Typical Stinkin’ Hot Day at Manning Memorial for the last night of bowls for 2019 – Not only was it 36 degrees with the sun beating down at 6 frikking’ o’clock, which made it hard to see the yellow line, but out of nowhere, a fairly big Easterly kicked in from some part of the desert, creating another challenge for all the bowlers, which is only fitting, since Manning Memorial is located on Challenger Ave.
Before I get stuck into the report, a few thanks are in order – First of all, to Richard ‘Half’ Price for organising the comp – It was in very good hands thanks to the self-appointed Minister for Leisure, to AJ and the good folk at the Manning Eagles for helping out once again, to my trusty teammates Merv and Richard (Especially for filling in for the last 3 weeks), and to everyone who took part and read my reports – It’s always bloody good fun venturing down and seeing everyone on a Wednesday, and it keeps me coming back!
The Spider Challenge
The Panoramic View… which was too big to fit in here!
The last of the $50 challenges was another spectacular edition of the Spider Challenge, as everyone lined up along all four corners of the green to take a pot shot at the jack in the centre.
In between the sea of feet, Judge Half-Price took late interference into account, and thus, special guest bowler Jim from the T-Birds took the cash, which was somewhat remarkable, because he’d flown in from Old Blighty! (Quick note: This may or may not be correct, but hell, I’m sticking with it.)
Unfortunately, AJ didn’t have his drone to get a Bird’s Eye recording – One can only assume it was shot down by an angry resident from The Cloisters at some point over the last 10 months.
Overall Results (Drumroll please…)
First up, the Grand Final between the Lawn Clippings and Team 180, and The Twilight Bowls Champions for 2019 – Who were undoubtedly the best performed team all season…
A big win for Jack, Goose and the retiring champ Timmy, and including the Jack Attack tournaments, this was their 4th (Or possibly their 5th) crack at winning the big one, so this title gives them a better strike rate than Kim Beazley at Federal Elections.
Bravo fellas, $300 for first prize, and after assessing the state of Timmy’s work gear, Merv suggested that if the Clippings win the next Jack Attack competition, their prize should be a washing machine.
Despite the defeat to the champs, Team 180’s first attempt at swapping the darts for bowls resulted in a very good 2nd place, and I’ll have to give a spoiler alert here- Missing Moo’s did beat Team Hope into the Bronze Medal position, as you’ll read below.
Outside of the Grand Final, the other big result came from Rink 1- The Rippers may have been welded on to the wooden spoon, but they had a major breakthrough (With help from the Young Guns loaning them bowlers), winning their first set for the tournament!
They may have lost the tiebreak, but that breakthrough was enough to earn them the title of ‘Most Improved’ in Pricey’s Choice Awards, and after the torture the Coops have been through this season, they bloody well earned that.
An honourable mention as well to the ladies from the CD’s – I had a check of the score in the 2nd set, and after winning the 1st, they were down 1-7 to the Marg’s VII after 3 ends…. but came back to tie it 7-7 and win the match!
As Team Hope found out, when Helen, Nat and Kelly catch lighting in a bottle, they can seriously make the most of it.
As always, tiebreakers aren’t counted towards the differential.
Rink 1: Ten Pin 4(+4) defeated Lawn Clippings 2 – 1-0 in a tiebreaker
Rink 2: Babes With Balls 4(-1) defeated Barking Owls 2(+1) – Babes won 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Rink 3: Great Bowls of Fire 4(+4) defeated Habibs 0
Rink 4: Missing Moo 4(-1) defeated Team Hope 2(+1) – 1-0 in a tiebreaker
Rink 5 (THE GRAND FINAL): Lawn Clippings 4(+9) defeated Team 180 0
Rink 6: CD’s 3(+2) defeated Marg’s VII 1 – 2nd Set was a 7-7 tie
Rink 7: GG’s 4(+2) defeated T-Birds 2 – 2-0 in a tiebreaker
Rink 8: Young Guns 3 (+8) defeated Bulls & Arrows 1 – 1st Set was a 7-7 tie
Jacky Garbin, Lawn Clippings: “It was a tussle – The 1st Set was 2-1 with 2 ends to go, but we had a big final end to take it, then in the 2nd Set we dropped 3 on the first end, me and the coach had a word and realised we just had to hold 1 on each end to win – We got 2 on the next end, they held for 4-2, we held for 3-4 with an end to come, and I bowled like shit until the last end, but I got 2 in the head, and we held 3 (A powerplay made it 6) to win.”
