Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 41
Friday October 14 - October 20, 2005

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Fun City By The Sea

Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 



SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Seaboard FC gain hard fought victory

Sky’s the limit

Jeff Wylie leads the big hitters parade at Ban Chang Emerald

Sports Quiz

Wednesday Quiz League

Rob Dolan turns up the power at Pattaya C.C.

Peter Johansson’s lifetime best

‘Diana Gold’

Philbrook & Payne ‘The Podium Pair’

Tony triumphs at Bangpra

Eddie and Jerry share halfway lead

Winners and bananas pack ‘The Shack’

Ya gets it right at Green Valley

Golfers

Plutaluang plays tough in the rough

Shenanigan’s grabs first place after week 17

Stuart cleans up at Burapha!

Loz wins two Sundays in a row

The Beautiful Game?

The Square Ring

Aussie Rules: Not for the faint-hearted

PATTAPA SPORTS ROUND-UP

Seaboard FC gain hard fought victory

MBMG Bangkok Casuals League

Seaboard FC secured another 3 points on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over an impressive German All Stars team. The Germans traveled from Bangkok with a large squad and were determined to get their first points of the season against a Seaboard side riding high after their victory last week in Bangkok.

Danny Stevens (14) takes on the German defence.

The game kicked off at a fast pace and both sides managed some neat interplay. The first chance of the afternoon fell to Seaboard however on 3 mins. when Ernest Romario ran on to a through ball to cross for Peter Ndjana to head just wide. Seaboard continued to press and Danny Stevens managed to get to the bye line on 11 mins. only to see his dangerous cross put behind by a German defender. Seaboard were slowly getting on top but at the quarter hour mark a long cross field ball found an unmarked German forward at the far post who although failing to initially control the ball managed to cross it back across the face of the Seaboard goal for another German forward to head home.

1-0 down, Seaboard soon rallied and almost drew level 2 mins. Later when a long ball from the impressive Lee Homer found the full of running Stevens whose cross was driven narrowly wide by John Campbell. Seaboard’s efforts were nearly rewarded when they were awarded a free kick 20 yards out after Ndjana had been wrestled to the ground by the German defence. Stevens took the free kick that was well kept out by the German keeper. Stevens was now causing the German defence a lot of trouble down the right hand side and another one of his crosses was nearly turned in by the on rushing James Phillips.

Seaboard thought they had equalized on 28 mins. when Paul Derbyshire played through and beat the keeper to the ball. However, the referee disallowed his effort for handball and promptly issued a yellow card. Further efforts from Ndjana and Phillips came to nothing as the half came to a close and Seaboard found themselves 1-0 down at the break.

Seaboard came out for the second half and made their intentions clear right from the start when a 50 yard ball from Homer was excellently controlled by Stevens but the ball was taken off his toe by a German defender and put behind for a corner.

On 46 mins. Seaboard managed to draw level although with a little fortune when a free kick 45 yards out from Homer was dropped into his own net by the German keeper. The home side was now in the ascendancy and shortly after his introduction to the game the young Adam Gardner sped past a couple of defenders before putting in a cross which the German keeper managed to beat away. Now playing with a lot of confidence, Seaboard took the lead at the 61 minute mark. A neat ball was played into Cliff West whose superb control allowed him to play the ball inside to Campbell who hammered home from 18 yards out.

Seaboard were now in control but made life difficult for themselves when Derbyshire received his second yellow for a late challenge and was dismissed on 69 mins. Rather than sit back and defend Seaboard still took the game to the Germans and scored again on 74 mins when Homer won a tough challenge on halfway and hit the ball wide to Romario whose ball inside was well finished by Mark Brittain.

Seaboard had still not finished and a through ball was cleverly left by Brittain for Romario to race through and score Seaboards fourth on 76 mins.

There was still time for some more excitement however when a through ball from the Germans was collected by one of three players that looked in an offside position and he ran on to slot home to make the final score 4-2.

Another well-earned 3 points and with some tremendous performances especially captain Gary Munro in defence and Craig Banks in midfield, the season ahead looks good for Seaboard.

A mention should also be made for the German team whose performance on the afternoon was very good and they can expect to do very well themselves this season.

Seaboard’s next game will be away in Bangkok against the Londoner on Saturday October 29, kick off 4:30 p.m.

Seaboard FC has been fortunate enough to secure the sponsorship of AGS Four Winds International Movers for this season and would like to thank them for their support.

Anybody who could be interested in joining Seaboard FC, whether their stay in Thailand is for a long or short period is more than welcome to come down to the football pitch in Naklua every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. contact them at seaboardfc@ hotmail.com or call Peter on 01 810 1470.


Sky’s the limit

Peter Nordhues

The Sky Bar and Woaw’s Pub are hot favourites for the Jomtien 8 ball pool Grand Prix.

For the last two months, a new team has been taking part in the Jomtien 8 ball pool league. The Sky Bar is proving to be a popular venue for fans of the green, blue or red baize. At the moment, every Thursday, there is the match to determine who will win the the 8 ball Jomtien league Grand Prix. Although Sky Bar has a regular team, new players are always welcome and there is also an opportunity for youngsters to come down to the Sky Bar for pool lessons. Interested parties should contact the bar manager, Juergen

The sky Bar is situated on Jomtien Beach Road, near Jomtien Complex. Sport enthusiasts can call for event schedules Tel. 01-864 7267.


Jeff Wylie leads the big hitters parade at Ban Chang Emerald

PSC McAllister’s Golf

Friday October 7 - On a course clearly under management transition, 27 golfers turned out at Century Ban Chang, now renamed Emerald, last Friday. After several days of heavy rain the course was very wet and not in its usual condition - some of the fairways had not been cut and most of the greens had been sanded. To score well one had to have pretty much a complete game, which is something that Jeff Wylie obviously has scoring 40 stableford points off a handicap of 6 to win the day. Second on 39 points was Hamilton (Paddy) Wilson on 39 points, with Bob Benda coming in with 38 points to pick up third place. Paul Taylor and Dennis Willett came in with 36 points tied for fourth. For the higher handicappers amongst us, the course on Friday was nothing short of a total torment and we look forward to the results of the promised upgrade in the weeks to come.

(l-r) Winners Dennis, Jeff and Bob with Khun Nut standing in for Paddy Wilson.

McAllister Bar & Grill was packed for the prize-giving presentation made by Gerry Carpenter, and all enjoyed the food and hospitality offered by Don McAllister and his staff late into the day and for some of us into the early evening.

