As the collective midweek community reached the halfway mark of the End of Year Bowls, Team Hope was hit with a major blow, losing Duff for the remainder of the season due to Max-related reasons – You may have heard he’s been nominated for the Ray Guy Award (Best punter in college football), giving Duff the chance for a free feed and a piss-up in Atlanta next month.
I can see father & son putting on the greatest performance by two Aussies in Atlanta since Kieren Perkins and Dan Kowalski dominated the 1500m freestyle final in 1996.
So, the night started with another edition of the Corner to Corner challenge, this time for all of the ladies in the Midweek bowls, and after Natalie from the CD’s thought she was on for the money, Carlene from The Rippers came through with a jaffer to take the $50 cash prize, after finishing no more than 2 feet from the jack!
Bravo Carlene, on the money with that shot, and that quite literally is the first win the Rippers have had this season.
After the night was over, Kochie noted to me that given it was an all-ladies End To End Challenge, then next week we should have an all-transgender week (As Merv declares himself transgender), followed by an all-male week.
Personally I agree with you Kochie, and that this matter should be taken to the Jedi Council, who will convene their decision to Half Price.
In golf they call days like this ‘Moving Day’, and Wednesday night was no exception for the Twilight Bowls.
The overall honours and the $50 cash went to the gang from the Manning Darts, in this case the Bulls & Arrows, who put +16 on the Rippers, in a bowls lesson that even Graham couldn’t provide.
In a massive result, Marg’s VII handed the unbeaten Lawn Clippings their arses- The Clippings had to pull out a 3 on the last end of the 2nd Set just to snag a point- The Young Guns lost a tiebreaker to The Habibs, who were apparently firing down rockets all night (I’m detecting a Middle Eastern joke in there), and thanks to another win, the other team from the Manning Darts in Team 180 have snuck up to 2nd on the ladder.
With a blowout result on Ten Pin, Missing Moo emerged from the wreckage to take the overall lead with a fortnight to go, as the ladder starts to get reeeeealy close.
Marg’s VII 3 (+1) defeated Lawn Clippings 1 (-1) – 2nd set was 5-5 tie
Team 180 4 (+2) defeated T-Birds 0 (-2)
The Habibs 4 (-2) defeated The Young Guns 2 (+2) – 2-0 in a tiebreaker
(Goodness Gracious) Great Bowls of Fire 4 (+5) defeated Barking Owls 0 (-5)
Bulls & Arrows 4 (+16) defeated Rippers 0 (-16)
GG’s 4 (+8) defeated Babes With Balls 0 (-8)
Missing Moo’s 4 (+10) defeated Ten Pin 0 (-10)
Paul (Bulls n Arrows): “First time ever someone’s got 2 free middies for a toucher- It was hard work, but, first win of the season!”
Kochie (Great Bowls of Fire): “Started very poorly, lost the 1st Powerplay, still came back and won the 1st Set, then won the 2nd Set strongly- Big controversy about the tiebreak system, should only be worth 1 point, not 2!”
Phil, aka Filthy (Missing Moo’s): “We had a couple of stealers, but old Corral from Ten Pin, she’s a dark horse, you don’t know what you’re gonna get- One bowl goes in the gutter, the other sits on the jack, and old Peter, he takes it very seriously- We had history from last year, and he cracked it when I knocked him straight off the jack again. We do like playing Ten Pin, especially when we beat them!”
Brad Coops (Rippers): “We were blindsided by a team that was fairly low on the ladder and we thought we could beat, but they’re absolute sharks and smashed us- Caught us off guard with the Powerplay, and then cleaned up on the drinks- Highlight was Carlene’s win!”
Dougie (Young Guns, Brodie had no comment): “1st Set they were very rocky, they had 6 players, a lot of first time bowlers, and after we won the set we became overconfident, which led to our demise- I left for the 2nd Set and thought we were fine, then I came back and we were losing, and it was really their game from the 3rd end of the 2nd Set- Brodie was BOG for us, he bowled really well.”
