CHAMPION Noel Kennedy led a clutch of Hong Kong players into the third round of the Hong Kong International lawn bowls Classic singles tournament at Craigengower Cricket Club yesterday. Kennedy was one of six local players who qualified for the third round, but a strong international field lay waiting to stake their claim for the prestigious title. New Zealand's former world champion and two-time Hong Kong winner Peter Bellis dropped only 17 shots in beating locals Peter Haslam and Alfred Pang to set up an intriguing third-round clash against Scotland's Alex Marshall. Kennedy, meanwhile, had to fight off a determined challenge from Recreio's Chi Chi Fernandes to stay alive. After a comfortable 25-6 first-round triumph over Wong Man-ching, Kennedy survived a scare before completing a 25-23 win over Fernandes. He now meets Adrian Welch of the Channel Islands for a place in the quarters. Hong Kong's Commonwealth Games singles bronze medallist Ken Wallis came close to pulling off the comeback of the day against China Light and Power's Pat Chan in the second round. Down 17-9, Wallis fought back to lead 24-21. But in a tense final few ends, Chan came out with the shots to eke out a narrow 25-24 win. Chan goes on to meet South African Donny Piketh in the last 16. Other Hong Kong players to win both their matches yesterday were Policeman Simon Chan, the territory's pairs representative Bill McMahon, Oscar Adem and Football Club's Ran Lakoon. Lakoon accounted for last year's finalist Bill Boettger of Canada with a 25-21 first-round win. He then went on to edge out Police player Nelson To 25-23 but has a difficult third-round tie against England's John Ottoway. Ottoway had an even better record than Bellis, conceding just 16 shots in his victories over Hong Kong players John Lunn and Ronson Au. Adem plays Irish youngster Noel Graham, who defeated Hong Kong Electric's Chan Hoi and Fijian Curtis Mar on his way to the third round. McMahon defeated Canada's Ted Waterston 25-10 in his second-round match and now plays Ireland's Jackie Smyth. In other third-round matches, Simon Chan plays Welshman Phillip Rowlands and South African Neil Burkett takes on Zimbabwe's Mark McCormick.