Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 19th February

“Short by an inch – The Story of Merv Roberts”

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In the days following last week’s edition of Jack Attack, a major controversy was discovered.

Minister Half Price had miscalculated several scores, caused mainly by the fact that several teams filled their sheets out incorrectly.

One of the major discoveries was that the GG’s should have received the $25 last week (Instead of Crawshaw) on a shots countback, however, correct weight had been declared, and the Crawshaw crew got the money they probably needed, but hadn’t exactly earned.

Bravo Pricey, Bill Waterhouse would have admired that buggery.

With Rome about to start burning in anger, Pricey headed down south to go fishing, leaving club stalwart AJ Heal in charge of the evening, with conditions still hovering around 30 degrees without the westerly kicking in, as quite a few thunderstorms rumbled off the coast – None of them anywhere near Manning.

The Overall Night

After being the victims of the greatest highway robbery since Shannon Noll lost Australian Idol in 2003, the GGs hit back in one of the greatest Jack Attack displays in history to win the $50 cash.

Not only did they put up a +24 win on the Hooting Dogs – They won every single end of the night.

Only 9-0 in the 2nd Set – Clearly they were resting players for next week.

2nd place for $25 was a tad closer – The Habibs and the Young Guns were both on +14, but it ultimately went to the Habibs, who edged out the unruly mob of Old Aquinians on the total shots countback (19 to 18).

It had nothing to do with fears of reprisal.

Nothing at all.

In some other results, the Bowling Stones overcame the absence of skipper Cheryl to stay unbeaten, knocking off the Lawn Clippings in a high quality contest, Full Beer Sculls dragged themselves off the bottom with a maiden win, and there was also a thrilling finish on Green 3 between the CD’s and Marg’s VII, who apparently started talking about the Fleur-de-lis during a 15-0 2nd Set win.

As I discovered, if that weird French symbol can bring the New Orleans Saints a Super Bowl after 44 years of misery, it can bring the Marg’s VII a miracle tiebreak win after 3 weeks of frustration.

Sacré Bleu!


Grass 1: Ten Pin 4pts (+5) defeated Babes With Balls

Grass 2: GG’s 4pts (+24) defeated Hooting Dogs

Grass 3: Marg’s VII 3pts (+13) defeated CD’s – 1-0 in the tiebreaker

Grass 4: Great Bowls Of Fire 3pts (-6) defeated Team No Hope 2pts (+6) – 1-0 in the tiebreaker

Synthetic 1: Crawshaw Crisis Committee 3pts (-1) defeated T-Birds 2pts (+1) – 1-0 in the tiebreaker

Synthetic 2: Bowled & The Beautiful 3pts (+3) defeated Bulls & Arrows 2pts – 1-0 in the tiebreaker

Synthetic 3: Missing Moos 3pts (+2) defeated Long Shots 2pts – 2-0 in the tiebreaker

Synthetic 4: Bowling Stones 4pts (+5) defeated Lawn Clippings

Synthetic 5: The Habibs 4pts (+14) defeated Barking Owls

Synthetic 6: FBS 3pts (-1) defeated Irritable Bowls Syndrome 2pts (+1) – 1-0 in the tiebreaker

Synthetic 7: Young Guns 4pts (+14) defeated Team 180

Captain’s Comments

Kelly, CD’s: “We were without Natalie (Attending a meeting) and we had our handicap Marg – It was also the first time we’ve played on grass.”

“It takes some getting used to, and we blame Kochie for bad advice.”

“We won the 1st Set, then in the 2nd Set we both called a powerplay just to be controversial, and they pantsed us with 3, after which they started chirping about Fleur-de-lis.”

“In the tiebreak, I bowled the bowl of the night, but then Dave sneaks in around me, knocks the jack, and it placed them nicely to win.”

“The CD’s will be back next week, except maybe without Natalie again.”

Kochie, T-Birds: “We went long, and per usual we ended up short, we had control, and we ended up out of control – Good game of bowls overall.”

Dianna, Bowling Stones: “We missed our captain, but we still managed to win, after her stern words to bring home the prizes.”

“The Lawn Clippings must have cut the grass too low – We’re still unbeaten and keeping our eye on the prize – We don’t just want $50, we want a couple of greenies.”

Brodie, Young Guns: “On the last end of the 1st Set, we were holding 2, but they incorrectly measured the second shot as first, forgetting about the actual holder, and ended up only giving us one, but we felt bad for them and agreed – Cost us $25!”

Post Week 3 Standings

Team Hope vs Great Bowls Of Fire

In an apparent boost for Team No Hope, Merv declared himself available on Tuesday afternoon, resolving the search for a 3rd player that was originally going to be Richard The Gardner.

After last week’s tiebreak win, which could be best described as a fluke, the No Hopers were back on the grass, taking on Kochie’s colleagues, the Jerry Lee Lewis tribute team, Great Bowls Of Fire.

‘Loose’ Bruce was back again with young Jamie, and they were supported by special guest ring-in Reid (I hope I pronounced that correctly), who I could best describe as looking like former Richmond cult hero Jim ‘The Ghost’ Jess.

