With the green having slowed considerably following the recent heavy rains, as well as the usual mental fortitude required, physical stamina would be essential for all in order to triumph.
Fortunately, the rain showers that were prevelant in the early stages dissipated and, as the green dried out, bowling became more suited to the high level of skill predominantly on show.
With 18 entries from seven nations, the early stages consisted of a series of 6 x 3 bowl “scrambles” with the group winners plus two lucky losers advancing to the quarter finals.
Four previous “major” winners were early casualties and out of the eight remaining hopefuls six were in with a chance of appearing on the honour’s board for the first time. In a rather unfortunate twist of fate, Noon and Mimi, two of the four Thai lady bowlers who progressed, were drawn against each other.
The quarter finals all produced comprehensive winners. Advancing to the semi-finals were Ron Blackwood, Paul “Nobby” Styles, Duncan Kennedy and Suwanna “Mimi” Promsit, who was making a welcome return after a long period of absence through maternal duties.
Both Ron and Mimi outclassed their semi-final opponents by massive 15-3 scorelines and, based on the quality of bowls they produced, the stage was set for an enthralling final. Once again it was two previous winners making the final, leaving several regular midweek bowlers still searching for that elusive “major” win.
In the early stages of the final Ron surged into 6-2 lead. Holding the jack, he then delivered a series of super leading bowls, forcing Mimi to play a determined counter-attacking game.
With Ron craftily defending his lead bowl time after time, Mimi was left in an almost impossible position and soon found herself chasing an unassailable 11-2 lead after eight out of the possible 10 ends had been played.
Ron therefore managed to retain the club championship he had won last year with relative ease, even if the scoreline did not necessarily reflect how close the contest actually was. It was Ron’s crucial early lead and ability to protect it that was the ultimate deciding factor.
In the “plate” final for first-round losers, relative newcomer Sunee “Aon” Sriraksa (another potential Thai female bowls star) defeated seasoned campaigner Derek “Dr Rock” Chalmers 7-6, coming from behind and scoring the winning two points on the final end.
Kamala lawn bowls is open five days a week from Monday to Friday. All are welcome to have a go at this cheap and enjoyable sport and all equipment is provided. For further details on Lawn bowls in Phuket contact the club on 0991307299.