All are welcome at this popular event. Show up on Fridays some time between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. and you will be sure of a game with a very friendly group of golfers.


Sports Quiz

Congratulations to Paul Quodomine for being the first in with the correct answers to last week’s quiz. In case you missed them, here they are.
1. Who won this year’s Men’s Singles at the Australian Tennis Open?
Answer:
Marat Safin
2. Who won the 2005 World Snooker Championship held at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield, UK?
Answer:
Shaun Murphy
3. Who is the WBA Featherweight Champion?
Answer:
Chris John
Remember, be the first to send in the correct answers and win a weekend carvery for two at Jameson’s Irish Pub. So, here they are:
1. Who won this year’s Tour de France?
2. Who captained the All Blacks this year against the British Lions?
3. Which team in ice hockey won the Stanley Cup in 1989?


Wednesday Quiz League


Rob Dolan turns up the power at Pattaya C.C.

IPGC Pattaya golf society at the OK Corral

Thursday, October 6 – On hearing that Ban Chang was in poor condition, the Pattaya golf society left the OK Corral, relishing the thought of playing a stableford competition at Pattaya Country Club for the first time in more than a year. It was a wise decision, as the course was well prepared with consistent greens and good fairways. The large field was cut at fifteen and under and both flights threw up some fine scores. In division one, Swedish golfer Mikael Andersson shot the day’s best gross of 79 (35 points) and only a double bogey on the eighth prevented him from taking a victory. Instead he was ousted by the duo of Harry Riley and John Cunningham whose matching 37 points were a fine return and gave them a share of the top honours. Harry was left to rue the severing of his 3-wood clubhead on the third, which certainly cost him a point or two.

Division two saw some fine competitive golf as the returning Sunny Khanna, first posted a leading score of 38 points, only to see Ya Chaiyanont head him with an excellent 39 point haul, her second sub-par round of the week. The Pattaya Golf Society’s most regular player, Rob Dolan, has missed only one outing in the last five months and he finally came good with a slight modification to his grip. He posted his year’s best score of 40 points to take the flight. John Cunningham took the rolled over two’s pot with the day’s only birdie two on the par three, 12th and elsewhere in the field, a titanic contest was being fought between ‘Boss’, Denis and Len Jones. The contest was only resolved on the final hole, in favour of the ‘Boss’, thus relegating his partner to the bottom of the list. Both were left to raise their glasses with the Booby Bevy award. The clubhouse was in darkness when the field returned and the long power cut had meant warm beers and no showers but on the course, Rob Dolan had shown power enough to win on one of the most enjoyable golfing days at the OK Corral.


Peter Johansson’s lifetime best

IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday October 3 Mountain Shadow, Stableford
1st Norman Isherwood, 33 cb9 17
2nd Roy Thornton, 33 cb9 16
3rd Frank Boyd, 31
4th Barry Traynor, 30 cb9 14
5th Roar Berger, 30 cb9 13

Continuing where they left off the previous week, the hopefuls from The Haven again found the beautiful Mountain Shadow course to be a little too tough to handle. For the fourth successive outing, no one managed to match par. Norman Isherwood and Roy Thornton handled the conditions and the course best to record scores of three over, with Norman just winning out on count-back over Roy. Frank Boyd was as surprised as anyone to find himself in third place with 31 points ahead of Barry Traynor and Roar Berger. Richard Garland and Norman Isherwood shared the twos in the first division, whilst Roy Thornton had the only one in the second division to claim the pot, which included several carry overs and was worth more than the winners’ prize. Before presenting the prizes Richard Livingston, the resident PGA teaching professional, welcomed new members Mikael Jansson, James Sykes and Colin Aitcheson. He also welcomed back Sam Hill and Frank Boyd.

Wednesday October 5 Pattaya Country Club, Strokeplay
1st Larry Richard, 67
2nd Barry Traynor, 68
3rd Dave Stockman, 70
4th Trevor Schirmer, 71

Larry Richard was so concerned that he would be considered anything but a worthy winner, that he made a special trip back to his hotel before the prize giving to collect his club handicap certificate to confirm it. On the day, he was indeed a good winner with a 5 under return to just edge out Barry Traynor, who must have thought he had won by a street following the recent poor showings of the last four competitions. Dave Stockman made a welcome return with a very workmanlike performance which showed a two under return. Trevor Schirmer, recently struggling with his golf, showed a little of the old spark to take the final podium placing at one under. Trevor Schirmer and Arthur Hancock shared the twos in the first division but there were none in the second division so the pot was carried over until the next competition.

Prior to the prize giving Richard welcomed new member Larry Richard and also welcomed back Dave Stockman and his son Nhwee. Before the start of the competition, Dave gave his son a 14 shot reduction in handicap after playing with him the day before and seeing his up to date potential. This is a welcome occurrence with so many trying to play from ever higher handicaps to garner a few measly prizes. In the event, try as he might, Nhwee was not quite as good as his mentor thought he was but the spirit of it all was appreciated by everyone.

Friday October 7 Green Valley, Stableford
1st Peter Johansson, 39
2nd Suzi Lawton, 36 cb9 21
3rd Larry Richard, 36 cb9 20
4th Roar Berger, 35 cb9 19
5th Barry Winton, 35 cb9 16

Once again, Green Valley has been redesigned, this time by an unknown farmer from Udon Thani. There is now a huge advantage in local knowledge backed up with a top of the line GPS, a range finder and an innate sense of direction. You could also add that you need a streak of luck to be able to find the holes and not be disqualified for playing the course in the wrong order or even wrong direction. Overcoming all the obstacles and with the benefit of the designers grand daughter as caddy, Peter Johansson had his best round ever to record a well deserved victory by three clear shots from Suzi Lawton and Larry Richard, who had to be separated by count-back for second and third places. Roar Berger got onto the podium for the second time in a week to underline his improvement, even when the courses are not playing at their easiest. It was also some feat to keep the slim-line Barry Winton behind him with a superior count-back over the back nine. It was noted however, that Barry seemed more interested in getting to the nearest snack bar than the next green over the closing holes. With Barry Winton again in the field after his recent lay off due to excessive dieting, it was surprising that there were no twos in the first division but Gordon Fraser and Tony McCormack had one each in the second division to prove that it was not as difficult as the first division was making it out to be.

Back at The Haven, Richard welcomed new members Brian Dunbar and Paddy Fitzgerald and also welcomed back Suzi Lawton, who declared a 9 shot reduction in handicap and Gordon Fraser who had declared 6 bottles of Glenlivet on arrival at customs in Don Muang.