Reid might not play footy like Ghost, but he’s probably the better bowler.

1st Set (Team No Hope 11-0)

JT started off the match bowling with the Red Dog bowls, on what was a quick deck to bowl on, as Merv once again used a spare pair of Ron’s shark bowls.

Great Bowls won the toss and bowled first, and in what became a common occurrence throughout the night, the tape measure was borrowed from AJ, and it was a good thing Merv’s eyes weren’t the judge, because his skipper was somehow ahead by about 2 inches.

Looks are deceiving

It took about 5 minutes to find the tape measure, and another 5 hours to trek down to Green 4 to measure it.

So, first blood to No Hope, and on a long 2nd End, Merv’s first shot knocked out JT to become the holder, a change that proved crucial, with Jamie’s shots missing by another very small margin (Decided by the tape, just to be safe) that went No Hope’s way.

On the 3rd End, the No Hopers doubled their lead to 4, when Merv and Ron beat out Jamie again to hold 2.

(I should also add that I didn’t quite get a picture of the end – Ron kicked the bowls away just before I whipped the phone out)

Despite the deficit, Great Bowls didn’t use the powerplay on the 4th End, and it wouldn’t have done much anyway, because Merv manage to slip in a forehand a foot from the jack to hold, once again beating out a last gasp shot from Jamie, which just kept on rolling, and finished a foot directly behind.

With a 5-0 No Hope lead with an end to play, both teams took the powerplay, and it was a very average end from all involved, with one of Merv’s back bowls managing to hold narrowly, and after a trek to get the tape again, it turned out both the back bowls were ahead of Bruce by about 3 inches, giving No Hope 3, which turned into a 6 to cap off what was on paper, a dominant set.

A 5 end shutout to Team No Hope, making it 3 consecutive weeks of winning the opening set, and it appeared the Great Bowls, Reid especially, were struggling to find something resembling consistency.

It eventually changed.

2nd Set (Great Bowls Of Fire 7-2)

After feeling uncomfortable with the new bowls throughout the opening set, JT thought it was smart to switch back to the old Bell bowls with their massive bias, a move as well thought out as allowing Homer Simpson to design a car for the average American.

“This montrosity cost $82,000!”

That decision immediately bore rotten fruit, as his shots sailed long on the opening end, which finally saw Great Bowls get on the board in a big way, as Jamie and Bruce cleaned up with a hold of 3, immediately putting No Hope in a familiar hole.

The 3rd was somewhere to the right

With more fantastic bowling from the father-son pair, Great Bowls appeared set for another big hold, but Merv saved his best for last, aiming for, and getting, a deflection off one of Ron’s short bowls, and finishing up with an easy hold to cut the lead to 1-3.

With the score at 1-3, JT set a long 3rd End, and his second shot managed to take the jack halfway to the ditch, without a whistle in sight.


Despite making it impossible to aim at, that shot nearly wasn’t enough, as Reid (Now bowling with Bruce’s spare bowls) managed to pull one from nowhere, that landed only a toenail short.

Somehow our collective eyesight didn’t need the tape for that end.

At 2-3 down, Team No Hope decided to play the powerplay, instead of following Merv’s advice and playing it earlier when they were bowling last.

Bruce made sure it never amounted to anything, producing something that No Hope had no answer for, and it appears Reid managed to slip a wide shot in as the second holder.

Leading 5-2 with a powerplay still in hand, Bruce rolled up a short end, and Reid managed to go one better than his 3rd end performance (On a short end as well), beating off Ron and Merv’s chaos bowls to make the final set score 7-2, which also helped cut the For/Against on the night.

Death, Taxes, and Team No Hope playing a tiebreak.

You can see where this is going to end up.

Tiebreak (Great Bowls 1-0)

I recall Team Hope playing the Great Bowls of Fire in a tiebreak on the grass at the start of 2019.

Quick hint – Both tiebreaks ended the same way.

Setting up a good length this time, Bruce put the pressure on with his first shot, and when it came down to the last pair, it was apparently set in stone that Great Bowls were completing the comeback.

Carrying the considerable weight of No Hope Avenue on his shoulders, Merv’s first shot looked like it was going to sneak in behind Bruce and end up holding, but it fell a foot short (I think said weight played a part), and with a bullseye that the Manning Darts crew would admire, Jamie conjured up the shot of the night to sit on the jack, which put ‘No Hope’ in the phrase ‘Team No Hope’.

With the last shot of the night, Merv got even closer thanks to a rebound off his first shot, but not even Rob Parrella could’ve beaten Jamie’s shot, and it was back to business as usual for the No Hopers – Losing in an agonising tiebreak.

The summary of Merv’s life – He was really good all night… yet he was short by an inch.

For some reason, he apologised for not being able to pull off the win, and I’ve got no idea why, considering he got a mile closer to the jack than either of his teammates.

I’m beginning to see a reoccurring pattern as to why Team No Hope always lose in tie breaks – They always start matches like a house on fire, then they lose 1 end in the 2nd Set, lose momentum as a result, and it flows on from there.

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