Vol. IV No. 52 - Saturday December 24 - December 30, 2005
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SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Rugby Heavyweights slug it out

Officials from 18 ministries join National Sports Day at 700 Year Stadium

Chiang Mai Pool League: The gap closes

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Rugby Heavyweights slug it out

Adam Head

When cultures collide – the Suas and Prince Royal prepare to engage.

Week five of Chiang Mai’s Rugby Festival this last Saturday saw a crunch game (literally!) between the Prince Royal’s College and Chiang Mai Suas (the Tigers).

Last week’s afternoon stroll against Mae Jo seemed like a distant memory for the Suas, as Prince Royal’s College (PRC) signaled their attacking intent right from the off.

Showing a strong team spirit, and committed in the tackle, PRC were not perturbed by the Suas’ early score, and came roaring back

with a try and conversion of their own to level the scores at half-time.

What a game! Even if you are not a rugby fan, these games are highly recommended for their energy, sporting savvy, and end-to end action. Moreover, you have no option but to admire the teamwork in a game where organization and cooperation are central to any kind of success.

“Come on get up!” Thai teammates help each other out in the aftermath of a farang sandwich.

The second half kicked off at the same breathtaking pace, and despite the game looking as if it could go either way, it was the Suas who eventually managed to drive the ball over the line for a real team try. Not that PRC were making too many defensive mistakes, they just ended up being driven back by the determined Suas forwards.

The final scoreline then, 17-12 to the Suas, but a close run thing it was. Hats off to the under 19s of PRC who really took the game to their older and meatier international opponents.

Coach Sandy singled out praise for his own team’s youngsters, Charlie, Sven and Gavin. Well played lads!

Men of the match for the Suas were Rushy, Steve and Tor. Congratulations to them, and also to Bon, the Suas’ Vice-President, for his try score.

All eyes now turn to the final which will take place on Christmas Eve, 4 p.m. at Prince Royal’s College. Chiang Mai Suas v Barbarians. Now, that should be pretty tasty!

If you would like to be involved in the rugby scene, then Chiang Mai Suas are looking for more players. Please contact Ronnie at [email protected], or drop into the Irish Pub in the Old Town and have a word with Sandy.

And finally a mention to the kind sponsors of the rugby tournament, Go Putt-Putt Crazy Golf. Their excellent crazy golf course can be found in Chiang Mai Business Park behind Carrefour supermarket, www.goputt-putt.com.


Officials from 18 ministries join National Sports Day at 700 Year Stadium

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Jarin Chatphan, vice president of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University (2nd left) and 23rd SEA Games athletes

Chiang Mai’s Assistant governor Pongsak Wang-samer presided over National Sports Day at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium on December 16 with almost 500 government officials from 18 ministries attending.

This occasion commemorates an event when His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulya- dej participated in the 4th Lam Thong Games on December 9-16, 1967 and won a gold medal in the sailboat competition. National Sports Day is also an occasion for the young people of Thailand to contemplate the importance of sport in developing character and community spirit, and helping to achieve new objectives in life.

Tug-of-war competition between Prime Minister’s Office and the Court of Justice Office teams.

Amongst the activities at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium were time-honored sports such as tug-of-war, relay sack racing, and a three-legged race. There was a football match between senior journalists and government officials. A party was held in the evening with awards handed out to those athletes who had brought glory to Thailand during the 23rd SEA Games. Among those collecting their awards from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University vice president were Ratchatwat Kaewpan-ya, who had won a silver medal in gymnastics, and Thanawan Photim and Pawatpong Ratapai who had both won bronze medals for social dancing.


Chiang Mai Pool League: The gap closes

Pat Black

Nuch after winning her game for Blue Sky Garden.

As a jittery Half Moon Pub faltered in the Chiang Mai Pool League, Chian-gers and Bangers capitalized with back to back wins that closed the gap at the top of the table to just two points. The Wall crumbled under Blue Sky Bar and The Local continued to impress.

The rearranged match between Chiangers and Bangers and Half Moon Pub couldn’t have been closer, with a ding dong battle reaching four games all before Chiangers took the point in a black ball game.

In last week’s scheduled encounters, Chiangers went on to complete an expected win at December Bar, but Friend’s Corner provided the shock of the night by leading Half Moon Pub 5-1 after the singles. Half Moon clawed back two consolation wins in the doubles only to see their opponents clinch the last frame.

Chiangers and Bangers moved up to second place in the league, followed closely by Blue Sky Bar, who bounced back to form after their previous week’s glitch against Out Back by crushing The Wall 7-2 at home; while The Local found few pro-blems in their 6-3 victory against the inconsistent Number 1 Pub.

Both Out Back and La Villa kept in touch with the top by achieving comfortable home wins against Blue Sky Garden and Happy Bar, respectively. And the match between Enjoy Place and Rock Hard Bistro was postponed until the following Thursday.

At one point, it looked as if Half Moon Pub would run away with this season’s title, but fortunes are beginning to fluctuate and there now seems every chance of a close finish at the end of term. Half Moon will be thankful for a 102 game accumulation, as their second placed rivals have only amassed 88.

But watch out for Blue Sky Bar – lurking in third spot, only three points behind the leaders with 97 games won.

In the four seasons that I’ve been associated with the Chiang Mai Pool League there’s been little or no evidence of bad sportsmanship or deliberate cheating. This is highly commendable as the rules of the game tend to raise more questions than answers and any disputes have been normally settled between sides with the utmost diplomacy.

However, I have seen a cue thrown across the table in disgust; and on another occasion a player stormed out of the bar after losing his singles game and didn’t return for the doubles.

Perhaps the worst ever example of bad sportsmanship was recorded in 1925, when the legendary Wille Hoppe met Robert Canne-fax in a world ranking tournament. Using his full repertoire of trick shots and showmanship, Hoppe eased into a comfortable lead before Cannefax complained that the cloth was playing too slow.

Cannefax asked if the match could be moved to a faster table, and when Hoppe refused to entertain the idea, Cannefax drew a penknife and savagely cut the baize they were playing on from top to bottom.

Hoppe was simply awar-ded the match and Cannefax handed a one year ban, but we shouldn’t try something like that in the bars around town, as I think the landlord and a few of his helpers might have something to say about it.



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