The time arrived for the last week of the 2020 Jack Attack Tournament at Manning Memorial, and being the last week, it was FINALS WEEK.
The theory is pretty simple, all the teams corresponding with each other on the ladder (The exceptions being the Bottom 4 teams) played each other, with the Top 6 teams playing off on the centre synthetic rinks in the hunt for a couple of cold hard pineapples.
Pricey also provided another reason why the major finals were on Synthetic rinks 4, 5 & 6 – They’re the closest rinks to the bar.
But, in more exciting news, if you think this the end of my Manning Bowls reports, to quote Tim Shaw from Demtel, THERE IS STILL MORE!
Pricey in his role as the Minister For Good Times has organised a 3-week tournament through to the start of April, starting next Wednesday, which could be unofficially known as Jack Attack 0.5, considering it’s half as long.
Buggered if I know how it’s going to work, but I can tell you that plenty of us are interested.
As for the weather on Wednesday night, it was another great night – 26 degrees, but there was a very prevalent Southwesterly, which definitely had an influence on Green 2.
The Corners Challenge
As part of the last week of Jack Attack, one player from each team took part in a special edition of the Corner To Corner Challenge.
Bowling simultaneously, the Top 12 teams were in the far corner (Challenger Avenue side), while the other 10 teams lined up in the adjacent corner, and the two bowlers closest to the jacks claimed $25 each.
Amazingly, from 22 shots, no bowls made contact.
In the wash up, Adele from the Babes With Balls won the Bottom 10 prize, and the winner of the Top 12 was none other than our favourite Pom, ‘Filthy’ Phil from the Missing Moo’s, who beat Jamie from the Great Bowls Of Fire with the penultimate shot.
Knowing Phil, he went straight to the bar and bought about 4 pints.
The Overall Night
All eyes were on Rink 5 for The Grand Final, which apparently wasn’t as tense as it looked live, because The Bowling Stones, minus Brad Hogg, romped home to the 2020 title and the $350 cash with a straight sets win over the Lawn Clippings (Who claim $250), in what was Clippings skipper Jacky Garbin’s farewell to Jack Attack.
We can honestly say that a stellar midweek career has come to a close.
Fancy that, Hoggy buggers off to India, and the Stones actually improve.
Best bowler on the team my arse.
On Rink 4, Great Bowls of Fire stormed home to take 3rd place ($200) in a tiebreaker over the Crawshaw residents ($150) – Crawshaw won the 1st Set 8-6 after getting 3 (6) on a 5th end powerplay, but the Great Bowls romped to a 13-0 2nd Set win, and then held their nerve in the tiebreak.
In the last of the major finals on Rink 3, the Young Guns confirmed themselves as the best-ever 5th placed team in Jack Attack history, defeating Missing Moo’s in straight sets, and sorting out the $100.
Down in the basement, the Barking Owls won the coveted Wooden Spoon, despite ending their season with a forfeit victory over the absent Marg’s VII (Hansie Cronje apparently had an influence), who were rubbed out of winning the spoon for not turning up.
The Owls also receive Pick No.1 of the imaginary 2020 Jack Attack Draft, and I can see them attempting a trade with the Bowling Stones to lure the out of favour Hoggy.
Full Beer Sculls dodged the spoon on shot variance, and were awarded a highly sought after roll of toiler paper (Only 1 ply) for finishing 2nd last, because according to Pricey, they were “Close to s–t.”
In a few weeks, that roll will be worth more than the Stones’ prize money.
Pricey’s Special Awards
Best Team Name: Barking Owls/Hooting Dogs, for making you second guess the sounds of fauna.
Best Team Uniforms: The CD’s, for going to the effort of making custom shirts with CD’s on them.
Most Improved Team (Aka The Manning Rippers Award): Full Beer Sculls, for coming back to win 2 games after the Bowling Stones beat them so badly in Week 1 they had to change their name (Previously the Mad Ryans).
Grass 1: Ten Pin 4pts (+14) defeated CD’s – Ten Pin actually won the night on overall shots (21 to 17)
Grass 2: Team 180 3pts (+4) defeated Team No Hope 1pt – 1st Set was a 4-4 tie
Grass 3: Bowled & The Beautiful 4pts (+3) defeated Bulls & Arrows
Grass 4: Irritable Bowls Syndrome 4pts (+3) defeated Full Beer Sculls
Synthetic 1: T-Birds 4pts (+5) defeated Hooting Dogs
Synthetic 2: Long Shots 4pts (+12) defeated Habibs
Synthetic 3: Young Guns 4pts (+4) defeated Missing Moo’s
Synthetic 4: Great Bowls of Fire 3pts (+11) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee 2pts – Great Bowls won 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 5: Bowling Stones 4pts (+12) defeated Lawn Clippings
Synthetic 6: Babes With Balls 3pts (+4) defeated GG’s 2pts – Babes won 1-0 in the tiebreaker
Synthetic 7: Barking Owls 4pts (0) WALKOVER Marg’s VII
Marg’s VII forfeited due to a miscommunication, so they were declared ineligible for the Wooden Spoon
Kochie, T-Birds: “We won the 1st Set (6-2), then we went 4-1 down in the 2nd Set, and came home with a 4 on the last end to win the match.”
“Good way to end the season, looking forward to the 3 weeker!”
Helen, Nat, Kelly CD’s: “We came, we played, we regressed to vinyls.”
