It feels like just last month I was writing about bowls.
Wait a minute, it was.
With that in mind, it was also time for the penultimate week of Jack Attack 2020, and to use a piece of golfing jargon, it was moving day for the teams who fancy winning the greatest social bowls tournament in Perth, and to use another golfing comparison, one top team in particular resembled Greg Norman down the back nine at Augusta.
As the autumn officially arrived, the bowlers were graced with the best conditions to bowl in all season: 25 degrees Celsius, the sun was down by the first bowl, no humidity of note, and next to no breeze.
We enjoyed it while it lasted.
The Overall Night
After suffering the ignominy of losing a tiebreak to No Hope, The Habibs were back with a vengeance to win the $50, with a +25 straight sets belting of The Bowled and the Beautiful.
John and his mates won the 1st Set by a lazy 22-4, holding ends of 6 twice (If you don’t mind umpire), and also holding 5 (10) on their powerplay – And then dusted things off with an 8-1 win in the 2nd Set.
The $25 went to a group of Jack Attack favourites, the Babes With Balls, who became the latest team to fight off Irritable Bowls Syndrome (In more ways than one), winning by +14 in straight sets.
In the big picture, it was a huge night in the fight for Top 4 spots – The Bowling Stones wrapped up top spot with a massive tiebreak finish over the Long Shots, Lawn Clippings leaped from 7th to 2nd to set-up next week’s decider, and the residents of Crawshaw kept up their magnificent debut season, maintaining 3rd place with another tiebreak win.
The major losers were the Missing Moo’s, who collapsed harder than Ansett in a straight sets defeat to Great Bowls of Fire, dumping them from 2nd to 5th, and goodness gracious, it’s the Great Bowls who jump to 4th spot!
Just showing how serious Cheryl is about winning, The Stones were all out practicing at 9 o’clock… Barely an hour after the night had finished.
They’ll need every bit of practice, considering Hoggy will be 36,000 feet in the air next week.
The other big highlight of the night was the battle of the cellar dwelling friends the Barking Owls and Hooting Dogs on Green 3.
Under the watchful eye of Kevin, the teams decided to make it a fun game, spicing things up by basing their line-ups on a hat draw – Either an owl, or a dog.
Just like their names, the teams were apparently mismatched – The Hooting Dogs won in straight sets, consigning the Owls to last place.
Green 3: Hooting Dogs 4pts (+10) defeated Barking Owls
Green 4: Lawn Clippings 4pts (+9) defeated GG’s
Green 5: Ten Pin 3pts (-1) defeated T-Birds 2pts (+1) – Ten Pin won 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 1: Great Bowls of Fire 4pts (+5) defeated Missing Moo’s
Synthetic 2: Crawshaw Crisis Committee 3pts (0) defeated Team 180 2pts (0) – Total score was 6-6, CCC won 2-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 3: Young Guns 3pts (+8) defeated Team No Hope 2pts – Young Guns won 3-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 4: The Habibs 4pts (+25) defeated Bowled & The Beautiful
Synthetic 5: Bowling Stones 3pts (+6) defeated Long Shots 2pts – Bowling Stones won 2-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 6: CD’s 4pts (+12) defeated Bulls & Arrows
Synthetic 7: Babes with Balls 4pts (+14) defeated Irritable Bowls Syndrome
Synthetic 8: FBS 4pts (+13) defeated Marg’s VII
Kevin (The adjudicator), John (Team manager), Janet (The appointed token female), Barking Owls & Hooting Dogs:
“It was a clever idea, It was close fought, it was funny as hell, the last end there were 6 bowls in the gutter, plus the jack, plus one out – Barking Owls came good with the last bowl.”
“The reality was we realised we were going to get scrutineered, so we decided not to fix it so someone would win the $50 – But in the end, The Dogs were hooting, and the Barking Owls left with their tail between their legs!”
Cheryl, Bowling Stones (The alternate ‘Winning’ 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 one, we’re getting no change… bribed the umps, got some photos, wow! In the money, winning prized Wednesdays!”
