We’ve ticked past the halfway mark of the Manning Jack Attack competition, and at midday Wednesday, it looked like we were a serious chance of not even going ahead with Week 4, as Perth was in the midst of being lashed by thunder, lightning and rain.
It was still raining (lightly) during the warm-up and into the 1st Set, which made for some of the hardest conditions ever seen in Jack Attack – Gripping the bowl was hard enough without a towel, and then a solid easterly that kicked up during the night made even the most serious social bowler look like… well, a social bowler.
Still, Minister Half Price never called for the bowls equivalent of the Duckworth-Lewis method (If it even exists), a decision that some would disagree with – But, crucially for the tournament, no play was lost.
The Overall Night
The GGs are on a rampage right now, and they won the night (again) with a +15 strike on Ten Pin, and The Bowled & The Beautiful popped up for the $25 with a +12 win on the Irritable Bowls Syndrome, the biggest win of the teams on the grass.
I only have one thought – If they’re The Bowled & The Beautiful, who’s the Ridge and Brooke of the team?
The weather made for some interesting analysis – There were fewer tiebreaks than usual (3 out of 11 games), and some teams adapted very well to the conditions, notably the Missing Moo’s, who were already a good team, but appeared to be even better on the wet synthetic, winning the 1st Set 10-0 against the Young Guns, before the weather cleared up.
As they say in Seinfeld, their father was a mudder, and their mother was a mudder.
Hooting Dogs dragged themselves off the bottom by winning the cellar dweller fight with FBS, Babes With Balls managed to hold 5 on the last end of the night to beat Barking Owls in straight sets (1-5 down to 6-5)…..
Stuff all of them, because the result of the night was the upset of the season.
Out on Green 2, the senior citizens of Crawshaw managed to pinch the 2nd Set from the Bowling Stones by holding 4 on the final end, the first set the Stones have lost all tournament, and to cap it off, the oldies won the tiebreaker, cementing their status as a Top 4 team.
Just like Sir Mick, these Stones tried, and they tried, and they tried, but they couldn’t get no satisfaction.
Green 1: Great Bowls of Fire 3pts (+2) defeated Long Shots 2 – Great Bowls won 2-0 in the tiebreaker
Green 2: CCC’s 3pts (+1) defeated Bowling Stones 2 – CCC’s won 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Green 3: Bulls & Arrows 4pts (+6) defeated T-Birds
Green 4: Bowled & The Beautiful 4pts (+12) defeated Irritable Bowls Syndrome
Synthetic 1: GG’s 4pts (+15) defeated Ten Pin
Synthetic 2: Hooting Dogs 4pts (+8) defeated FBS
Synthetic 3: Babes With Balls 4pts (+6) defeated Barking Owls
Synthetic 4: Missing Moo’s 3pts (+10) defeated Young Guns 1pt – 2nd Set was a 4-4 tie
Synthetic 5: Lawn Clippings 4pts (+6) defeated CD’s
Synthetic 6: Team 180 4pts (+9) defeated Marg’s VII
Synthetic 7: Team No Hope 3pts (-2) defeated The Habibs 2pts (+2) – No Hope won 2-0 in the tiebreaker
Phil & Shaun, Missing Moo’s:
“The green was wet, the jack was on the T every time, and Amy was like a dark horse every time!”
“They were quite unlucky on quite a few ends, Presto snuck one in when they were holding 3… We all just struggled in the wet – Except Amy.”
Brodie, Young Guns:
“They just did long ends all night and destroyed us – Amy was consistent all night.”
“The teams either side of us were pissed off because we kept cutting into their rinks, but we had to because of the conditions.”
“On the last end we could’ve taken the jack, but (Josh) DeMargs and (Luke) Cavs told me to hit their (Missing Moo’s) shots away – Problem was, I’d have had to stop my bowl as well.”
“Atrocious conditions, don’t know how we were allowed to play in them – We were a man down the entire night, and one of the 2 members (Jonesy) bowled 3 wrong bias bowls in the 1st Set, which has to be a Jack Attack record.”
“Pushing crap up hill from the start.”