“I’d like to say thanks Team 180 for a great game, thanks Pricey and AJ, and thanks everyone!”
Tim, Lawn Clippings: “It’s always good to retire on top, a good bowler always knows when to put the bowls away, and I leave it up to the new Captain/Coach Jack Garbin, and I wish everyone the best of luck in 2020 – I’d like to thanks the Manning Eagles for everything, and thanks Jase for doing the reports – Greatly appreciated.”
Harry, Team 180: “Finished 2nd, the best performers all season beat us in the final, Mick and Peggy carried us again, against some very smooth opposition.”
Kochie, Great Bowls of Fire: “Good result, wind was difficult, as for the season, we could have been better – We’ve got plans for next year, I think it would be great to play on the grass next season with extra teams.”
Carleen & Brad Coops, Manning Rippers: “The Rippers saved the best for last, the Young Guns filled in for us, rotating a different player in on every end, and we won the 2nd Set, the first set we’ve won all year to give us Most Improved, I hit the jack and got a voucher, then in the tiebreak, Graham the poltergeist returned on Rink 1, keeping us under close scrutiny.”
“I’d also like to state that the Rippers gave the Lawn Clippings their grounding, so I think they can thank us for setting them on a winning path.”
Shaun, Missing Moo’s: “The rivalry ended the way it should – A tiebreaker with the Missing Moo’s winning, but still, Missing Moo’s-Team Hope is a rivalry that needs to continue – It’s the Ashes of Manning social bowls, with Filthy Phil the Token Pom, playing the role of Ben Stokes – Difference is Filthy has more punches than convictions.”
Team Hope vs Missing Moo’s
The minor entertainment for the evening was the Battle for Bronze on Rink 4, featuring another edition of this storied social bowls rivalry between Team Hope and Missing Moo’s, and after meeting just a few short weeks ago in a tense tiebreak, the stakes were upped just that little bit more, with the winners taking the $150 prize for 3rd spot… and the losers taking a paltry $100.
Being a 4 person team (Shaun, Phil, Presto & Amy), the Moo’s kept the rotations going throughout the night, although as the Ben Stokes of the team, Phil would end up bowling on every end.
Bowl Colours & Symbols: JT (Black & Green Palette), Rich (Brown & Blue Bells), Merv (Black & Blue, Red Rose), Amy (Black & Blue Boomerang), Presto (Black & Green & White Eagles), Phil (Brown & Green with some weird looking animal), Shaun (Maroon Elephant)
1st Set (Moo’s 5-2)
The No Hopers won the toss and bowled first, and having learned the lessons from getting hammered on short ends in our last meeting, I followed Merv’s advice and set up a long end to begin the night and try and give us all something to work with.
It didn’t quite work, because Amy’s first attempt at throwing the boomerang landed slightly jack high, but it was good enough to beat my second effort, which was just ahead of Presto, keeping it to a hold of 1 to Missing Moo’s to begin the night.
On the second end, like an actual Boomerang, Amy’s shot must have started on Rink 3, but it swung back a mile to finish no more than half a foot from the jack, and with support from Phil, the Moo’s held 2 to establish an early 3-0 lead.
As they say in the ads, lucky you’re with Amy.
It took until the 3rd end for the No Hopers to get on the board, courtesy of yours truly, who managed to turn the tables on a short end with a well-weighted delivery.
It looked like a hold of 2 for Team Hope with Merv’s backhand, but Pricey was summoned to give an independent measurement, and Shaun (To your right) had indeed beaten Merv in a head-bobber, keeping it to 1.
The 4th end was probably the wildest and funniest end of the night – I rolled another long end, and while everyone was bowling too short (I think the Easterly kicked up again), Shaun managed to find the perfect line and take the jack, only for his shot to land in the gutter, leaving Presto as the holder.