‘Diana Gold’

Charity Golf Tournament  

Eastern Star Country Club & Resort
Friday November 11, 2005
Sponsored by Blue Ice Beer & Eastern Star
The 7th annual ‘Diana Gold’ Charity Golf Tournament organized by the
Diana Group and featuring a One Baht Gold Prize On Every Hole
Format (Course closed for Diana Gold – all players off 10th tee):
Singles Stableford in Four-balls. Tee Times from 07.00 am to 12.15 pm
Registration 6.15 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. Divisions I, II & III, plus Ladies Division
Entry:
Entry Form, with 2,000 baht Entry Fee, should be given to John Cole or Khun Komsan at the Golf Center, Diana Inn Lobby; or to Mike Franklin.
Entries close 5 p.m. Saturday 5th November (unless full before)
Entry Fee
Entry Fee includes Green Fee, Caddy Fee, ‘Diana Gold ‘Shirt, 3 Lucky Draw tickets. Buffet (guests B.300), Live Band and Happy Hour prices at Diana Garden Resort, plus Lucky Charity Draw with many prizes, including airline tickets to Singapore. Dinner Buffet from 6 p.m. with Prize-giving at 7.30 p.m.
Prizes:
‘Diana Gold’ Championship Trophy & Prize; Overall Low Gross.
Trophy & Prize for Winner, 2nd & 3rd places Divisions I, II & III;
Trophy & Prize for Ladies Winner, 2nd & 3rd places.
Technical Prizes: Every hole will feature a technical prize of One Baht Gold**
Rules And Handicaps:
R&A and USGA Rules will apply. Plus, Eastern Star Local Rules.
Handicaps accepted from PSC, IPGC, Bangkok Golf Groups affiliated
With the USGA or R&A, or any official USGA or R&A Handicap. All Non-PSC or IPGC golfers must show proof of current handicap at Registration.
Charities
All proceeds from the Tournament and Lucky Draw will go to support the Chonburi Juvenile & Family Court Observation and Protection Center, provide scholarships for children at Banglamung Schools, contribute to YWCA projects, and the Tawanyim (Sunshine Radio) project.


Philbrook & Payne ‘The Podium Pair’

Mike Franklin

Simon Philbrook and Jason Payne paired well to card a gross 71, (net 67.6) in Jameson’s Pairs Scramble at Plutaluang, October 5. Despite the occasional thunder and lightening, we got through the day without too much rain, so it was an enjoyable round of golf on the two, well prepared south and east nines. Not too far behind the winners were Mikael Andersson and Mike Guassa with a gross 73, (net 69) to take runner-up spot. Matty Swire was technically on form by being nearest the pin on East #5 and longest with the putter on South #9. Philippe Berra was nearest the pin on South #4 and Debbie Philbrook claimed the long putt on East #9.

Jason & Simon (centre & right) celebrate their win.

Back at Jameson’s, newcomers Mike Guassa and Kevin Dinan were duly welcomed as were the returning Philippe Berra, back from Switzerland and to Harpic Bryant from Banglamung. Creativity will be the theme for our next outing on Wednesday October 19 to Pattaya CC, for a 4 Clubs Pairs Scramble. Come down to Jameson’s and sign up!

Results:
Pairs Scramble winners: Simon Philbrook & Jason Payne, gross 71 (net 67.6)
Near Pins: Philippe Berra, S4, Matty Swire, E5.
Long Putts: Matty Swire, S9, Debbie Philbrook, E9


Tony triumphs at Bangpra

P.S.C. golf from The Cafe Kronborg

Monday October 3 Treasure Hill, Stableford

Marty Allred, Tuesday’s ‘A’ Flight winner

The Treasure Hills Country Club was the venue for a Stableford competition in Two Flights, A Flight 0 to 15 and B Flight 16 and above. The course was wet due to heavy rains over the weekend but the greens were still some of the fastest around. Marty Allred took The A Flight from Aussie Jeff Wylie on a count-back with both players on 36 points. One shot back, Tony Scamber took third from Larry Richard, also on a count-back. Aussie Barry Kerr took the B Flight with 32 points, one ahead of Irish Jimmy Flannagan whilst Keith Hodges took third on a count-back from Wayne Koch, both 30 points.

Near Pins: #6 Tim Gallagher, #17 Kevin Callaghan.

Thursday October 6 Bangpra, Stableford

Bangpra, is the oldest and some say the best golf course in the area. It is always with a great sense of anticipation that one ventures out on this fine mature course. It has suffered lately, due to the drought but with the rain of late, the golf course is now back in fine trim, with grassed fairways, fine, fast greens and all the ponds full again. Certain work is being carried out on the fairways, but the G.U.R. is well marked. On this day the Monkeys were out in force and one had to be very careful to guard your property.

Tony Scamber capped a fine week with a win at Bangpra

Despite rain in the surrounding areas, the day was dry for the golfers and they took advantage to put in some good rounds. In the A Flight, the winner was Tony Scamber with 37 points ahead of Clive Haddon in second with 36 points and Jon Pratt in third with 35 points. The B Flight, went to Brian Noguer with 39 points ahead of Kris Helgasson in second with 38 points and Ebrahim in third with 36 points.

T.T.F.N.
Near Pins: #8 Kris Helgasson, #12 Jon Pratt


Eddie and Jerry share halfway lead

PSC golf with The Bunker

Crystal Bay Country Club -
Monday October 3

Today was day one of a 2-day competition to determine the Bunker’s Annual Champion. Without a moment to spare, last year’s champion William Macey just returned to Pattaya on time to defend his trophy. At the halfway stage, Eddie Martin and Jerry Cooney share the lead with net 71s.from Geoff Parker, who is one stroke back. Binni Josteinsson is a further shot back on net 73 whilst William Macey stands in seventh place with a net 75. The normal competition was also held with two divisions. Near the pins were won by Paul Smith, David Lightfoot, Mick Ramshaw and Binni Josteinsson. Round two is scheduled for 10 October at Mountain Shadow Country Club.

The Emerald
(Century Bang Chang) Wednesday October 5

Today was the first day that the Boy’s from the Bunker departed without having a registered tee-time. Once we arrived, we could see why the Century Bang Chang staff was not answering the phone. The new course is now called The Emerald and their phone number has changed. Geoff Parker kept his winning form as he returned with 37 stableford points to capture first prize. Jim Shand scored 34 points to win second place honors and P.J. Redmond came third with 31 points. Near the pins were won by William Macey, P.J. Redmond, Jim Shand and Alan Cicolat.

