Well, Summer is officially here, and while it was boiling on Wednesday afternoon (A lazy 37 degrees), it was scorching on the rinks of Manning Memorial, as the Twilight Bowls competition reached the penultimate round.
As is tradition, the night began with the all-inclusive edition of the Corner to Corner challenge, and despite the disadvantage of stepping up to bowl first, it was Jorge from the GG’s who claimed the $50 cash thanks to Bill Withers… Who just happens to be his teammate!
Merv took part as the representative for Team Hope, and he very nearly became the first Corner to Corner participant to take the jack… But, I said nearly for a reason, so missing the jack by half a foot will go unremembered by everyone.
The word from Richard ‘Half’ Price is that it will be a ‘Spider Challenge’ to finish the season, with AJ sending up his drone to capture a bird’s eye view of the action – Here’s the last edition from earlier in the year!
Goodness Gracious, Great Bowls of Fire took out the night and the $50 with a +21 romp on Adele and the Babes With Balls, who, on the declaration of Half Price, have taken out the best dressed award for the comp, with the coordinated pink and white get-up really befitting of their team name, which is most definitely Balls, not Bowls.
Bravo ladies, although judging by that scorecard it may not be helping your performance.
Looking through the results, and the match of the night was definitely the Top 4 clash between Missing Moo’s and Lawn Clippings on Rink 1.
Keeping it short, The Clippings looked like they were going to run away with the night after a 12-1 opening set, but the Moo’s came back and forced a tiebreak end after a tight 5-2 2nd Set, but Jacky Garbin and his band of tradies came through and prevailed in a tense deciding end, booking their spot in the decider next Wednesday!
Lawn Clippings 4pts (+8) defeated Missing Moo’s 2pts (-8) – 1-0 in a tiebreaker
Habibs 3pts (+5) defeated Marg’s VII 1pt (-3)- 2nd Set was a 3-3 draw
Barking Owls 4pts (+8) defeated Rippers 0 (-8)
GG’s 4pts (+2) defeated Bulls & Arrows 2pts (-2) – 1-0 in a tiebreaker
Team 180 4pts (+8) defeated CD’s 0 (-8)
T-Birds 4pts (+7) defeated Ten Pin 0 (-7)
Great Bowls Of Fire 4pts (+21) defeated Babes With Balls (-21)
Select Captain’s Comments
Jacky Garbin & Jake, Lawn Clippings: “1st set we couldn’t miss, 2nd set it was an arm wrestle, we both went the powerplay on the last end and their last bowl got in, then in the tiebreak it was a good head, Goose had the jack, our second-last bowl got the shot, and their last shot knocked a bowl up just short.”
Shaun, Missing Moo’s: “Lawn Clippings are one of the best teams, they killed us in the 1st Set, but we gave them a good run and pushed it to a tiebreak – They took a short end with a long mat thanks to a 3rd party, so it was hard to judge the distance, and we got done.”
“Presto went well, Phil came into his own after his 3rd pint, Amy bowled reasonably well again, and we saw Goose chatting up the bartender.”
Kochie, Great Bowls Of Fire: “Outstanding start, it was a 12-0 1st Set, 2nd Set we didn’t win our powerplay, but still won every other end – Great team effort, still hate 2 points for the tiebreaker.”
Brad Coops, Rippers: “True to form, the Rippers came out firing with a couple of strong ends, but fatigue kicked in, and we kept up our uncanny knack of picking the worst time to play our powerplay.”
Aaron, Team 180: “The opposition (CD’s) were upstanding, they were just unlucky on a few ends, thanks to our stars Mick and Peggy – Between them, they carry everybody.”
Team Hope vs the Young Guns
On to the feature presentation, and this week’s edition of the adventures of Team Hope pitted your anti-heroes up against the Young Guns, who are all good supporters of my appalling work; The honorary No Hopers Brodie and Dougie, plus Joshy Damargo, and Australia’s answer to Anderson Silva, Liam Hoskin, who could probably snap me in half with a click of his fingers.
Richard The Gardner was kind enough to waste another Wednesday evening to drag yours truly and Merv along, and once again, thanks very much Richie.
Prior to this edition of the midweek bowls, the pipe dream was that it would be Team Hope and the Young Guns battling it out for the title, just as it had been during the last Jack Attack, but thus, it was just another game between two teams caught in the logjam.
Bowl Colours: JT (Black & Blue Bells), Rich (Brown & Blue Bells), Merv (Black, Blue, Red Rose), Brodie (The Freaky Looking Blue) Josh/Liam (Black, Kangaroo), and Doug…
Fancy that, the Illuminati made it on to a pair of bowls.
1st Set (7-1 Team Hope)
At the coin toss, the Young Guns called heads, which was one of their few wins all night, and Doug’s original roll of the jack was what I’d abbreviate to a PPP, so he rolled it again, and it was a long end to begin the night.
Doug played lead for the first end, and he ended up in the ditch, while I was hopelessly short, but with the benefit of hindsight, the moment I managed to pull this off with my second bowl of the night, the Young Guns should have just packed up and gone home.
The pain increased when Richard took a wide line and rolled in to the head, sitting right behind the jack, in line with the T, increasing the hold to 2 shots.
A superb start for the No Hopers, and it was a lead they wouldn’t relinquish at any stage in the night.
After a bit of a stinker of a 2nd end, Merv was holding one thanks to his first shot, and then on his second shot, managed to nail his line and length, disturbing the head by knocking the jack down to one of Richard’s back bowls with the equivalent of a human shield blocking the line from a potential missile from Brodie.