Kim, Doctor Mark, Captain Ahab (Crawshaw): “I think it’s a travesty of justice that we fnished Top 4 – None of us had bowled before, but, it’s been a successful exercise in getting the street to know each other.”
“Happy to get the 3 points, still happy we beat the top team last week!”
Helen, CD’s: “The CD’s are back in fashion – See you next week.”
Kochie, T-Birds: “The CD’s think they’re so great – They left their wine glasses and the bottle before they all walked off!”
“One win, they take the jack twice, and they think they own the joint!”
Brodie, Young Guns: “We’re the first team in history to finish 6th with 1 loss – What cost us was our first round (Against Great Bowls of Fire)… Up 6-0, we let our girlfriends bowl on the last end, but they (Great Bowls) held 3 on the powerplay and drew the set.”
“It cost us a Top 4 spot – They’ll never bowl again.”
Merv, GGs: “I’ve had more starts than Phar Lap, all I can say is if there’s an asteroid heading towards the earth, don’t stand next to me, I’m the unluckiest bowler on the planet.”
“We went that well that we should’ve rolled up the Lawn Clippings and smoked them instead.”
Loose Bruce, Great Bowls Of Fire: “Jamie dropped some bloody good ones when we needed it – He’s the anchorman at the rear.”
The Missing Moo’s are like the 2019 West Coast Eagles – They had to win their last game to finish Top 4… Instead they got their pants pulled down and finished 5th.
So next week, The Stones and Lawn Clippings will play off for the title (Venue most likely to be centre synthetic rink), CCC and Great Bowls play for bronze… and so on and so forth.
Team No Hope vs The Young Guns
With his ‘unofficial’ 3 game contract with Team No Hope completed, Merv still had time before the Corona Cruise to fill in for the GG’s – That meant No Hope Avenue bedrock The Rocket was launched down to Challenger Avenue to help JT and Ron take on the boys from the Young Guns, who share a storied recent history with Team Hope, having gone down in the epic 2019 Jack Attack Final in a tiebreak.
The boys are all familiar faces to 43 No Hope Avenue – Brodie ‘Quarter’ Price, MMA star Liam Hoskin, and Josh DiMargs, bowling with a dodgy right wrist, which wasn’t enough to stop him from playing.
The same can’t be said for Luke Cavs, who had Uni commitments, so the boys called in a special guest 4th bowler, who, for the purposes of the record, will be known as Jordan.
For all I remember, that was his name.
Just to clear a few things up with similar bowls – Rocket was light blue with a white bird, Hoskin was light blue with a black bee, Jordan was grey(ish), and Pricey was the usual darker blue with yellow markings.
Set 1 (No Hope 5-4)
No Hope won the toss and bowled first, and the first end of the night was utterly inspiring to watch – 12 bowls, 3 of them ended up in the ditch, and only 2 of them got within 4 feet of the jack – They both belonged to the Young Guns, and it was an early 2-0 lead.
In an early display of aggression, skipper Brodes decided to try and end the set on the 2nd end by taking the powerplay, but his plans were wrecked by none other than The Rocket, who stopped Jordan from holding 2!
In a tense final pair, Pricey couldn’t get a rebound to beat Rocket’s shot, and lucky last, Ron got his face ahead by inches, stifling the powerplay, and tying the scores at 2 apiece.
On the 3rd End, Josh had one his shots get shirtfronted by the Bowled & The Beautiful (The retake didn’t do much), and with a whole host of back bowls competing for the hold, Ron removed all doubt by taking the hold on his last shot.
Leading 3-2, on a long 4th end, No Hope took the powerplay, thinking the far end would favour the right handers – And it did, as Hoskin proved when he bowled a very decent bowl first-up, which he proudly showed to an observing Half-Price.
As the pairs rolled through, Half-Price’s measuring tape was on standby for a measurement between Hoskin and Rocket, but on his last shot, Ronny DID IT AGAIN, and edged out the Young Gun.
