By Paolo Zupp
The North Queensland under-twelve lawn bowls team has prevailed against Islamic State in a thrilling final in Killeagh, Ireland to win the prestigious World Cup in Lawn Bowls.
Coach of the Under 12 NQ Monarchs, Rob Parella, was visibly proud of his team who, after earlier surviving a tense extra-end playoff with Tunisia, went through the tournament undefeated, with wins against Yemen, Uzbekistan and the Faroe Islands. Conversely, the hopeless Australian team crashed out in the qualifiers, losing to Andorra and New Zealand.
“This win makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it,” said an emotional Parella. “All the early mornings, and the broccoli. These kids have overcome such adversity to get this win, and it tastes so sweet. Having home-rink advantage certainly helped, but we were the best team on the day. The Tunisians were the favourites coming in, but the track was probably a bit grassier than what they are used to.”
Assistant coach, Ian ‘Shoey’ Schuback was critical of the strategy employed by the Islamic State team. “They just fucking drove at everything,” he said. “There wasn’t a draw-shot to be seen. The poor kitty really copped a bruising. It’s almost like they knew nothing about bias. Fortunately, we’ve got some pretty capable ramblers and blockers and young Murchison is pinpoint on the finger-peg. With that talent, the IS Camels never stood a chance using their ridiculous tactics.”
Coach Parella bristled at the suggestion that the tournament was a thinly veiled attempt by Islamists to exercise some soft-power in the expansive world of lawn-bowls. “In our community we don’t judge a bowler by the colour of his creams, we judge a bowler by ability to draw the shot. There’s been a lot of talk about their motivation for being here, but I can spot taqiyya when I see it and in this case there’s no need to bring out the callipers. Their kids might be wearing the black thawb but they are bowls-crazy, and that’s good enough for me.”
It was the second World Cup win by the Monarchs, and sights have already been set on defending the title in Mosul, Iraq next year.