Different end, same result, 2 shots to Team Hope, and just like that, the score had blown out to 4-0.
With his team in an early hole, Brodes took the powerplay on the 3rd end, but his team felt the heat from Rich and Merv again, and even though he did come in with a pretty darn good backhand delivery that only just missed the jack, it couldn’t stop the No Hopers from making it a hat-trick of holds to start the night.
Before the 4th End, the Young Guns made a substitution, calling in Liam off the steel pine to replace Josh, as the No Hopers decided to take the Powerplay with a 5 shot cushion.
Thanks to another FIGJAM delivery, yours truly managed to get the job done, just holding off Brodes, who produced another really solid delivery on his forehand, that once again just missed.
1 became 2, and the set was done and dusted at 7-0.
On the final end, the Young Guns finally had some joy thanks to Liam conjuring up a moment of glory from nowhere, managing to beat my first shot with a magnificent bowl, that managed to sit dead on the jack without moving it off the centre line – You’d run out of superlatives just by looking at it.
It turned out to be the only end the Young Guns won for the night, and I think that fact summed up the difference between the teams- The younguns had to be perfect just to win one end.
Still, nobody got close to beating that shot, and thus, Liam prevented a 1st Set shutout, the Young Guns had the jack to start the 2nd Set, but Team Hope was well on top.
2nd Set (9-0 Team Hope)
Going back to the conditions, and even as the sun set, we were all sweating it out- Checking the BOM, it was still 26 degrees and creeping up to 50% humidity at 7:30, which does explain why some seemingly good shots were ending up well short.
I imagine there are people in Queensland reading about this and describing those conditions as hoodie weather.
After everyone took a ‘refreshment’ break, the 2nd Set got underway, and Richard was straight back to business, rolling down another pair of inch perfect bowls that the Young Guns had no response to, and just like in the 1st Set, the opening end was a hold of 2.
On the 2nd End, the Young Guns rolled the dice and took the powerplay, and it was looking like the scores were about to be tied, with Brodie holding after a sweet backhand delivery which beat everything Team Hope sent down…
But bowling as the skip, Dougie impersonated Shoaib Akhtar steaming in off the WACA boundary rope, and his narrow shot only succeeded in belting one of my short bowls in enough to beat Pricey’s shot!
I can distinctly remember the CD’s made the same mistake last weekend – The only difference this time around was that Doug made the fatal error of doing it on his own team’s powerplay.
It was like Chris Scott dropping Brian Lara on 18… he only went on to make 501.
So that unforced error made it 3-0, and with the powerplay gone, the Young Guns were pushing manure uphill to have any chance of forcing a tiebreak.
On the 3rd end, Rich continued his merciless performance, by conjuring up another perfect bowl that nudged the jack… again.
Not even 10 seconds after that happened, AJ blew his whistle to give a beer voucher to the next toucher.
How Mr Gardner carried on after that hammer blow is a testament to his character.
So Team Hope ended up holding 2 on that end, with Merv edging out Brodie in a photo finish, and yet, I’ve got no idea what happened to Doug’s bowl to the left- One minute it was the second shot, then it appears Brodie, bowling as the skip, tried taking out the holder with a GTA-style drive by, but only managed to eliminate Doug.
With a 5-0 another lead, Team Hope kept the powerplay in hand until a long 4th end, and while everyone either bowled jack high, or shorter than Frank Forde’s time in office, Merv’s last shot just nudged out Doug, in what was Doug’s best delivery of the night, but summing up the fortunes of the Young Guns, it just wasn’t enough.
So it was game set and match at 7-0 with an end to play, and with the pressure off, yours truly and Merv fared best on another of my long ends, while the Young Guns decided to keep going for broke, firing down rockets in an effort to disrupt the head, which could very well have been a tribute to Bob Willis, but they couldn’t replicate Bob breaking Rick McCosker’s jaw in 1977, sending some 4 shots into the ditch.
Another hold of 2 to the No Hopers, who had well and truly made the Young Guns look like the Young Spuds.
Final Result: Team Hope 4pts (+15) defeated Young Guns 0 (-15)
The summary of the match for the Young Guns reads like a cheap sex gag – Bent over by a Dick.
Alternatively, you could replace ‘Bent over’ with a word that sounds like ‘Routed’.
By some distance, that was Team Hope’s best performance of the season – 9/10 ends won, a perfect 2nd Set, and the terrible trio all had their moments, especially Richard, who had half a mind of not coming, but bloody hell, I’m glad he did.
During the drive down from the Avenue of No Hope, I recall him telling me the key was putting the pressure on early during ends, something the CD’s did with great success last week.
Wouldn’t you know it, the moment some of those shots went down and held, the beads of sweat that had appeared on the faces of the Young Guns started turning into Rafa-style sweat waterfalls.
After the game, Half Price gave me a yarn that Brodie had asked him to take his things home, because he was off to see a comedy show.
Pricey responded that he’d just seen the early show.
So with just a week to come, the ladder sits like this:
The Rippers well on course to be relegated to Mount Lawley.
Being the final round, next week’s fixtures will be decided by ladder position – The Manning Darts crew of Team 180 take on the Lawn Clippings in the Heavyweight Social Bowls Championship of Manning Memorial, Team Hope and Missing Moo’s will have a rematch for 3rd place, and then you’ll have the minnows battling it out in the minor playoffs.
And I can report that Kochie’s lobbying to change the tiebreak points has been successful – Next Wednesday, a tiebreak end is worth only 1 point.
Fancy that – Our Kochie gets more things done than the actual Kochie.
Categories: Lawn Bowls