The Coco Club near Pattaya was invited to take part in a friendly lawn bowls challenge at the exclusive Royal Bangkok Sports Club on Saturday, May 3.
Initially planned to feature 6 triplet groupings on each side, both teams were over-subscribed and an additional foursomes match had to be hurriedly organized, with the RBSC staff working on Thursday afternoon and evening to split the green and prepare a 7th rink.
Derek from the Coco Club (left) accepts the RBSC history volume from Ken, the RBSC Lawn Bowls Chairman.
Coco’s teams included the best ladies and men Thai players and some very good expat club members living in Thailand, and we put one of each in all the teams.
The morning practice session got underway with a casual mixed team event to break the ice and Coco’s players had to adapt to a very different set of playing conditions. RBSC veterans Tiria and Somkiet were in exceptional form in early morning games.
The rink speed was 11 seconds compared to 12 at Coco but the Bangkok rinks were 6 metres longer so a little more power and oomph was needed as all our players were bowling short for half an hour. Luckily the morning was a little cloudy to restrict the outside temperature so nobody was overheating at this point.
After practice and a light lunch everyone was ready and the RBSC then brought out their extra “professionals” to replace some of the morning casuals.
At 2.15pm the draw was made and the game of 18 ends was on, with Coco winning the mats to start. After 9 ends – halfway – it was 4-3 in Coco’s favour, an advantage they held through to the end but by then the temperature had risen to 40 degrees and it was getting tough. Even some of our Thais were getting a suntan.
Both teams pose for a group photo prior to the start of the match.
As soon as the game was finished everyone headed straight for a cool shower and drink at the bar, which was followed by a superb dinner and a special offer from our hosts of 300 baht a head for free flow beer – which went down very well.
The presentations were made with Coco Club receiving a fine litre of whisky and a momento of the RBSC’s history and in reply a unique home adapted trophy was presented to the RSBC in the hope of this being a yearly event. The whisky was not opened – otherwise our team would never have made the bus back.
We thank the RBSC for their hospitality and look forward to a rematch at Coco’s in November.
Ah, yes, the final score was RSBC 3 wins & 118 points – Coco 4 wins & 120 points, and the strategy of splitting e the best Thai ladies and men into different teams worked as they all won their games, with a little help from their team mates.