mesham and veteran George Sasanow defeated Doug Reid and Ian “Mintie” Mintern by 9 points to 6, which rounded off a top quality competition played in the finest of spirits by all involved.

The next major competition is the “Blue Riband” Phuket Open Singles Championship on Monday, March 6th where another bumper, top quality field is expected.

Kamala Lawn Bowls Club is open six days a week. All equipment is provided and large parties can be gladly catered for. For further information please contact the club on 0948987476 or 0991307255.

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