So, on to the main entertainment, and without Duff, Team Hope had to call in the services of another No Hope Avenue bedrock in Richard The Gardner, with Wednesday’s opponents being the all-ladies team of The CD’s, compromising of Helen, Natalie, Kelly and Marg, who funnily enough, all knew Richard because of the Manning Primary connection to Rich’s better half, Denise.
It’s a small world after all.
Bowl Colours: JT (Black & green with an easel), Richard (Brown & blue with 3 crowns), Merv (Black & blue with red rose), Nat (Black & orange with a swordfish), Helen (Brown & blue with a kangaroo), Kelly (Black & orange rooster)
1st Set (Team Hope 8-1)
The CD’s won the toss and bowled first, and in a familiar problem to last week, it was a short end, but somehow, it ended with Merv holding, despite his well-known problems with short ends, proving that broken clocks may indeed be right twice a day.
Marg came on for the 2nd End in place of Helen, but she sent 2 bowls into the gutter, and after that, disappeared to thin air and spent the rest of the night watching on…. Did she really exist at all?
I rolled up a long end, and put the CD’s under pressure with a superb first delivery, but then Rich came along and stole my thunder by taking the jack, his second wasn’t too far away either, and with the CD’s not really close, Merv joined in to make it a very comfortably hold of 4 for 5-0.
That delivery turned out to be the first of many touchers for Richard, who despite having the same excuse as Don last week in being 8 months rusty, looked like he’d missed nothing.
The 3rd end was slightly shorter, and after some absolutely gash performances all round, Helen got the CD’s on the board with a backhand.
On the 4th End, with their tails up, the CD’s decided to enforce the powerplay, and Kelly did what very few people have done in the Midweek tournament, and that’s tactically place the mat right in the middle of the T, making it a pretty short end, given where she’d placed the jack.
Commissioner Half-Price could correct me on this, but I think the rules state you can actually place the mat anywhere, so long as it’s on the line, although most people tend to leave the mat a metre or two away from the ‘T’.
After most of us either bowled a touch too short or a touch long, the CD’s looked like holding 2 after Helen took the jack, edging it close to one of Nat’s wide backbowls, but somehow, Merv pulled the finger out from where the sun has probably never shone, and flattened the Kangaroo by half a bowl’s width.
I think that end highlights just how much a match can swing on one delivery – It was on for 5-5 prior to Merv’s shot – It became 6-1 afterwards.
At this point, the Club’s resident poltergeist in Graham decided he’d float over and show the ladies what they were doing wrong, although when it comes to Graham, you just to have to let him stay in your rink and waffle away.
With the No Hopers still having a Powerplay to come on the 5th end, Richard bowled another perfect delivery and took the jack again (His voucher was taken by Merv), then survived the best efforts of Helen, Nat and Kelly (Which were all bloody close) to give the No Hopers another 2, and an 8-1 set win.
The scoreboard probably didn’t reflect it, but those last couple of ends were bloody close.
2nd Set ( CD’s 7-4)
When the 2nd Set began, I thought I’d bowled two pretty good deliveries, but then Kelly stepped up and rolled a shot that managed to wedge le coq between my bowls and the jack.
It still didn’t hold, because Natalie’s swordfish came flying in like Rick Disneck into the pommel horse, and knocked Kelly’s bowl further away from the jack, and left my pair as the first 2 holders.
I think based on what happened over the next half hour, Nat was a few wine glasses short of her best when she fired that down.
With the early lead again, Merv made the call to play the powerplay, and as the skipper I took his advice (Clearly my judgement was impaired), but to call a shovel a shovel, it was a shithouse end from all involved, and all Helen had to was bowl a half-decent bowl and she’d hold, and saving the best for last, she did.
That made it 2-1, but the set-up for the 3rd end from Helen was a mile long, and the jack would end up being placed on the T, which would conceivably give a massive
Helen did end up slightly beating both of my shots (We were both too shallow), but Kelly and Nat were a mile off, which proved a huge problem, and Rich and Merv ended up getting a nice weight on their shots, and pretty easily held 2.