Phoenix Country Club – Friday 7 October

A few clouds and a couple of showers did not slow down the Bunker Boys’ in a medal competition that resulted in Mitch Malone winning the “A” Division with a nice round of net 70. Barrie Barnes was second with net 75 and William Macey scored net 76 to take third place. In “B” Division, P.J. Redmond shot level par, net 72 to capture the victory. In second was Harry Cowling with net 75 and third place was shared by Bryan Rought and Jim Payne both returning net 76s. Near the pins were won by Harry Cowling, Barrie Barnes (2), and Eddie Martin.

The Bunker Boys are located on Soi Chaiyapoon (near X-zyte disco and across the street from Tony’s Disco II). Monthly golf schedules are available or consult the Pattaya Mail every week.


Winners and bananas pack ‘The Shack’

IPGC golf with The Caddy Shack

Tuesday, October 4 Green Valley

A large field of golfers left The Caddy Shack and travelled to the very popular Green Valley Country Club. As usual on Tuesdays, the format is Medal Play. The golfers were split into two divisions and the cut was 17 and under. The joint winners of division one were Mark Joshua and Emmet White with very nice, under par rounds of net 68. Steve Nowell was all on his own in 3rd place with a net 70. The second division honours went to Steve Davies with a fine net 71 whilst Mr Loy and Tony Duthie took joint 2nd place with net 74s. The huge pot for the twos was won outright by Mike Allidi. The Bananas were awarded to Rob Heath for his worst round ever, so it’s back to the drawing board for you Rob! A tip came in from an anonymous golfer that said Rob was standing too close to the ball... after he had hit it! As usual, back at The Caddy Shack there was a lucky draw for all the participating golfers. This day’s winner was Les Hall who won a complimentary 3 course Sunday dinner at the Shack.

A lucky draw prize winner at The Caddy Shack.

Thursday, October 6 Phoenix

The management were very pleased to announce the biggest field play to date from The Caddy Shack, twenty nine golfers in all. The choice of the popular Phoenix course as our venue had a lot to do with the large attendance. The format was Stableford and the courses of Mountain and Lakes were selected. The golfers were split into two groups with the cut being at 15 and under. Once all the golfers had teed off, the weather decided to change and there was a very nice electrical storm with lightning flashes all around. We all took cover and within 30 minutes it had passed and we managed to carry on with no more interruptions. In Division two, Steve Davies with 40 points was the outright winner. Richard Wardell put together a very nice round of 38 points for 2nd place and Geordie managed 34 points to come in third. In Division one, the scores were higher as some of these golfers know this course better than their back gardens. Big hitting Aussie Bob Philp was our winner with a superb round of 42 points off his 8 handicap. In 2nd place was Mark Joshua with 41 points off his 9 handicap whilst Steve Nowell took third place with 38 points.

There were a total of 5 twos on the day shared by Steve Nowell, Alan Bissel, Lamun Hanley and Bob Philp (2). Rob Heath has managed to pull off the double of the week as he took the Bananas again! Well done Rob. The lucky draw winner was David Palmer.

Tuesday, October 18 we go to Mountain Shadow for a medal comp and 2 days later we go to Eastern Star for a Stableford comp. The Caddy Shack is situated on the second part of Soi 17 on the same road as the Harley Bar. For anyone wishing to play golf, we leave the bar at 11 a.m. for a midday tee off. We play every Tuesday and Thursday and all are welcome.


Ya gets it right at Green Valley

IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at the OK Corral

The Pattaya Golf Society from the OK Corral might have been excused for losing their way when they went to Green Valley on Tuesday, October 4 to play their weekly medal event. The course has been re-routed, beginning on hole 12 and continuing through 13, 14, then 11, 1 - 10 and 15 - 18… got that? You will need to if you’re planning to play there during the imminent high season. 

Ya found the secret at Green Valley.

Stableford will be impossible with the current course layout. Is all this really in the interests of golf, we asked ourselves? Exasperatingly slow, uncut greens added to the frustrations of the day but despite these problems, some very good scores were posted with the full field average being net 77. Mikael Andersson’s best gross of 83 may have been disappointing but almost half his shots came on the fluffy greens. Chaten Patel, Harry Cowling and Len Jones fared better than most with their net 73s to share runners-up place but one player who got it right on the day was lady golfer, Ya Chaiyanont. Ya’s card bore nine fine pars and only an uncharacteristic treble bogey on hole 6 (or was it 3?) spoiled an otherwise excellent round of golf. Her secret may have been her status as an ex - Green Valley caddy and, therefore, being in a position to fully understand the vagaries of this golf course. Well done Ya! There were no birdie two’s posted and although the confusing, non-appearance of one of the listed competitors had been logged at the OK Corral the previous day, no-one had thought to pass the message on to the organizers. And for that, Khun Nean received the Booby Bevy. It really had been one of those days


Golfers

A new PSC Golf Bar is teeing off in Jomtien

The Hide-A-Way Bar, Soi 1, Jomtien Complex is the ‘new face’ to join the Pattaya golfing scene. The owners are John & George, two Scots from Glasgow, offering unequalled Scottish hospitality. Matt Anderson, (ex-Rising Sun Bar) will be acting as the golf organizer and a full list of the upcoming society fixtures can be found in the Pattaya Mail each week.

Anyone interested in taking part can contact Matt on 092476673. For those unaware of location, Jomtien Complex is situated on the right hand side of Thappraya Road, about a ‘five iron’ down from the lights and just before you turn right to Jomtien beach.

October golf dates: Tues 18 Pattaya CC, Thurs 20 TBA,

Tues 25 Green Valley, Thurs 27 TBA


Plutaluang plays tough in the rough

PSC golf from the Grapevine

Thursday, October 10 saw 39 golfers head off from The Grapevine to Plutaluang, to play the tough combination of North and West – and tough it was! With only one golfer bettering his handicap, I think it is reasonable to say that the course had the better of the match.

L to R: Barry K., Fergus B., Da, Mike L., and Keith H.

Winner in B Flight (18+) was Mike Larsen (21) with an impressive 37 points. Runner-up was Barry Kerr (20), just pipping Keith Hodges (26) on count-back. Both had 32 points. In the A Division, Fergus Brennan’s (16) 35 points was good enough to take the top spot ahead of Jeff Wylie’s (6) 34 points while Bob Lawrence (13), came in with 33 points.

