Girls make strong debut in bowls clash
Lawn bowlers from Wah Yan College, Hong Kong had a battle on their hands against crowd favourites St Stephen's Girls' College in the final of the Inter-Schools Lawn Bowls Competition at the Ap Lei Chau Sports Centre on Sunday.
But the Wah Yan team's experience paid off, with the boys' team defeating St Stephen's girls 8-1 after five ends were played to decide the winner. Wah Yan captain Adrian Yau Tze-fung said the team's goal was to make the final.
'We made it two years ago and we came fourth last year - both years we were defeated by Wah Yan Kowloon boys. The girls had great crowd support today but we had the confidence to win,' Adrian said.
Sixteen mixed teams were vying for the title, with defending champions Wah Yan College, Kowloon fielding two teams in their bid for a third consecutive win.
But Wah Yan's Team A were eliminated by Wan Yan College, Hong Kong in the semi-final. Its Team B, led by Aaron Koo Shin-jee, were knocked out by St Stephen's Team A.
The St Stephen's teams were playing in the competition for the first time and all players - except their Form Six leader Angel So Ka-he - are new to the sport. In fact, they only started learning to play lawn bowls in February. But the girls advanced to the final on Sunday evening to give the Wah Yan, Hong Kong boys a run for their money.
Angel's teammates Jessica Poon and Stephy Ip played courageously despite losing to the Wan Yan, Hong Kong boys' team in the group stage that morning. The girls had the crowd behind them, with plenty of cheering every time they bowled.
Angel kept up the team spirit, cheering on her players even when they made unforced errors, and showed excellent control of her woods. 'We only started the team this year - mainly to get the sport known at school - and our aim in the competition was just to advance from the group stage,' Angel said. 'We did our best in the semi-final - I always tell the girls to stay calm and don't be nervous.'
Wah Yan, Hong Kong had only three players - just enough for a team. 'We didn't have any reserve players today, but luckily we did well. The final match against Angel's team was a thriller and I thought it could go either way,' said Haley So Tsz-yin, a Form Six pupil at Wah Yan.
Wah Yan College, Kowloon took bronze, with its Team B beating Team A.