After last week’s rip roaring success, it was time for Week 2 of the best Jack Attack competition south of Manning Road, and the big change for all the teams was the arrival of new bowls, thanks to the City Of South Perth, who awarded a grant to Manning Bowling Club to purchase a lazy 22 pairs.
Merv frequently describes them as “Cheat’s Bowls” (As they apparently make crap players look good), so that said, here’s a sample of what everyone will be bowling (And cheating) with in the future.
Is that meant to be Red Dog, or the Dingo Flour mascot’s long lost cousin?
Either way, I decided to try them out.
Conditions were more tolerable than last week’s muggy evening – Despite temperatures still being in the late 20s, the big relief was the sea breeze kicking in, but otherwise, it was a good night for bowls.
The Overall Night
Several players (Including our Ron) fell victim to the new Gala Day fundraising scheme – Anyone who makes a schoolkid error has to donate a couple of bucks to a pot of gold.
Given I rolled the jack into the ditch twice, I’ll be expecting a call from the Eagles’ loan sharks over the next week.
It was a close race for the weekly ‘Biggest Ball-Tearing’ prize of $50 cash, which went to Jack Attack bedrocks the Missing Moo’s, putting up a +16 beatdown on the Habibs, ensuring that John & Michael won’t be giving them any discounts on car purchases anytime soon.
They also accomplished the win without resident Pom ‘Filthy’ Phil, who prioritised a night with his lady friend over a social bowls tournament…. But that’s none of my business.
In a momentous turnaround, the Crawshaw Crisis Committee had their first win, and took the $25 with a +14 win over FBS, who are starting to resemble the 2020 edition of The Manning Rippers.
There were 5 tiebreakers (Out of 11 matches), which does appear to be a tick for Richard ‘Half’ Price’s fixture
rorts policy, which was focused on the previous week’s winners playing each other, and the losers playing each other – Obviously with 11 matches, one lucky winner gets to play a loser.
There were also a couple of noteworthy powerplays – the Young Guns equalled a Jack Attack record of holding 5 (10) on a powerplay against the CD’s (The new t-shirts didn’t work for the ladies) in the 2nd Set, and the Marg’s V11, down 1-10 heading into the final end of the match against the Long Shots, were able to hold 4 (8) and end the night on a high.
Interestingly, 3 other teams (Long Shots, Ten Pin, T-Birds) held 5 during an end on the night – None of them used the powerplay.
As far as I know, no team has ever achieved the perfect 6 (12) on a powerplay, and with some of the bowling on display every week, you’d have more luck getting a vital organ transplant than picking when it will happen.
Green 1: Missing Moo’s 4pts (+16) defeated the Habibs
Green 2: GG’s 3pts (+12) defeated Barking Owls 2pts – 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Green 3: Crawshaw Crisis Committee 4pts (+14) defeated FBS
Green 4: Bowling Stones 4pts (+12) defeated Bulls and Arrows
Synthetic 1: Great Bowls Of Fire 4pts (+8) defeated Babes With Balls
Synthetic 2: T-Birds 3pts (+6) defeated Irritable Bowls Syndrome 2pts – 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 3: Young Guns 3pts (+9) defeated CD’s 2pts – 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 4: Long Shots 4pts (+4) defeated Marg’s V11
Synthetic 5: Team No Hope 3pts (+9) defeated Team 180 2 – 2-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 6: The Bowled & The Beautiful 3pts (+1) defeated Hooting Dogs 2pts – 2-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 7: Lawn Clippings 4pts (+8) defeated Ten Pin
The CCC (Barry, Graham & company): “Just taking it one week at a time, we all played well, Patsy was a star with her left handed magic, Graham got a free beer without touching the jack, then he hit it 3 more times and got nothing!”
Crawshaw also requested I mention that Decca is a good bloke, and he’ll be back next week playing through an injury.
What a trooper.
Shaun & Amy, Missing Moo’s: “We pulled it out of our arses – Presto saved a hold of 6 on the last end, and we did it without Phil!”
“Next year we’ll be called the Missing Phils, after this big win without Filthy.”
Brodie, Young Guns: “The 1st Set was disappointing – It was 2-2 after 2 ends, then we 3 bowls within half a metre of the jack, but they snuck one in, and it cost us the set.”
(On the powerplay) “I thought after my last bowl we were only holding 2, but we down there, and it turned out after a bit of an argument, we were holding 5!”
“In the tiebreak, (Josh) DiMargs bowled a bit short, and he got some abuse, but then they bowled and hit his shot up a good 30cm, and it ended up holding.”
“Just happy to get the 3 points, want to get 4 though.”
CDs (Kelly & Nat): “We let them win the tiebreak, because we felt like they were our sons, and we’re old enough to be their mothers.”
“We did notice they were on their phones a few times – Thought they should have focused on the game instead of Facebook, but turns out they didn’t need to.”
“Disappointing after last week’s pantsing of the T-Birds, we can only hope for better next week.”
Kochie, T-Birds: “Won in a tiebreaker, after we discovered the other team’s kryptonite – They can’t play long ends.”
“After bowling with the wrong bias, I felt Therese improved like dough improves to bread – Still okay, consistency is what we need.”
Cheryl, Bowling Stones: “We couldn’t even win by +17 this week, ONLY a pathetic +12.”
“We had a critical team meeting about the lack of prizes with some very embarrassed team members, who are committed to extra training, and they assure me this will not happen again.”
“Our bar tab is looking grim, and should it go into a negative position, the consequences are such that we may join the darts team – Given we played with half of them, they know how scary that is.”
I’ve almost certainly made a mistake in there… somewhere.
Team No Hope vs Team 180
Backing up from a tough loss to the Lawn Clippings, JT and Ron were bolstered by Merv being available on his off-week from work, and they were back on the synthetic rink, against last season’s runners up, representing the Manning Darts, Team 180.