Merv then stepped up, and bowled what could only be described by eye witness accounts as a contender for the shittest delivery ever seen, and trust me, Merv had a few contenders on Wednesday.
It definitely had the right bias, but the delivery was that wobbly out of his hand, it looked more like taking out the holder ON RINK 3, only to somehow miss every bowl to stay alive, and then swung back in bounds on to Rink 4… and ended up as the holder!
Another piss funny moment in the journey of Merv The Swerve, and it was one of the first signs that the No Hopers were having a touch of luck go ‘our’ way.
So that made the scores 2-3 with a double powerplay final end, making it another case of whoever holds wins the set.
Playing to script, I rolled another really long end, and pretty much everyone either landed well short or in the gutter, and the holder was Shaun who first got in ahead of me, and then held off Merv, who was convinced he’d held (As was everyone at the bowler’s end), but alas, it was definitely the Skipper who had delivered the set to the Missing Moo’s!
2nd Set (Team Hope 6-2)
After taking the points for the 1st Set, the first 2 ends of the 2nd Set for the Moos could not have been any better.
On the first end, Rich bowled a bloody great bowl that would end up right on the jack….
But Phil came in out of nowhere and king hit him off the jack, and capping off the craziness, Merv’s last shot looked like it was going to be inch perfect and beat them both, but like a bullet passing through a body and missing every vital organ, it passed straight through the narrow gap between both bowls and came to a halt jack high!
I reckon that just about sums up Merv’s luck in these situations.
Part 2 of this perfect bowls series continues on the second end, when Amy set up a short end, and managed to touch the jack on her first shot, which rattled me big time, given the No Hopers were getting beaten by consistently perfect shots!
On the 3rd End, with the game slipping away, the No Hopers got on the board, with your intrepid reporter providing the holder, just beating out Presto in another very close contest.
The 4th end was similar, as yours truly came through again, with Amy edging out Merv as the 2nd holder, and summing up the tight, tough contest that was befitting of a final, the score was tied at 2 apiece through 4 ends, setting up another double powerplay 5th end!
In hindsight, holding off the powerplays until the last end really was a waste, as a lone holder would have been enough to win the set for either team.
With the hopes of No Hope Avenue on the line, Richard came through in another really close fight with Presto, in what was a very average end (As you can see) – But, it was a hold of 2, which became 4, fittingly sending the game into a tiebreaker!
Thanks to winning that set, Team Hope finished +1 ahead on the Differential (8-7) for the night, and indeed, in all 6 games of this edition of the Midweek comp, but there was a very good reason why ‘we’ didn’t feature in the Grand Final – TIEBREAKERS.
No wonder Kochie wants them reduced to being worth only 1 point.
Tiebreak (1-0 Moo’s)
If the pressure of a tiebreak was hard enough, I made it ‘Beating Rafa at Roland Garros’ hard, by setting the jack right on the T again, and based on the previous long ends, whoever managed to avoid the gutter would probably hold.
My first shot was alright under the circumstances (Finishing slightly short), and would end up as the temporary holder, but my second shot joined both of Shaun’s shots in the gutter, while Presto was able to keep his shot in play, finishing jack high, and to the naked eye, he was the narrow holder against my shot.
It did look 50/50, but it didn’t matter, because a few gutter bowls later (Rich had a stinker), Filthy Phil fired one down that was pretty damn convincing, and ended up holding quite comfortably.
The Ben Stokes lookalike, just like England’s favourite expat Kiwi at Headingley, had delivered when it mattered most.
On his last shot, Merv had a huge space to bowl a forehand and potentially steal the win, but for some reason, Rich told him to attempt a backhand, which predictably ended with Merv rolling down a lemon that never looked close to getting into the head.
It turned out Merv thought we were holding when he bowled, so as the skipper, I’m putting it down to a simple case of complete and utter miscommunication.
Still, as they say in France, it made ‘Jacques Merde’ difference – Another tiebreak between Missing Moo’s and the No Hopers, and another win to Missing Moo’s!
Here’s a shot of the victorious Moo’s!
Good to see Phil still living in Presto’s shadow.
The ‘Unofficial’ Final Ladder
Thanks again everyone, we’ll most likely be back in February for another edition of Jack Attack!
Categories: Lawn Bowls