Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack: Team Hope vs The Young Guns (FINAL)

What a great night, 21 degrees, no humidity and barely any wind.

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Another Jack Attack season reached it’s thrilling ending on Wednesday night, and thanks to a bit of draw rigging, everyone got the best possible matchup to settle proceedings- a winner-take-all deathmatch for the title and the $400 Grand Prize between 1ST PLACED TEAM HOPE AND THE 2ND PLACED YOUNG GUNS.

Myself and the Don (Not so much Richie) were personally familiar with the Young Guns, who were led by two honorary residents of No Hope Avenue in Doug and Brodie (Both great fans of my Sporting Reviews and thanks very much for being onboard), plus Steve, a left hander to match The Don (Also responsible for dragging their average age from 20 to 29), and special guest bowler Liam Hoskin, who won his first amateur MMA bout a fortnight ago!

To say I was crapping myself with excitement before this one is an understatement- The winner would take the $400 cash prize, while the loser would drop to 3rd with Missing Moo playing Ten Pin (The winner was guaranteed at least 2nd), and take only $100 between them.

It all set up for another superb evening at Manning Memorial, and for once it wasn’t bloody humid.

1st Set- Young Guns 10-4

Dougie begins proceedings (Photo: Jason Titheradge)

The Young Guns won the toss and bowled first, but it turned out to be a pretty timid opening to the match from both teams, and in the end one of Don’s mollydookers must have ended up holding, because The Hopers led 1-0.

Steve and Doug then hit back on the 2nd, holding 2 to send the Young Guns into the lead at 2-1, followed by the Hopers fighting back on the 3rd end, holding 3 to go up 4-2, in what Don claims was the only end where he actually held a shot (He could be right, because his line and length hovered between putrid and bog average all night)

Liam was then subbed in for The Young Guns, but he appeared to be struggling with his length and wasn’t making an impact on the scoreboard, so it was left to Doug and Brodie (As per usual) to do the damage, and they pulled out two pearlers when it looked like the Hopers were going to hold, holding 2 to tie up proceedings at 4-4 after 4 ends.

Since it was tied with an end to play, both teams agreed to Mutually Assured Destruction- Powerplay end versus Powerplay end, because whoever held would win the set regardless.

The momentum the Young Guns took from winning the 4th end was telling, as the powerplay-off was a one-sided romp, with the trio of Doug, Brodie and Steve nailing their line and length, which left us Hopers coughing up dust- The Young Guns held 3 to make it 6, and took the 1st Set 10-4.

If I could describe Doug and Brodie’s line and length throughout the 1st set, it was at the very least on par with Glenn Donald McGrath.

And Steve? Well, he bowled.

In my post-match analysis, I’d say it definitely felt like the Young Guns were more dangerous when they had that trio on the rink, since it was 2 right handers and a leftie, which was a perfect match for Team Hope, despite what the results of the next set would say.

2nd Set- Team Hope 6-3

Liam sends one down at trademark speed (Photo: Jason Titheradge)

According to Dougie, the Young Guns hadn’t won a second set all tournament, and at first I didn’t believe him considering they were 2nd on the ladder, but it turned out he wasn’t wrong.

The 1st end had Team Hope off to a flyer, holding 3 (One from each bowler), but as the Powerplay showed it was still a nothing lead.

The 2nd end was pretty boring, and the Hopers held one thanks to Rich, who knocked out one of Steve’s to extend the lead to 4-0.

Then ahead of the 3rd, there came a spanner in the works as Don tossed the jack down while I was writing the scores, which set up another long end.

You may be named The Don, but next time can you bloody wait thanks?

It was on this end that Liam pulled out his best performance of the night, with both bowls landing not even two feet from the jack (For someone so inexperienced he had his moments), after a nervous wait, it was his first delivery that ended up holding (Not after the judge’s measuring tape came out) by a bee’s diaphragm from The Don, as Rich ended up behind the holder by an inch, just to rub it in.

In an effort to build on the momentum, the Young Guns took the powerplay on the 4th end and set up yet another long end, but their efforts were ‘stymied’ by Don and Rich, who ended up holding 2 as most of us yet again struggled to find our line and length.

Leading 6-1 heading into the final end, most of the dirty work was done for the Hopers, but Dougie and Brodie are no slouches and they only had to hold a lazy 5 to tie it.

To quote the 12th Man, “Not an impossible task, but pretty ____in’ close to it.”

My bowls were hopelessly shallow (Yet again) as Liam held 2, then Brodie chipped in and was right on the mark, but Don came in and restricted the hold to 2.

So, Brodie and Liam revved up Dougie and told him to aim for Don’s bowl, located just to the left of the jack, which would require a superb backhand bowl.

And you wouldn’t believe it if I wrote it, but Dougie bloody nailed it and smacked Don into the gutter, and the delivery was so good that if he’d bowled it again with his eyes closed, it would have ended up in the exact same spot.

So as you can see below, the Young Guns were holding 4 and it seriously looked like they were going to pull off a bowling miracle.

Not even my shadow could stop the Young Guns’ brilliance here.

But that was as close as it got, with Rich getting one in to keep it to 2, and reducing what looked like a major heart attack to a minor murmur.

Team Hope had tied things up with a 6-3 set win, and it was appropriate that the title would be decided in yet another TIEBREAKER.

The Tiebreaker- Team Hope 1-0

Steve rolled another long end to set up the tiebreak, and he did bowl a good one first up, but it was yours truly who pulled the bowl of the night out of his arse (A direct quote from my winner’s speech), getting the line just right, starting in the next rink and ripping back to narrowly miss the jack.

If Doug and Brodie were bowling like Glenn Donald McGrath, then I was ripping them back like Shane Keith Warne on leg stump all night.

Speaking of cricket, we were all somewhat focused on how the Aussies were going over in India- the Aussies were 9-276 after 50 overs, with Ussie Khawaja scoring another century. Great stuff.

Now, back to the bowls.

As the rest of the shots either sailed into the gutter (Doug started his too wide), ended up as back bowls (The Don) or fell short, Brodie was left to try and pull out something out of his backside, if there was anything left in there- and he nearly got his first one inch perfect, but it ended up rolling just short and actually took Steve’s out.

His last gap effort ended up being too narrow, so Rich didn’t even bother to risk bowling the last delivery, as Team Hope had won yet another thriller, and the 2019 Jack Attack Title to boot.

It must have been a pretty bitter middy of Swanny D to wash down for the Young Guns, because they actually won the night 13-11 on scores.

FINAL SCORES: TEAM HOPE WINS 4-10, 6-3, 1-0 (Tiebreak)

In the end, another team effort got the Hopers over the line (Between myself, The Don and Richie I honestly can’t pick a standout), and in the end it was fitting that the title was decided in a tiebreak between two evenly matched teams.

On par with Adam Scott’s winning Masters scorecard.


1st- Team Hope 22 points (+17)

2nd- Missing Moo 20 points (+66 or possibly more)

3rd- The Young Guns 20 points (+8)

It turned out that our win against Missing Moo in Week 1 decided the title.


For the second time in the 4-year history of Jack Attack, the title heads back to No Hope Avenue!

A big thanks to Aj and Andy at the Manning Bowls Club for putting on the comp, to all the people/teams who came down and made it a superb Wednesday night every week- I’ve been a part of Jack Attack since the end of 2017 and it’s the competition and and laughs (Plus the handles of Swanny D) that keep me coming back.

To my astute teammates ‘The Don’ and Richie, who said he’d only play if we won the bloody thing, it appears we did win the bloody thing, and last but not least, thanks to Richard Price for giving me the idea to write up a report every week- I wish I’d done it sooner!

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