Some late withdrawals and last minute arrivals led to a hasty shuffling of the format/rounds but essentially it was two teams of nine players battling it out.
The Europeans were defending their trophy for the 3rd time, but with the addition of some new blood in their team the ROW team had high hopes.
After the opening foursomes were shared, the score stood at 1-1, with obviously all still to play for.
With one point available for a win and a half for a draw, seven and a half points was the ‘magic’ number to reach to win the Cup.
After the 'triples" Europe had edged ahead 3-2 but with nine singles matches and nine points still available it was anybody’s trophy to win.
Perhaps crucially, the Europeans used their experience in selecting their order of play and the lanes which each of their players would play on whilst a possibly more calculated approach by the ROW team to their lane and player selection would have been beneficial.
After the first three singles the Europeans stretched their advantage to 5-3.
The Europeans then took a gamble and left their strongest players till last when perhaps the ROW should have loaded their middle section in hindsight.
Going against expectations, the European middle three pulled off a white wash. Crucially "Honorary" European player for the day player Vorada (Nid Noi) Junkiri pulled off a remarkable comeback against Deb Coleman, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with a maximum four on their last end to complete the unlikely clean sweep.
This left Europe with an unassailable 8-3 margin going into the last three games.
The ROW team did salvage some pride by those remaining games 2 to 0.5 to leave the overall score 8.5 to 5.5 in Europe’s favour, meaning they regained the trophy.
The ROW team were left reflecting, once again, on what might have been. Clearly, some thought will have to go into their strategy for next years Cup. However, it has to be said that many games were decided by the odd point on the last end. The ROW team could possibly argue that things just did not go their way on the day.
Rather surprisingly, there were no stand out performers for either team but shock results were in abundance. Robbie was one of the best performers for ROW and Pat for the Europeans, both relative newcomers to the game.
Reflecting the high standard and calibre of bowls played by all was the fact the several unfancied players picked up points against supposed stronger opposition and that the referees were kept busy marking toucher after toucher from all.
- Robert Knight
Kamala Lawn Bowls Club is open 6 days a week. All equipment is provided. For more info contact the club on 0948987476.