Due to a couple of no shows at the presentation, the lucky draw pool was also boosted, so those not as successful on the golf course could still go home with a prize. These lucky recipients were Dave, Ian, Brendan, Dick, Grant, and Ray. All six agreed attendance was well worthwhile with some good tucker (spaghetti Bolognese this week) and a prize.

Despite good scores being thin on the ground this week, all enjoyed the day and will look forward with enthusiasm to next week. As the peak season is approaching and golf prices soon on the rise, maybe you should get in quick and sharpen up your game by joining the Grapevine golf on Thursdays. We are located on Soi ‘0’ off Beach Road, Regent Marina. For more information, call 038361736. Cheers and good golfing.

JW

Near pins were won by Barry (2), Mike W., Paul, Frank, Steve, Jeff, and Bill.

Long putts were recorded by Mike L., Alan, Dick and Graham


Shenanigan’s grabs first place after week 17

Pattaya Sports Club Friday Bowling League

200 Bowlers – Kran, La, Tui, Jon and Mio

Shenanigans won two and a half points from Brother D and grabbed the first place lead by a half point over Mai’s Thai Restaurant. They split their match with Three Sisters at two points each. VFW Post 9876 fell to third place after losing three points to Domicil. Caf้ Ole got three points from Friends and Jack & Tar won three points from House of the Golden Coin. Caf้ Kronborg had the only four point sweep of the day as they got the best of Grape Vine.

Best bowlers of the day were:
Kran, Caf้ Kronborg: games of 194, 202, 192 - 588 series
La, Three Sisters: games of 182, 207, 173 – 562 series
Lenz, Mai’s Thai Restaurant: games of 176, 188, 196 – 560 series
Udom, Three Sisters: 540 series
Mio, House of the Golden Coin: 203 game – 530 series
Bill Gibson, Caf้ Kronborg: 518 series
Nual, Caf้ Ole: 516 series
Tue, VFW Post 9876: 513 series
Mai, Jack & Tar: 511 series


Stuart cleans up at Burapha!

PSC golf from Tropical Bert’s

Tuesday October 4 Burapha, Stableford

I always like Bert’s on Tuesdays, as do many people. For some it is the free super breakfast or the free food when you get back. For others, it is the slick organization of Aussie Bob or the relaxing drive up, unless you drive. But for Tim, Max and myself, it is the chance to not have to stagger so far when we go home.

On this day we played ‘American Wood & British Link’ at Burapha. Sounds fine does it not and in effect it is. This is a very fine 18 holes and is always enjoyed by the players. The course was in super condition and we were able to play quickly, as it was relatively quiet. Back at Bert’s after filling up, Max did the presentation as Bob was otherwise occupied and then as usual, we learned how to stagger home.

T.T.F.N.
Results:
Winner: Stuart Thompson, Runner Up: Dick Warburg

Near Pin: Mike Wing, Ray Spence, Stuart Thompson, Fergus Brennan, Danny Dyke, Bob Short, Ray Glenwright, Max Matthews

Long Putt: Stuart Thompson, Keith Avery, Danny Dyke, Grant Thompson


Loz wins two Sundays in a row

IPGC Golf From Lewiinski’s

Sunday October 2
Green Valley
White Tees, Stableford

A Flight

1st Nick Strasshine, 41 pts
2nd John Emmerson, 38 pts
3rd Klaus Schackt, 37 pts
B Flight
1st An Kaesavane, 41 pts
2nd Frank Pilkington, 36 pts
3rd George Jackson, 35 pts
C Flight
1st Loz Shaw, 40 pts
2nd Marlene Prudden, 36 pts
3rd Mike Craighead, 36 pts
NP’s: #2 – Dave Shelling; #9 – Rick Sharp; #12 – Terry Phur
2s: Nick Strasshine; Jim Brackett; Rick Sharp; Loz Shaw

Our title boy wasn’t the ‘man-of-the-match’ but he certainly has been ‘the man’ of the last-two Sundays. Loz followed his brilliant, 45 point performance of last week, with another 40 points this week, off his new 26 handicap. He finally has some time to play and practice and the hard work is beginning bear fruit. Of course, if he continues at the current rate, Loz may have his ‘hanging fruit’ removed by his buddies at the Sugar Shack. Imagine what he would shoot from the Red Tees! Loz was chased in by a pack of four at 36 points and in a chivalrous move seldom seen in the society; the lads yielded to the count back winner Marlene Shaw and then fought it out amongst themselves. The Mechanic’s guile and treachery made short work of relative youngsters, Robbie ‘I’m a lot older than I look’ Bennett and The Principal.

In the A Flight, Nick Strasshine bulled his way to an impressive 41 points, shooting an even more impressive medalist winning gross 75. That put him three clear of the still recovering Dengue Fever victim, ‘The Golf Manager’ and yet another above the Volkscomputer.

The more comely half of the Schackt household, An Kaesavane, B Flight, tied Nick for the daily honors. She was five clear of The Pilk whose taillights were visible to the knotted trio of One-Ball Jackson, J.J. Wright and Geoff King. There was no need for a referee’s decision as George’s whining about “never winning a ‘#@*&+$%’ count back” was so touching that the other two gentlemen deferred.

October 4
Laem Chabang C & A
Black or White Tees,
Stroke Medal

1st Black Flight: Mark Wood, net 74
2nd Black Flight: Simon Philbrook, net 75
1st White A Flight: John Mills, net 75
2nd White A Flight: Kerry Beck, net 76
1st White B Flight: Dave Porter’ net 69
2nd White B Flight: Howard Marson, net 77
NP’s: #A2 (Black) – Jim Brackett; #A2 (White) – Rick Sharp
2s: Jim Brackett; Phil Mitchell; Dave Snell; Dave Porter

Mark Wood, fresh off the oil rigs of the North Sea, edged big Simon of Philbrook by one as both players had exemplary rounds of the ‘way back’ Blacks. Australian mates, John Mill and Kerry Beck divided up the A Flight off the significantly shorter White tees. David Porter was six clear of the entire B Flight White Division as he won by eight strokes. One stroke or eight strokes, the second place B Flight money was well spent by recently returned Howard Marson.