Their line-up consisted of Mick, the Irishman from Ireland, Ronnie (I’ve probably spelled her name wrong), and the notorious Peggy, who seems to get mentioned pretty much every time I’d received a captain’s comment from either Mick or one of the Bulls ‘N Arrows.
Turns out, their comments were highly justified.
1st Set (No Hope 13-1)
In some interesting tactical moves, Merv used Ron’s spare pair of Black Shark bowls, JT tried the new ‘Red Dog’ bowls, Peggy and Ronnie also used new bowls (Peggy had a Red Butterfly, Ronnie was yellow), and Mick stuck with an old pair.
The No Hopers won the toss and elected for the Nasser Hussain special of bowling first, and after the first couple of shots, it was Ron who was holding after landing a shot no more than a foot from the jack, but Mick came flying through and took the jack all the way to the edge of the boundary of Rink 4, but as everyone had to readjust their lines, Ron once again stepped up, got the right line, and held to begin the night.
It was definitely noticeable right from the start that Ron looked more comfortable on the synthetic.
Despite nearly landing a bulls eye on the 1st End, Team 180 weren’t even hitting the board on the 2nd End, and the No Hope trio would all contribute in a hold of 3, on what was a pretty ordinary end, putting the darts crew in an early hole at 4-0.
Fortunately for 180, Peggy found her range on the 3rd End and got the team on the board, beating out Ron in a narrow finish, who did well to deny 180 a hold of 2, after Ronnie landed in the general area.
After struggling with the line of the Red Dogs, JT switched back to the ‘regular’ Bell bowls with their massive bias, and stayed with them for the rest of the night.
On the 4th End, Team Hope made the collective decision to play the powerplay, and it seemed to pay dividends without doing anything, when Peggy (Possibly by accident) managed to set the jack right on the T, which exposed somewhat of a flaw in Team 180 – Long Ends.
After JT narrowly beat out Peggy to hold first, Ron and Merv came in with a pair of Stone Cold Stunners, to pretty much demolish any hope 180 had of winning the set – Mick and Ronnie simply didn’t get close.
Now, your eyes are working properly – Peggy’s bowl was originally moved without our knowledge, after one of the players from Rink 6 mistook it for a shot that had gone out of bounds (They were using the same colours), and took it out, before it was restored.
Now, if Peggy’s shot had originally been ahead of JT’s…. A brown paper bag would’ve shown up in the mail.
That made it 10-0 with an end to come, and with Team 180 still having a powerplay, they could conceivably hold 5 and tie the set, or fire in a couple of 180s, hold 6, and win the set.
Not even Peggy could help them out – In fact, amidst a spree of ditch shots, it was another hold of 3 to Team Hope, capping off a 13-1 rout to win the 1st Set.
2nd Set (Team 180 5-2)
Responding to the disappointment, Peggy hit the No Hopers right between the eyes with a cracker first up to hold, but in a good display of damage limitation, Ron managed to deny 180 a hold of 3 (After a mesaurement), considering Peggy’s second shot wasn’t too far away, and Mick was also close behind.
Peggy bowled two more rippers to start the 2nd end, which survived an attempted chomp from Merv to hold 2, and if you do the math, that was 4 consecutive shots that had landed no less than 2 feet from the kitty.
By any chance, is she secretly Lindsay Wagner playing a remake of the Bionic Woman?
Leading 3-0, Team 180 went for the kill and enforced the powerplay, and they looked good for another hold thanks to Ronnie, but Mick committed one of the cardinal sins of social bowls, taking the jack, and by sheer luck, it was Ron who ended up as the holder, putting the No Hopers back in the set.
This was also the end where Ron was found guilty of bowling with the wrong bias – He was released on bail.
After setting another long end, JT’s second shot landed about 2 feet short of the kitty, but thanks to some assistance from Ron, it was knocked down to be a foot away, which proved crucial, after Peggy rolled down another magnificent bowl, that managed to nestle up to the holder like a couple in bed.
Then everyone managed to pile on, creating a scene resembling an Indian train.
Still, No Hope held on, and cut the lead to 1, and with a powerplay to come, No Hope simply had to hold on the final end to wrap up the match in straight sets.
There is always a But.
JT took the jack on his first shot, but it ran long, while his second shot was good enough to hold, but Ronnie had other ideas, and was able to hold on what (In my opinion) was her best shot of the night.
Bowling last, Peggy’s first shot landed in the ditch, but her final shot delivered more pain to the jack, by thumping it into the ditch (By rule it was reset on the T), still giving 180 a hold of 2 thanks to a back bowl from Mick, and the last gasp shots from Merv didn’t quite have the weight (Very rare when talking about Merv), and like Death and Taxes, the inevitable had arrived – A tiebreaker.
Tiebreaker (Team No Hope 2-0)
Having lost their last 4 tiebreakers (In a 5 game span), the No Hopers were a good chance of setting some kind of record for the best differential to lose a Jack Attack match.
Peggy was holding 2 after the first 4 bowls (JT wet the bed under pressure), but there was still plenty of room on either side to approach the jack, and Ron became the clear holder, landing a shot jack high by about 2 feet.
As nervous wait began, Mick and Ronnie’s shots just had too much weight on them, ensuring No Hope had pulled off a miracle and actually won a tiebreak, so JT, thinking himself a tactical genius the like of General Eisenhower, told Merv to throw his last bowl away, given it would make no difference to the result.
Merv being Merv, he bowled it, and ended up as the holder, capping off a successful night.
It probably goes to show that tiebreakers are something of a raffle, and as Tom Petty once said, even the losers get lucky sometimes.
Categories: Lawn Bowls