The third season of the Lawn Bowls League commenced on September 9th, featuring two all-Thai teams, Sunshine and Paradise, facing off at Jomtien. Simultaneously, the Pattaya Sports Club took on the Retreat Bowls Club in Huay Yai. Notably, last year’s champions, Coco Lawn Bowls Club, had a bye for the initial round.
Regrettably, due to anticipated player shortages throughout the season, the Committee faced the challenging decision to reduce one team from this year’s competition. This decision, while potentially enhancing the competitiveness of other teams, also limits the inclusion of novice bowlers—a fundamental aspect on which the league was founded. With a joint recruitment effort planned by the PSC and the Retreat Lawn Bowls Club, it is hoped that this reduction will be a temporary measure.
The match between Sunshine and Paradise underscored this dilemma. Paradise, an experienced and talented team, demonstrated their prowess on their home ground in Jomtien, winning 22-2. Despite the outcome, Sunshine’s Khun Piya ‘Joke’ Klubmart expressed optimism about his team’s performance and eagerly anticipated future fixtures.
Khun Piya has consistently championed the introduction of new players. Last year, young Thara made his bowls debut, and Sunshine Lawn Bowls Club provides daily training sessions for local youth after school or work. Recent recruits, including Witsurat, a local factory supervisor, and Phu, a 16-year-old student, have injected fresh energy into the Sunshine team. Khun Piya remarked, “Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn are evident, and as they continue to hone their skills, we anticipate even more exciting performances from these new recruits.”
In the other match, both Retreat and PSC encountered challenges in fielding teams in some fixtures last season. However, benefiting from the redistribution of players due to the reduction of one team, they engaged in a thrilling contest at the Retreat bowls center—a virtual home derby. The ‘old guard’ of Stan Rees, Dick Braimbridge, and Ian Wadell secured PSC’s winning start in the first triples match. Wan, Dick’s wife led her team to victory in their triples match and continued the success in her pairs match. Leading 5-3 after two rounds, PSC Captain John Underwood relied on the dream team of Keith Fortt, Ian McKillock, and Rudy Regenas. Although Colin W, Arthur, and Kenny resisted, the seasoned trio of Peter Barnes, Greg Monkman, and the skip sealed only the second-ever win for PSC in the league!
Of the 11 games played, PSC won 4 of the 7 triples and 2 of the 4 pairs matches, resulting in a 12-10 match score plus 2 bonus points. Congratulations to all involved on a fantastic day of bowling.