Lawn Bowls

Manning Twilight Bowls Review: 6th November

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Another thrilling night of grown men and women playing with bowls


Due to overwhelming popular demand following the raging success of last summer’s Jack Attack tournament, Richard ‘Half’ Price organised an end of year edition of everyone’s favourite Wednesday night bowls, and a pretty good 14 teams (Featuring plenty of familiar faces) were formed on relatively short notice!

Without The Rocket and Richard the Gardner due to work related commitments, the new-look Team Hope lineup consisted of skipper JT, Merv The Swerve with his heavy bowls, and John ‘Duff’ Duffy, father of renowned Kentucky punter Max Duffy, the unofficial best punter in College Football.

True story- Last year, we all went to Thornlie to contest the Bowls WA Community Shield.

The only thing I remember was that me and Merv befriended a dwarf.

The Overall Night

At the suggestion of Pricey, after the success of last summer’s reports, I’ve made an effort to include more of the teams involved in the comp.

With a score of +13 on the poor old Great Bowls Of Fire (Goodness gracious!), the T-Birds, skippered by a bloke known only as Kochie, due to his resemblance to one David Koch, won the night on a countback from Lawn Clippings, which ultimately came down to the tiebreaker of ends won.

One of the highlights of the night was the Young Guns vs the Babes With BALLS (Definitely not Bowls) -The Young Guns looked like they were going to absolutely blow the Babes off the rink after the 1st Set, only for the match to go to a tiebreak when the Babes produced their bowls and frightened the boys in that 2nd set, which was decided by a stellar effort from one B.Price to produce the holding shot, which I believe he even captured on tape, and enjoyed for the rest of the night.

Hopefully in some of the other editions, I’ll be able to get a few ‘Captain’s Comments’ on each team’s performance.

I imagine most of them will be “Bowled like shizenhousen”.

First up, Team Hope took on the GG’s, some of Half Price’s Golfing associates- Ian, Broady, Bill with his Mollydookers, Jorge (Pronounced George), the Zimbabwean from Portugal, and Crawf, who proved to be the second bloke nicknamed Crawf to carry the hopes of an entire team, following on from Shane Crawford at Hawthorn in the early 2000s.

They also had Brighty, who ultimately decided just to sit back, neck a few and enjoy the show, which to be fair, is what I did watching the Scorchers last season.

Minus the enjoyment.

Most of the fellas were also relatively new to bowls, so let’s just say some of their shots ended up in the gutter.

Of the opposite rinks.

As Broady predicted to us after the coin toss, this contest looked like heading the way of Australia vs Sri Lanka, and to be honest, I completely agreed with him.

1st Set (5-3 Team Hope)

Despite looking like they were going to be the Bangladeshi bowling attack against Jason Gillespie, the GG’s gave themselves a superb start, holding 2, thanks to some well weighted deliveries from Ian and Crawf, as everyone was bowling like the equivalent of a racehorse coming in 1st up off a long spell.

Quite possibly Ian firing down on the opening end, as Merv is definitely not sticking his head up Ian’s arse

Duff got us on the board to reduce the deficit to 2-1, and on the 3rd end, I was able to whip down my best delivery of the night, finding the perfect balance between power and line, taking the jack, and somehow not getting a free beer voucher from Pricey.

Fair to say my confidence was shattered at the thought of not getting a free handle.

From what I remember, we were originally holding 4 on that end, and looking like blowing the set out of the water, but Crawf came to the rescue like Steve Smith after another top order collapse, and managed to reduce the damage to just two, still giving the No Hopers a 3-2 lead.

I’m still waiting for that handle, Pricey.

Sensing the kill, we made a collective decision to use the powerplay on the 4th end, but I bowled like a busted arse, and Crawf pulled off another really smooth shot, finishing a foot from the jack to tie the scores up at 3-3, and thus, despite having a powerplay up their sleeve, it was pretty simple- Whoever held the final end would win the set.

To be honest, I think the GG’s missed a trick there- They could have played the powerplay as well, led 4-3 after the 4th, and put us under more pressure than a Commonwealth Bank board member facing a Royal Commission.

The final end turned into an anti-climax, as a combined No Hope effort delivered the knockout punch by holding 3, as Duff managed to deliver a deadset beauty of a bowl that knocked the jack straight into one of my bowls, which I thought I’d originally slightly overcooked.

Merv added one of his own, and it was 6-3 to the No Hopers, and while the outcome was predictable, the GG’s weren’t disgraced for a bunch of newcomers.

2nd Set (7-1 Team Hope)

As the night got cooler, the bowls began flying through to the gutter, and the GG’s made a team change, as Bill and Ian headed to the steel pine for a few cold ones, after a night that didn’t elicit too many memories, and on came Broady and Jorge, who was coming in colder than a nun’s nasty on debut, still unsure what bias he had to use.

‘George’ rolls down his first of the night

After a good one from Duff got us on the board to start the 2nd Set, the GG’s hit back on the second end, as Broady and Merv both fired shots which ended up no more than two feet from the jack, and as we deliberated without a measuring tape available- Pricey’s had conveniently broken- Merv ultimately decided in the interests of good sportsmanship to give the GG’s the hold, which I was in no position to argue against.

It turned out to be the only end the GG’s won for the 2nd Set.

As Duff stayed back to have a chat to Brighty and Ian, Merv and myself took the powerplay with the set in the balance, but the GG’s decided to keep their powder dry and put the impetus on us, which backfired when Duff strolled back up, and rolled down a beauty that took the jack (Again), as I somehow held the second on a pretty piss poor end, giving the No Hopers a 5-1 lead.

When you look at the exploits of Max punting for the Wildcats, you can see that accuracy runs in the Duffy family.

Staring defeat down the barrel of a 2 gauge shotgun, the GG’s enforced their powerplay on the 4th end, but thanks to me setting up another long, they never really got close to pegging the gap, and either one of Duff or Merv managed to hold and made the score 6-1.

Needing to hold all 6 bowls to force a tiebreak, it was never really on, and The Swerve, equipped with his Ducati hat, capped off the night by denying Jorge the glory of holding for an end on his debut, with his second to last delivery claiming the hold by a foot, making the 2nd set scoreline a relatively simple 7-1 win to the No Hopers.

Like Dovi stealing a win from Marc Marquez on the last corner

Overall, a very solid start for the team representing the most useless strip of bitumen in Perth, with all three of us contributing and overcoming our many deficiencies, even if we were playing the social bowls equivalent of the Gold Coast Suns, and if Crawf wasn’t there, well, it would have looked like the bowls equivalent of this.

Categories: Lawn Bowls

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