Wednesday October 5
Mountain Shadow
Blue Tees, Stableford

1st A Flight: Jim Brackett, 35 pts
2nd A Flight: Claus Birk Thomsen, 33 pts
3rd A Flight: Ian Ashenden, 32 pts
1st B Flight: Seamus Brennan, 36 pts
2nd B Flight: Vic Hester, 34 pts
3rd B Flight: Ray Dell, 33 pts
2s: Blacks: Jim Brackett; Claus Birk Thomsen; Ian Ashenden; Peter Blok. Whites: Chaten Patel; Roger Koehler

Shameless Seamus Brennan, returning from wherever it is he goes, was the only player to shoot to his handicap and in doing so, he took the honors in B Flight. Victor ‘The Inflictor’ edged Ray ‘The Farmer in the’ Dell to round out the junior flight Jim Brackett, a newly ensconced resident of Joe Banks’ White House, took the top step in A Flight over CBT and the returning, teaching pro, Ian “The Ashes” Ashenden.

Friday October 7
Eastern Star
Blue or White Tees,
Stableford

Blue Flight

1st Jim Wickstrom, 35 pts
2nd John Emmerson, 30 pts
3rd Sunny Khanna, 29 pts
White Flight
1st Rick Sharp, 37 pts
2nd Joe McArdle, 36 pts
3rd Arthur Hancock, 35 pts
4th Mike Craighead, 34 pts
Near Pins: #A3 White – Jim Munns
2s: Blue: Claus Birk Thomsen; Whites: Mike Craighead; Robert Sellick

The week rounded out with a short trip to a well-maintained Eastern Star Resort. ESR resident Jim Wickstrom, wielded the home field advantage effectively as he took the Blue Flight by 5 points over ‘the ol’ Golf Manager. It should be noted that the recovering Silver Back made two podiums ascents this week. Sunny “Bobby Hebb” Khanna rounded out the Bomber Division but only after a count back over Brent “Who’s Your Caddy” Merron. The Hermit edged that Irish ‘Cup o’ Tea’, Joe McArdle , by a single point. That was the separation for all four of the White Flight positions as nearby resident Arthur Hancock took third and The Mechanic fourth.


The Beautiful Game?: Christmas? Bah! Humbug

Riz Taylor

There’s no pleasing some people when international football comes along, or perhaps it’s just an English thing. Having struggled to beat Austria at Old Trafford in their penultimate group fixture last Saturday, perhaps it was fitting that England were guaranteed qualification to the World Cup finals not through their own football but by another result. The Netherlands beat the Czech Republic to ensure England progressed without needing a nervy win over Poland on Wednesday.

England’s run of poor form was obviously far from behind them as they laboured against the vastly inferior Austrians, during a game that will be remembered not for silky soccer but for David Beckham’s unique achievement in becoming the first England captain to be sent-off. In addition, he also claimed the record of being the first English player to see red twice for his country, after two yellow cards in as many minutes. Congratulations to young David.

Three points and qualification isn’t enough for everyone, though, and the moans and groans about Sven Goran Eriksson’s tactics, use of Beckham and the choice to play lanky striker Peter “good touch for a big man” Crouch could be heard even before the overly fussy Spanish referee had blown his whistle for the last time.

Is there any other nation that is arrogant (or daft) enough to demand 5-0 victories each time the team step onto pitch? And why is it that in the Premiership, a win whilst playing badly is a wonderful sign of a great side but in internationals, it’s almost a disaster? Answers on a ‘Pattaya by night’ postcard to the usual address, please.

Perhaps it’s being away from home or just the weariness from years of hype and disappointment, but I’m becoming tired by the whole process of following England. It’s either pure elation or complete devastation. It’s usually the latter but what really irks is the expectancy whipped up by newspapers, that give us Englishmen reason to believe we have a divine right to win the World Cup every four years just by turning up. In reality, England are just another side with a slim chance that need the Brazilian team bus to break down en route to the match.

Holland, England’s new best friends, will fancy their own chances after the win in Prague. Their first victory in the Czech capital since 1972, also ensured their progression and guaranteed that the World Cup Finals will be graced by thousands of strange looking people with orange faces, milling around Dortmund come next June. Rafael van der Vaart’s opener and a second from Barry Opdal was enough to claim qualification, with Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Saar also playing his part by saving a penalty. Knighthoods all round.

Next year’s tournament will unfortunately be without other British nations such as Scotland Athletic, Wales Town and Northern Ireland Academicals but anyone in search of an underdog to follow need look no further than Africa, where results ensured the continent will provide four finals debutants. Along with Tunisia, unfamiliar names such as Angola, Ghana and Togo will all crash the German party as the traditional achievers fell by the wayside, including 2002 quarter finalists Senegal and ‘Super Eagles’ Nigeria. But surely the biggest shock, came as the Ivory Coast team dusted down their lederhosen after a Pierre Wome penalty miss, in stoppage time against Egypt meant his Cameroon side, such a familiar sight in World Cup finals, missed out.

Everton wake to alarm bells

Everton travel to London tomorrow in an attempt to lift themselves from what surely is one of the most miserable spells in their recent history. Finishing last season’s Premiership in fourth position was supposed to be a platform for further success, yet someone neglected to inform chairman Bill Kenwright’s scriptwriter friends. Even pre-season was a disaster for the Toffees and maybe the injury to defensive signing, Per Kroldrup was a sign of the impending disaster at Goodison Park. Other major arrivals, such as James Beattie and Simon Davies are also yet to make an impact as the side begins to look nervously at the fixture list. The dreaded ‘R’ word is even being whispered, though mainly from troublemakers such as myself.

Everton’s last match was at the City of Manchester Stadium a fortnight ago; in what was the Premiership’s earliest ever kick-off at 11:15am. Some Manchester City fans arrived dressed in pyjamas in protest but might have wondered why they clambered out of bed in the first place as they sat through a messy, scrappy contest that was suddenly lit up by Danny Mills’ 30 yard effort. His 71st minute goal heaped more misery on David Moyes and his band of not so merry men. Observers point to the loss of Thomas Gravesen, to Real Madrid during last January’s transfer window as the turning point of Everton’s fortunes, whilst others suggest that the reliance on ‘long ball’ football is finally returning to haunt the side that has transformed from last season’s heroes into this season’s zeros. Moyes was furious after the Manchester City defeat, and cancelled a day off for his players. “The players have had to be told and shown what I was not happy with. The fact is we have to do better. We want to be upbeat but we have to face the reality of our situation. I had to tell them, to get it across. I’m not happy - and they aren’t either,” said the Scotsman.