With the amount of ends Ron pinched, you’d think his full name was Ronnie Biggs.
So that shot turned a potential 3-3 with an end remaining to a very tough 5-2 in favour of No Hope.
Needing to hold 3 to pinch a point, Hoskin’s opening shot wound up being the holder, and with a lack of support from his Young Gun teammates, it would come down to the final 2 bowls from Jordan and Ron – Jordy added another holder, but not the vital 3rd, and the set finished up at 5-4 to No Hope!
That keeps up another impressive Team No Hope streak – They’ve won the opening set in all 5 games.
Set 2 (Young Guns 10-1)
Setting the jack first, Hoskin’s opening shot sat right on the kitty, but JT came in with a line drive aiming to knock him off, but only succeeded in knocking the holder slightly off-line, while his own shot went flying into the wastes… and the jack didn’t move.
In Chris Scott’s eyes, that counts as Mission Accomplished.
Anyway, that original shot didn’t even hold, because Josh DiMargs wound up coming into the head and taking the jack, to which No Hope responded by bowling everything shallow, putting the Young Guns in position for a very healthy hold, which after 2 pairs, was at 3.
Brodes set up a Young Guns hold of 5 on his shots, and Ron couldn’t get enough weight on either of his shots in an effort to reduce the damage, and it was a mega hold of 5!
There you go boys, admire your handywork.
The 5-0 lead grew on the 2nd end, when DiMargs bowled one that still left plenty of room for everyone to aim at, but once again, No Hope struggled with line and weight, and Pricey made them pay again, and the lead was out to 7-0.
Hoskin set a very short 3nd end, to which Jordy replied that he wasn’t good on short ends – Either he was flat out lying or it was the old broken clock being right twice a day, but his first shot sat half a foot from the jack.
What could you do, except sit back and contemplate life.
It turned out Hoskin’s short bowl was jack high and ahead of Ron, and thus, it was another hold of 2 for the Young Guns.
9-0 after 3 ends, and to state the obvious, the set was as good as done, with No Hope bowling like they had….
What’s the phrase – No Hope?
Given the Young Guns were in with a shot at a Top 4 spot, Brodes went the powerplay on the 4th End, chasing a big chunk of variance.
You probably should’ve played it earlier, because the The Rocket got his line right and landed a foot from the jack.
It didn’t last long, because Pricey came along and knocked out The Rocket to hold, but just when it looked like another certain hold of 2 to the Young Guns, Pricey’s second bowl rebounded off Hoskin’s dud shot that sat halfway up the rink, maintained enough speed to come flying in and take the jack… Which somehow rebounded to JT’s shot, for the only No Hope hold of the 2nd Set.
That summed up the 2nd Set – The only way No Hope could get on the board was by the Young Guns giving them a hand!
Still trailing 1-9, No Hope held off the powerplay until the final end, but all told, it was another non-event – DiMargs ended up as the holder thanks to a well-weighted backhand, and he had plenty of room to aim at, considering the Habibs finished up on Rink 4 the previous day.
A 10-1 rout to the Young Guns to set up the tiebreak, and quite simply, No Hope couldn’t get their weights right!
So, true to form, it was death, taxes, and No Hope in a tiebreaker.
Tiebreak (Young Guns 3-0)
Last week myself and Half Price estimated that I’d played in at least 15 Jack Attack tiebreaks… We can make that 16.
As everyone fired their shots, DiMargs and Brodie put the Young Guns into a checkmate position with a hold of 3, especially after Brodes took the jack with a backhand on his first shot, and to put a full stop on the sentence, our Ron had the last bowl of the night, and was lining up a deadset toe-breaker on the holders…
Aaaaaand he bowled with the wrong bias, confirming the result that had been coming since the beginning of the 2nd Set – The Young Guns flying home over the top, although it was only enough to finish in 6th.
It’s been a funny old season – No Hope will at best finish 9th, and yet, we’re one of the few teams to win a set in every game.
Ultimately, having no consistency in our line-up has been the biggest of our many many problems.
Categories: Lawn Bowls