To use the “If your Aunty had balls” line, we probably should have played the Powerplay on that end…. Which ended up being the last end we won all night.
With 2 ends to go, the CD’s had their backs to the wall and decided to go for the powerplay, where a hold of 2 would give them the lead and dump the match on it’s head, but it looked tricky when Rich stuck his nose ahead in a 3 way go with Helen and Nat, with absolutely nothing in it.
For comedic effect, I probably should’ve written “Rich got in a 3 way with Helen and Nat and had success.”
Helen switched up and went for a backhand that definitely held, but Half Price and his trusty tape had to determine the 2nd holder between Rich and Kelly, and much to her delight, Kelly got the 2nd holder, which gave the CD’s their first lead of the night at 5-4, and with an end to come!
So the No Hopers needed to hold at least 1 to get a tied set and end the night, but wouldn’t you know it, Helen and Nat fired down a pair of backhanders that pulled up perfectly, and the CD’s ended up holding 2… again!
At this point I was cussing like Rodney Rude performing the McDonald’s sketch (McShithouse could be a word to describe our last 2 ends), given Team Hope had of course been up 8-1 and 4-1.
But, as the wine (And a few middies) went down, the performance of the CD’s went up, up, up!
Tiebreak (CD’s 2-0)
So for the second week running, it was Tiebreak time.
Helen rolled first and pretty much immediately placed the No Hopers in a world of hurt by finishing up a foot from the jack, my two efforts were putrid, Rich’s were nowhere close, and then Nat added the insurance with another magnificent bowl (Which may very well have held, looking at that angle) and then Merv’s last ditch effort was way too narrow, and it was scarcely believable, but the CD’s had come from the clouds to claim the 4 points!
You know, when an opponent is bowling like their farts could emit a pine scent (As seen above), all you can do is just sit back and let the oncoming truck full of momentum splatter you to all four corners of the continent.
And thus, in the greatest Battle Of The Sexes since the actual Battle Of The Sexes in 1973, the result was exactly the same – A victory for womankind!
Nat’s Post-Game Comments: “Struggled early on with length, but came home very strong and won- As it turns out, it’s not the length that matters, it’s the width- That’s what Merv told me!”
JT’s Captain’s Comment
I said this on Wednesday night, but I’d best compare this match to the Kolkata Test of 2001.
If you don’t know what happened, I’ll summarise.
Steve ‘Tugga’ Waugh’s Australians were going for a record 17 Test victories in a row, he won the toss, batted first and the Aussies scored 445, then bowled India out for the pissy little total of 171, to which Tugga enforced the follow-on, and VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid promptly utterly annihilated the Australian attack for 2 days on end (I’m not kidding), and the Aussies spectacularly lost 6/26 on Day 5 to lose the Test- Only the 3rd time in 124 years that a team had lost enforcing the follow-on.
Funnily enough, Australia lost all 3 times.
In this instance, I’d compare Helen and Kelly to Laxman and Dravid, absolutely belting the crap out of us No Hopers- Nat as Sourav Ganguly- and the follow-on moment was the failed PowerPlay in the 2nd Set.
And once again, because the Tiebreak score doesn’t count on the for/against, it was yet another case of Team Hope winning the night on points, and still coming up short!
So if the maths are correct (Before the tie break system is reviewed by Commissioner Half-Price), the ladder looks like this with 2 games left.
At this stage, the Manning Rippers will be renamed the Gold Coast Rippers and given Picks 1 & 2 for the 2020 Jack Attack Draft.
A Legitimate Gripe
As all of ‘us’ wound down for the night, Kochie made an argument that tiebreakers, despite being 1 end and only requiring 20% of the effort of a normal set, are still worth as much (2 points) as a regular 5-end set, and thus, they should only be worth 1 point.
Considering the rules don’t even count the scores from tiebreakers, plus the fact that the No Hopers have now been dudded twice on Tiebreakers, I’m with you Kochie, although if we had’ve won both, I’d be calling you a deluded yobbo.
In case you’re not sure if No Hope Avenue exists
Categories: Lawn Bowls