In between dealing with other crises such as Mikael Arteta suffering a fit during the recent defeat to Dinamo Bucharest and complaints from Australian coach Guus Hiddink about the club’s refusal to release midfielder Tim Cahill for a training camp, Moyes will hope that tomorrow’s fixture against third placed Spurs will see the start of a resurgence in fortunes for Everton Football Club. Next week things get even easier - the visitors to Goodison are Chelsea. It never rains!


The Square Ring

by Howie Reed

“You were on your way to writing the great boxing column until you erroneously wrote Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals were playing in Mexico. It was another bay team, the San Francisco 49rs. At least you didn’t say the San Jose Spartans and the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals played so well you’d think the Pope was coaching them. The ‘Niners’ could not find any oxygen in the high Mexican altitude with air so thick you could bite a taco out of it. The only reason I know is because I announced the game for CBS Radio. That would have been good if the Raiders had played in Mexico City ‘cause you know Raider fans would have gone there and been part of the 103,467 fans and crime would have dropped in America.” That note came from former NFL kicking great Benny ‘I Keek a Touchdown’ Ricardo. He’s now a sports announcer ‘sans parallel’... to say nothing of being a great guy. Whoops, best try for the great column again next year.

It’s pretty much accepted around the sports world that boxing is in a fight for its life. That as a sport, it’s been pushed off the front of the worlds sporting pages to pages reserved for “Oh by the way.” When it’s not on those pages it’s usually because the sport has shot itself in the foot as it did last weekend in Las Vegas. Diego Corrales, (40-2) was defending his WBC/WBO lightweight titles against Jose Luis Castillo (57-7-1) in a rematch of what has been up to now the fight of the year. Only one slight problem, when Castillo stepped on the scales they read 137 which is 2 pounds over the 135 lightweight limit. The Nevada Commission gave Castillo time to lose the weight. Seventy minutes later, back on the scales Castillo now weighed 138.5lbs. Yep, he gained 1.5 pounds. Prior to this reading, Marc Ratner Executive Director for the Nevada commission caught Castillo’s Dr Amando Barak with his foot under the pad on the scales to help the fighter make weight. It was after Dr, Barak was escorted from the venue that the 138.5 reading was confirmed. After much yelling, shouting and other fine things it was then decided that the fight would go on at a catch weight of 147. In the process Castillo was fined $120,000 USD, half of which will go to Corrales and half to the state of Nevada.

What was suppose to be a fight for the WBC/WBO lightweight titles turned into a farce thanks to Jose Luis Castilo and his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. Poor Diego Corrales was like a lamb led to slaughter thanks to Castillo/Arum and his own totally inept promoter, Gary Shaw. How’s that?

When Castillo couldn’t make the official weight, the fight should have been called off right then and there with Corrales getting his pay, as he was ready to fight. That’s not what happened. First, Shaw let Arum convince him to let them proceed at 147lb rather than 135lb. To make matters worse, he also agreed to a weigh in at 3pm on the day of the fight. At that time, Castillo weighed 147 as agreed and when he entered the ring that weight was probably more like 150 to 154. Corrales probably gave up 10 to 12 pounds to the hard hitting Castillo. The bout from the opening bell resembled their first contest in May which was a “Katy Bar the Door” event. Cut in the second, staggered in the third and sent to the canvas in the fourth, Corrales was unable to beat the count of Referee Joe Cortez. In short, Castillo looked great at 154 but would have gotten beat at 137. Corrales was again sold out by his promoter.

Jeff Fenech, who was coming off his ill adventure with Mike Tyson, must have felt that he could help Husseun Hussein (28-2) in his rematch with Jorge Arce (40-3-1). The first time the two met last March, it was an all out war. The rematch would be another war except this time, Arce would take the part of the USA with Hussein the Taliban. Arce came out firing the heavy artillery to drop Hussein in the first and second, forcing Fenech to surrender on behalf of his battered fighter at 2:50 of round two.

Most readers will remember last weeks comments from O.R. Cross in regard to the recent Roy Jones jr.-Antonio Tarver meeting. Here’s another reader jumping in. “Hi Howie, couldn’t wait for your to take on this one so I’ll jump in. I’ve always thought Roy was one of the greatest boxers I had ever seen. His speed was unprecedented. I was never a fan of Jones because of his attitude towards the fans and his lack of effort for those fans.” I know we’re not gladiators and we don’t have to fight to the death but we are pugilists and that means we fight not dance. I have been at amateur fights when kids run like that and the referee stops the so called ‘action’. He says,”you have to make contact or at least try. If you don’t want to engage each other, I’ll stop the fight.” Now as I say, I’m all over Roy on this one but Tarver was not much better. As for the so called “pound for pound” best guys in the world, I’m speechless. I was in a sports bar with about six other fighters and the bar was full of guys. We struggled through it with a few comments like, “Is there not a re-run soap or yesterday’s soccer on the other channel?” This one is from Scotty in Canada who is a former boxer and now trains boxers, “Your comments every week about why boxing is declining is the number one comment again this week, oh well what ya’ gonna do?”

Doug Fischer is one of the better boxing writers. He currently writes for Max Boxing .com amongst others. “Thirty years after Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fought their hearts out in the final bout of their all-time great trilogy, the third match between Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jr. did nothing to honor the memory of the classic rubber-match that took place in Manila.” Funny but Jones and Tarver have a different take.

If you had just read what Jones and Tarver said after the meetings and had not seen the putrid performance by both men, you would think it was the greatest sporting event since I spent the evening with #78, #93 and # 26 from the Twilight Zone (Khun Monkey House Fred , Proprietor) and the magic blue pill.. Here’s Tarver, “A lot of the news media and experts have been saying that Jones is a shot fighter but I’m glad I didn’t listen and I worked my butt off. You saw the best Roy Jones tonight that you’ve seen in the last ten years and any fighter he faced in the last ten years, he would have certainly beaten tonight but he just can’t beat the champ, the Magic Man. This is a sweet victory for me and I am glad that my home, here in Tampa and Orlando could share this with me. We’re on the road baby!” One can guess that Mr. Tarver has some serious reality issues.

