History made in spirited run | Hong Kong International Bowls Classic 2023 Review

22nd November, 2023

The 2023 Hong Kong International Bowls Classic saw our Aviva England player’s immense efforts to achieve titles in the Classic Singles and Classic Pairs events. They battled against the best players from Hong Kong and overseas nations, showcasing commendable performances in both events.

England was represented by Kent’s Harry Goodwin, Buckinghamshire’s Tom McGuinness and Devon’s Nicole Rogers and Harriet Stevens.

The Classic Singles took place first over the first weekend of the event. Both Harry and Tom Goodwin secured first-round victories in the first round but suffered defeats in the second round of the Men’s Singles.

In the Women’s Singles, Nicole Rogers had a narrow loss in the first round. Harriet Stevens had a positive start with straight sets victory but was halted in the competition in the following round.

Our players returned to action on Monday 13th November, keen to make amends in the Classic Pairs event.

In the Men’s Pairs event at the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic, Tom McGuinness and Harry Goodwin demonstrated strong performances, finishing second in their group during the round-robin matches. Despite a defeat in the play-offs against New Zealand, their earlier successes showcased a commendable run in the tournament.


Harry Goodwin and Tom McGuinness in action in the Men’s Pairs.


“It was an amazing experience and a first time playing bowls outside of the UK for all four of us. Harry and I had a solid group stage beating some very good pairs. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get over the line as first place to guarantee a medal. No countries can be taken for granted. Such a great trip with many memories,” said Tom, giving his reflections on the event.

Harry added, “It wasn’t the result I was looking for in the pairs. I thought we played pretty good throughout the group on some tricky wickets. The playoff game was disappointing for us after the hard work in the group stage. Ultimately, this experience for me was invaluable as I’ve learnt so much and can take this forward in my career. I absolutely loved every moment off the bowls green and I would like to thank Harriet, Nicole and Tom for making it an experience I will never forget.”

For the Women’s Pairs, Nicole Rogers and Harriet Stevens excelled, securing the top spot in their group during the round-robin matches. They proceeded to the semi-finals, where they faced and triumphed over South Africa in a thrilling contest. Despite a hard-fought battle, they missed out on the title in the final against Scotland, settling for a 1.5-0.5 loss on sets.

However it was a a special moment for the pair as Nicole and Harriet became the first English women to reach the final of the Classic Women’s Pairs.


Harriet Stevens and Nicole Rogers, Women’s Pairs Silver medallists


Harriet, whose last bowl narrowly missed out on a measure to take the final to a tiebreak set, said, “To lose the final after dominating our group, the competition and the first set is a hard one to swallow and will be for some time.

“However for my first time overseas competition, competing in a big field, a tough tournament with difficult greens and set play which is a game style we rarely play, to come away with a silver medal is, in my opinion, a very good achievement, even if I am struggling to see it at the minute. The experience we have gained from this trip is invaluable on and off the greens and as ever I am grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s not been easy at times especially the latter stages of this tournament but I couldn’t have asked for better team mates in Nicole, Harry & Tom and I hope they all feel as proud as I do on their returns. I’m hoping that over the next few weeks I can see more of those positives. Our sport can give you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows only days apart but nonetheless I have enjoyed every minute of it and I can only hope to carry on competing for England in more events like this.”

Nicole added, “It was the first time for all of us playing abroad, and we adapted well to the different style of greens. Both pairs excelled in the group stages despite facing tough opponents from the local teams to the International teams.

“Despite the disappointment of not winning the final after strong performances earlier, playing alongside Harriet and becoming the first English pair to reach the final was a pleasure. Thank you to the hosting greens and organizers for a well-executed event. We’ve created some great memories that will last a lifetime!”

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