Loose Bruce, Great Bowls Of Fire:
(On bowling on the wet grass) – “It was a bit slow at first, it was like treading on mud, but as the night wore on it dried out and got better.”
“On the tiebreak, it came down to the last bowl, they were holding, and Jamie’s shot managed to ricochet like a pinball machine and got it done for us.”
“He’s not consistent, but he’s getting some good ones.”
“We got asked by the Lawn Clippings as to what does the CD’s stand for – Helen gave them a little insight.”
“It involves a girl’s weekend, a lot of alcohol, some CDs… but no music.”
“Their imagination went wild, but that’s all I can say.”
“We held them tight in both sets, and they are the premiers, which we noted and felt threatened by.”
“That was our first week without a tiebreaker – All we can hope for is bigger and better next weekend.”
Jack & Goose, Lawn Clippings:
“The weather made a massive impact, the wind didn’t held the forehand, and it was hard to judge with the wet greens – One end, 6 bowls went out of bounds.”
“They gave us a good game, it was competitive, it went down to the last end in both sets – Big effort from Goose, who played with a hamstring injury, he’s subject to a fitness test for next week.”
Cheryl, Bowling Stones (In the form of a parody of Sympathy For The Devil):
“Please allow me to introduce ourselves, we’re a team of stealth and bad taste… We’ve been around for about a month now, stole many a team’s, bowling faith.”
“We was around when Mr Half Price had his moment, that sealed our fate… Made damn sure the Bowling Stones, was robbed, of seven dollars eighty-eight.”
“Pleased to meet you, Hope you guess our name… But what’s puzzling you is the, nature of our game.”
“We stick around for the prize money, but after Week 1, we getting no change… we killed the bar tab so it’s tap water now, Team explain, please explain!”
Standings (Subject to possible change)
I should also point out that the Missing Moo’s were 4-2 up with an end to go in the 2nd Set… That’s how close we got to a change for top spot.
Team No Hope vs The Habibs
Fresh off another tiebreak defeat, Team No Hope of JT, Merv The Swerve and Ron dusted themselves off, and took on the team that only deals in cold hard cash…
They were skippered by John, and supported by Abe (Abraham) and Marto.
As for equipment, JT converted to the Red Dog bowls for the whole game, while Merv converted to the dark side and bowled with a pair of light green cheats bowls for the night, instead of borrowing Ron’s shark bowls.
Also, just so you don’t get confused, Abe also had a pair of red bowls, distinguished by the butterfly symbol.
Set 1 (Team No Hope 7-5)
As the light rain tumbled, Team No Hope called heads and won the toss, and after JT began with a solid start, Ron bowled a better one, but Abe’s first bowl of the night managed to cannon off Ron’s shot, and as if by design, sat right on the jack, which nobody seriously threatened, and the night started 1-0 to the Habibs.
Marto took the jack first up for the 2nd End, pushing it to the edge of Rink 8, forcing everyone to adjust their lines, which being a social bowls comp, meant about 5 shots landed in bounds.
Merv’s last shot didn’t quite have the weight, and John would get his line right to double the fun, and increase the Habibs lead to 3-0.
Unbeknownst to JT until after the end, the Habibs went the powerplay on the 3rd end, a plan that backfired almost immediately, when the No Hope skipper managed to take the jack second shot.
The Habibs didn’t get close, and the pain got worse when both of Merv’s shots ended up being pretty darn good, adding to what apparently looked like a hold of 3, which turned out to be 4, as it turned out a back bowl of Ron’s had beaten out every Habibs shot.
3-0 down to 4-3 up, just like that.
Despite the match being turned on its axis (In their favour), No Hope decided to hold off the powerplay until the last end.
Captain Hindsight says they should have taken it, because JT managed to nudge the jack again to start the 4th end, but he once again missed out on a handle of Swanny D, thanks to Pricey’s poor timing on the whistle.
Despite Abe’s efforts at shattering the hold with a foot-breaking rocket, Ron increased the hold to 3 with a pair of consistent beauties, pushing the lead out to 7-3 with an end and a powerplay to come.