Roy Jones “How many people do you know of, who are crazy enough to come back after two consecutive knockouts and fight one of the guys that knocked you out? When it comes down to it, this really shows the heart that I got. I’ll be back. I got hurt once and I think that was the turning point of the fight. He hit me with a good shot but I kept coming. Can’t nobody else beat me but Tarver, why? I’ll tell you why, it’s because God blessed me with a true talent. It was hard to go out there with me being knocked out twice the last couple of times. I’m a true champion. I’ve been at the top. Being the champion that I am, it was good. I was satisfied with my performance but I do realize that I lost the fight. I’m not the kind of fighter, like Johnson that can brawl and that’s the way you have to fight to beat Tarver. Tarver would have given me all I could handle in my best days as a light heavyweight.” First off Roy, Glen Johnson kicked your ass. Secondly, if Tarver would have given you all you could handle when you were on the top, you’re a fraud and always have been. Bet both have been inhaling copious amount of ganja.

The continuing saga between Rocky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton and Frank Warren is schedule to hit the Old Bailey on October 20. Warren wants to block Hatton’s November 29 fight against Carlos Maussa (20-2) at the Hallam FM Arena in Sheffield. The bigger battle is whether Hattan and Warren still have a contract for future fights or if Hatton is a free agent. One fight that did come off spot on, was the contest where featherweight, Terdsak Jandaeng (19-1) captured the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific 126lb title by stopping Jaime Barcelona (reportedly 20-26) at 0:57 seconds of round nine. The fight card took place at City Hall Ground of Nakornrachasima Province. I know what your going to say, “Big deal, he KO’d a guy with 26 loses.” True but Barcelona had only been stopped on two other occasions. Nice comeback for Jandaeng who got blown out in his last fight against Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman. Ex IBF 105lb title holder, Ratanapol Sor Vorapin (41-6-1) had no trouble stopping Indonesian Dicky Timor at 2:12 in the opening stanza. Timor had a record of “naught” going in.

Just got a note from ‘Dapper’ Dave Stewart that his upcoming fight with Danny Hunt (17-1) for the British Lightweight title is on hold… in box talk it’s called “back to purse bid”. Meanwhile the unbeaten King of Second Road gets a spot on the Sky TV card from Bethnal Green next Friday. Who’s he fighting? A member of the ‘TBA’ family. Drink to that? I’d love to.


Aussie Rules: Not for the faint-hearted

Peter Cummins

It is almost a ‘High Noon’ face off. No guns but huge fists poised in the air, when two gigantic ‘ruck-men’, (average height 2m, weight 90 kg) stalk each other, waiting for the field-umpire to bounce the ball in the centre of the enormous playing field. A game of Australian Rules football is about to begin

The game explodes as one team or the other grabs possession from the ‘tap’ and lofts the oval-shaped ball anywhere from 50 to 70m to the attacking forward zone, where upwards of 10 other giants leap to try to ‘mark’, (catch) the ball.

Already, we are only a few seconds in to the play, which will last at least 100 minutes of non-stop speed, long kicking and high marking. Each team of 18 men shoots towards to two big goal posts and two smaller side posts. A goal, booted, untouched between the two big posts is six points. Either side is a point.

Although these men wear no protective clothing, only shorts, pullovers and specially-designed non-skid boots, physical clashes are frequent and each team is allowed a bench of four substitutes to replace the injured. The crowd roars as a player takes possession of the ball and with a mighty kick, sends it goal-ward, as a massive pack of big men tussle for possession.

The game is relentlessly fast, with a score (goal or point) by the contestants recorded on average, every half minute of the 100-minute game. Long-kicking, high marking (catching) and incredible accuracy keep the crowd for at fever-pitch. The record Grand Final crowd was 121,600 in 1970.

Mooted as the oldest football game in the world, the Australian Football League, consisting of sixteen, 22-man teams from all corners of the vast continent, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1996. First played in 1858, Aussie Rules is a blend of exquisite skills, brute strength and speed. As one chronicler recalled at the 100th anniversary, “A scrappy, 40-a-side game on a ridiculously large playing-field, has evolved throughout the years, into a slick, lightning-fast spectacle regularly attracting crowds of more than eighty thousand. A Grand Final, as witnessed last week in Melbourne, can draw upwards of 100,000, the record being 120,000 and, there is basically no crowd violence.

“It’s a game,” continues the chronicler, “which demands players who are heavily muscled but can run like gazelles. This national, Australian obsession first started with some 80 students fighting and yelling, dodging trees, chasing a piece of oval leather across the park. The game was chaos, with young men running in all directions and with the opposing goals so far apart, a player could barely see both ends.”

By the 100th anniversary in 1996, this game had transmogrified from the 12 Melbourne suburban teams of the Victorian Football League to 16 teams, country–wide in the Australian Football League. It happened that in that same year, famous American comedian George Burns also celebrated his 100th year. Burns cancelled every other engagement for his centenary to promote a game he “knew nothing about”.

The 2005 season was the closest in the history of the AFL and the final show-down was an epic battle between the West Coast Eagles from Perth and the Sydney Swans, with some 7,000 km of territory between them.

The Sydney Swans were formerly South Melbourne and their last premiership was in 1933, two years before I was even born.

Curiously, when I left Australia’s shores as a wretched, young, gullible and almost penniless traveller in 1956, intent upon seeing at least some of the world, I did not take too much ‘Aussie baggage’ with me. My major love was classical music and opera, beer, women and friends. Thus, apart from the obvious wrench of leaving family and friends, I was able to duplicate these other predilection almost anywhere else. So, there was not any cultural or historic burden – except “Aussie Rules” which, in itself, was very hard to find overseas. It extended an umbilical cord, albeit a spider-web slim one to the Brown Continent.

Over the years, I have tried to fathom American football with the players seemingly ready to roam the terrorist traps of Iraq with all their armament and very little action. I sat through 90 scoreless minutes of a game in the World Soccer titles and I have watched the gorillas of Rugby bashing each other. As the French say it so well “Chacun a son gout”. These games left me bored stiff.

Then there came the 2005 Aussie Rules Grand Final. My secret “vice” had survived and I was back to my first love: the game that is an eclectic development of soccer, gaelic football, basketball, rugby and almost any other ball – dominated sport one could conjure up: except Grid Iron.

Aussie Rules is not for everybody, granted! But as Sydney and the West Coast slogged it out for the 2005 honours, my own 50 years of travel, trying to adapt to other boring forms of football, were reduced to that magic 100 minutes. Sydney prevailed by just four points, in the last few seconds of the game. The 1,000 people gathered at the Royal Orchid Sheraton for the transmission of the game, rose as one – winners or losers and downed a few more Aussie beers and wines.

In Bangkok, my umbilical cord was intact and I even won the sweepstake at the Roo Bar in South Pattaya run by Rowndy and Bob. It has been a great 50 years – and well worth the wait!



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