Since midweek bowls returned with success last week, the crew at the Manning Darts entered two teams into the comp, forcing Pricey to make some revisions to the fixture, pitting Team Hope up against last week’s overall winners, the T-Birds.
The Overall Night
The overall winners for the night were The Habibs at +13 against CD’s, which I can put down to the Habibs being buoyed by the return of Fat Pizza to our TV screens, but funnily enough, they’d all left by the time Pricey made the announcement, so they didn’t pick up the $50 cash.
It was a very even night, with half the matches ending in 1 point overall margins, while 2 matches had sets end in ties, 3 matches went to tiebreakers, and 3 teams ended up winning, despite being in the negative overall!
One funny moment I found out about involved the matches on rinks 1 & 2, with Adele, skipper of the Babes with Balls (Definitely not Bowls), and someone from either the Manning Rippers or the Great Bowls of Fire.
According to Pricey, they’ve bowled at the same time from opposite ends, with both shots managing to perfectly cross underneath each other like ships in the night, and capping off the hilarity, they’ve both finished barely a foot from their respective jacks!
I suppose it’s one of those things that you just had to see to believe…. like Boony’s 52 cans to London.
Scoring= 2 points for a set win, 1 for a tie
(Goodness Gracious) Great Bowls Of Fire 3 (+1) defeated Manning Rippers 1 – 1st Set was a 6-6 tie
Babes With Balls 4 (-1) defeated Bulls & Arrows 2 (+1) – 1-0 in a tiebreaker
GG’s 4 (+10) defeated Barking Owls 0
Missing Moo 4 (-1) defeated Marg’s V11 2 (+1)- 1-0 in a tiebreaker
Habibs 4 (+13) defeated CD’s 0
Ten Pin 4 (-1) defeated Team 180 (+1) – 1-0 in a tiebreaker
Lawn Clippings 3 (+7) defeated Young Guns 1 – 2nd Set was a 3-3 tie
Hopefully we can get a few more comments, and once again, I actively endorse any captain to slag off their opponents, in the spirit of this social event.
Brodie Price (Young Guns)- “They were missing their best player, we had 2 on the Power Play, and then they cannoned one, and it landed inch perfect- Cost us the game!”
Team Hope vs The T-Birds
With Kochie sitting this one out (I think he was playing with the Great Bowls Of Fire), the T-Birds lineup consisted of Loose Bruce, who looked a tad like Kochie, young Jamie, and Chris, who could make an absolute killing going to dress-ups as Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I’m a tad disappointed he didn’t give me a Stone Cold Stunner.
During the last edition of Jack Attack, the T-Birds were the only team to defeat Team Hope, and they’ve always been a constant since I first took part in the Bowls at the end of 2017, so it’s always good to see a few familiar faces.
During the warm-up with Duff, we were getting nothing, until I suddenly rolled a shorter end, and managed to pull a bigger miracle than Tiger’s putt on the 16th at Augusta in 2005.
In accordance with Midweek Bowls tradition, having used up my good deliveries in the warm-up, it was all downhill from there.
1st Set (5-1 Team Hope)
The T-Birds won the toss and bowled first, but Merv’s last shot was enough to hold 1 to kick off the night, and on the 2nd end, Duff and myself managed to hold 2 after everyone else was bowling hopelessly shallow, and against my really low expectations, the No Hopers were up 3-0.
Funnily enough, that was the only end for the night where either team held at least 2 shots.
Still using Choc Walker’s bowls on what could be a permanent loan, Duff managed to fire down another ripsnorter on the 3rd end, finding a line and length that managed to rebound off his first shot, nudge the jack, and stop pretty much dead on it, which made it a hat-trick of holds for the No Hopers to start the night.
I suppose the Choc & Duff situation is like how I gave one of my colour changing belts to Stewie Hepburn 10 months ago for a trip to Claremont, which I haven’t seen since.
I just want you to know Stewie, I’ll be calling in your debt on that belt.
With their backs to the wall, the T-Birds went for broke and pulled out the PowerPlay, and after myself and Duff bowled like a wet fart in an elevator, it looked like Chris and Loose Bruce were going to hold and the tie the scores, but Merv fired a backhand on his last shot that managed to beat out Loose Bruce by a bee’s dick, nullifying the PP to make it 5-0, and pretty much set over.
With the powerplay gone, the T-Birds only had to hold all 6 shots on the last end to take the 1st Set, which, as Richie Benaud once said when Sri Lanka needed 36 an over to win after a rain delay, was “Not an impossible task, but pretty close to it.”
It was pretty much over straight away, but Chris did prevent the shutout by holding on the last end, making it a 5-1 set to Team Hope, but the T-Birds would have the jack to start the 2nd.
2nd Set (4-2 Team Hope)
As the 2nd Set got underway, Duff managed to take the jack again, but was once again denied a free handle because AJ hadn’t blown his whistle.
It had the effect of screwing with everyone’s line, but as a result, it knocked the jack closer to a shot that I’d originally put too much weight on, but it wasn’t to be, as Jamie, who could very well be the youngest bowler in the Midweek playing ranks, had a clear look on his forehand side, and got an ideal weight on his shot to give the T-Birds the opening hold.
Chris held next with the opening shot of the 2nd end, and at that point, the T-Birds were 2-0 up and taking flight, and starting to get some very solid momentum behind their comeback!
On the 3rd end though, the man who could be Stone Cold managed to make the comedic error that quite a few people make on a Wednesday Night- Bowling with the wrong bias, and nearly taking the jack on Rink 4.
We were only bowling on Rink 6.
To cover his shame, we gave Chris another crack, and he made the most of it by firing down a nice beginner, but Duff would deny him by getting the No Hopers on the board for 2-1.
I originally thought we were holding 2 thanks to Merv, but once again, I think we got Pricey on his bad ear, there was no tape measure, so it stayed at 1.
In a carbon copy of the 1st Set, the T-Birds went for the Power Play on the 4th end, and despite me being the only bowler to fire a shot into the ditch, Merv’s last shot once again denied Loose Bruce a hold, tying the scores at 2 apiece!
Despite my lack of leader in holding off the powerplay until the last end, it was pretty straightforward mathematics- Whoever held won the set.
When it mattered most, Duff’s last shot of the night was a beauty, finishing barely a foot short of the jack, and then, we all watched as Loose Bruce stepped up, and rolled down a cracker that missed out on holding by barely half a foot.
Merv’s last shot was right on the money as well, but Jamie would have the last say in an effort to keep the T-Birds alive, but his shots just didn’t have the legs, and they both joined the soiree to the left of the jack, but for some reason, Duff was happy just taking the holder, even though Merv’s bowl was actually ahead- Not that I argued, because either way, the No Hopers had won.
Now Duff, I hope you get a look at that photo, because I’m dead sure the edge of Merv’s bowl was slightly ahead.
Still, it’s ancient history.
So it was another win for the No Hopers, but that said, it was a very close match, evidenced by the fact that there was several ends with next to nothing in it, and also both teams only held 1 on every end of that 2nd Set.
It really was a game of inches in every sense of the word.
Once again, special mentions to Duff, who will be unavailable next week due to golfing related commitments (There’s no I in team Duff), and Merv, who bowled with the pressure of knowing that his attempt at a mullet will be forcibly removed on Friday evening at Manning Tennis Club- All for a good cause, of course!
I’d say my performance as skipper was like Tim Paine- Good leadership, not much else.
Categories: Lawn Bowls