Salvaging some pride and differential, The Habibs would get the kitty to begin the second set, with John and Marto holding 2 to kill the powerplay, cutting the final 1st Set score to 7-5 in favour of the No Hopers.
A 7-5 win, despite only holding 2 ends.
Speaking from experience, bowling from the Club End was a real challenge – If you bowled 2 lines wide, the easterly seemed to push the shot wide, never to come back in, whereas up at the Car Park End, the wind made it possible to bowl wide, although multiple shots were flying through to the gutter on the quick surface.
Set 2 (Habibs 7-3)
During this time, the game gained a spectator – The Rocket had wandered down from No Hope Avenue… mainly to sample the club’s very popular steak sandwich for dinner.
While the wind remained, the rain started to clear as the 2nd Set began (To the relief of everyone), as Johnny set up a long end that resulted in multiple shots flying into the ditch, and it would be Merv’s last shot that held to begin the set, just beating out John’s back bowl.
A 1-0 lead, that lasted all of 5 seconds.
Bowling first, Marto’s shots quite comfortably beat JT’s, then both of Abe’s shots beat Ron’s, leaving the Habibs holding 4 with the final pairs to come.
Merv’s first shot was too shallow, then his final shot didn’t quite stop in time, and with plenty to aim at bowling last, Johnny added the caviar (His last shot was actually the first holder), and the Habibs had a full house – A hold of 6!
Merv said this at the time, you know what they call that in darts?
Bloody incredible scenes – The set would’ve been done and dusted if they’d gone the powerplay.
Still trying to figure what had happened on the 3rd End, JT was trying to tell Ron to bowl forehand side, considering it was wide open thanks to all the shallow bowls.
Ron probably didn’t hear him, and it was a sound move, because his second shot managed to part the seas and take the jack.
And yet, it ALMOST wasn’t enough.
In something that had to be seen to be believed, John’s shot came back in absolutely mesmerising fashion to take the jack, despite the fact that it was nestled in behind Ron’s bowl and out sight.
They couldn’t even pull that off in the Bowls Premier League.
And then, to cap off the ridiculousness, John’s bowl landed on its face, and nudged the jack back on to Ron’s bowl, giving No Hope the hold by the old bee’s diaphragm!
Get the X-Files on to that one.
Still leading 6-2, the Habibs looked good for a hold as they went the powerplay on the 4th End, but Merv wrecked their plans once again with an inch perfect bowl, surviving John’s final shot to deny a hold of 2, cutting the lead to 6-3 with a powerplay end to come.
Saving the Powerplay for the last end, No Hope needed a hold of 2 to seal the match, but it never looked likely, as Marto finished things off with a hold, and it was time for ANOTHER TIEBREAKER.
Funnily enough, in both sets, the winning team only held on 2 ends, and neither team held on their powerplay.
Tiebreak (Team Hope 2-0)
With the pressure on in No Hope’s 4th consecutive Powerplay in 2020, JT’s first shot somehow proved tough to beat in the conditions, with half a dozen shots landing within 4 feet of the jack without getting any further – Through 8 bowls, the No Hopers were actually holding 2, with another back bowl from Ron.
With No Hope still holding by the last pair, Habibs were in 2 minds as to how John should approach his last shot – Try and knock one of their bowls in on the forehand (Which he tried first with minimal success), or go the open backhand, apparently his weaker side.
In the end, John went the backhand, but his shot was just behind JT, and in a scene rarer than a US President admitting wrongdoing, Team No Hope had won another tiebreaker in a very competitive game of bowls.
That’s also the last we’ll see of Merv for the season, as he’s off for a cruise, so thanks for your service Big Merv.
Word is, Merv plans on contracting the Corona virus on the cruise – With this in mind, the ship’s crew have stocked the bar with Heinken.
On the subject of tiebreakers, Pricey asked me post-game as to how many tiebreaks I’ve now played in.
It’s an interesting thought – As a conservative estimate, that’s now 15 tiebreaks since I started playing midweek Jack Attack (End of 2017), which could very well be not only a Manning Eagles record, but a Guinness World Record.
Categories: Lawn Bowls
Excellent report as usual Jason it’s about time someone picked up this talented journo
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