Brodie, Young Guns: “We only lost one game for the season and finished 5th, but we also dropped a couple of points in sets which cost us – Tonight was only our second straight sets win of the season.”
(On his teammates) “(Josh) DiMargo was the most improved, (Liam) Hoskin the most consistent, (Luke) Cavs gets the Coach’s Award, I was runner up Best & Fairest, Matty was the best first year player without playing a game, and Jordan was best in finals.”
“We’ll be back next week, I don’t know how it’s gonna work, but we’ll be there.”
Jack, Lawn Clippings: “We were very lucky to come from 7th to the Grand Final, but the game showed how crap we’ve been all year.”
“We tried our best to go Back To Back, but we couldn’t.”
“It was a great season with great matches – No Hope in the tiebreaker, and the only team we lost to was the Bowling Stones, so no shame in losing to the champs.”
“I’d like to say this is my last season, I’m moving to Merredin, and I’ve had a great few years playing here – Congrats to everyone!”
Cheryl, Bowling Stones: “We rolled up the Lawn Clippings and smoked them in true Stoner style.”
“Chris Bates stepped in for Mr Hogg, Chris being the nephew of Cathy Bates, who hobbled James Caan in Misery, just like we hobbled the Clippings tonight.”
“When we asked Chris to join us, in lieu of Brad’s departure for India, he replied with the immortal words of Qantas – Your Upgrade Has Been Accepted.”
“We certainly cashed in – Rob was a handy 4th bowler, but Bates really intimidated.”
“Of course, all prize money will be spent before Brad’s return.”
“I also noticed Jack from the Lawn Clippings was spouting off all sorts of impressive bowls sayings and coaching his team to accuracy, and in eavesdropping, I finally learned some bowls terms like, “You can bias at the ends.”
“We were here for the money, and we won the money – We’re still largely talentless, so how crap are you?”
I’ve found a musical tribute to sum up the Stones’ title win.
Kym, Crawshaw Crisis Committee: “We all wore black armbands for Daniel’s father Brad, who passed away last week.”
“As for the game, I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on the last bowl – I’m the biggest choker since Mama Cass.”
“Things got heated when Paralympic Gold Medalist Graeme (That’s Graeme with an OAM) put his best foot forward (He’s only got 1) on his 71st birthday, but we didn’t want to start a fight with the locals.”
“I’d also like to point out that the Bowling Stones brought their own bowls and they still lost to us… They’re losers, the President’s son didn’t even show up for the Grand Final – He had his tongue hanging out in Mumbai!”
I just want to point out, that statement is fact – Graeme won a Gold Medal at the Sydney Paralympics in the Three Person Keel Boat, he does have an OAM, and it was his birthday, so Happy Birthday, Graeme!
Fancy that, this comp had a Paralympic Gold Medalist, an Australian Test Cricketer, and Merv Roberts.
Team No Hope vs Team 180
While the top teams were all facing off on the centre rinks, the has-beens were punted over to the grass, where the feature matchup was Team No Hope vs Team 180, in a rematch of Week 2, in the mighty playoff for 9th.
Skipper Mick was back with Ronnie (That’s a she), and with Peggy unavailable, they were joined by their darts colleague Harry Holly.
If he is related to Buddy, well, that’ll be the day.
It was another funny situation where we had a Ron, and they had a Ronnie.
Where have we seen that before…
1st Set (4-4 tie)
No Hope won the toss and bowled first, but that was the only thing they won on the 1st End, because Mick (The darker blue) and Harry (Black & blue) held a very easy 2, as basically everything else went flying off target.
The grass at this stage of the evening was still pretty damp, having been watered earlier on Wednesday, resulting in quite a few shots travelling well past their intended destination.
On the 2nd End, AJ blew his whistle for the next toucher, and for once, I can report that No Hope didn’t miss out, because right on cue, Rocket fired one down, and for the only time this season, we got a voucher!
And yet, it still wasn’t enough to hold.
Thankfully, Harry seemed to appreciate a good shot, so he knocked the Rocket forward enough to edge out Mick and himself for the hold.
Team 180 went the powerplay on the 3rd End, with the jack set on the T (Which became a regular occurrence) and it never looked a chance after the Rocket turned into a homing missile, and almost picked up another toucher.
When it looked like No Hope could hold 2, Ronnie (Bowling with purple bowls) fired a line drive that could’ve hit anything, and somehow hit Mick’s shot, which didn’t quite beat the holder, but still took out everything else, keeping it to 1 shot and tying the scores at 2 apiece.
The 4th End showed that as the old saying goes, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
No Hope played the powerplay, but Mick (And Harry) had other ideas, and held 2, making it 4-2 with an end to play, and both teams having used their powerplays.
As everyone fired down some incredibly short shots on the last end, it was looking like a measurement between Harry and JT as to who was going to hold, but with his last shot, Ron was able to do something decent and take the end (Ron Biggs strikes again), but as to whether or not it was that vital hold of 2, would soon be discovered.
In a tense measurement decided by footsteps, the mat, and eventually Pricey’s tape measure, JT’s shot was somehow ahead by barely 4 inches, making it a hold of 2, and the teams split the points in a 4-4 tie.
If my memory is correct, the only time I’ve played in a tied set in Jack Attack was against the Missing Moo’s at the start of 2019 – Team Hope had won the 1st Set, so it ended the match.
That was also the only time No Hope didn’t win the 1st Set in a game this season, but more positively, it also means we didn’t lose a 1st Set this season!
2nd Set (Team 180, 6-2)
Starting off what was effectively a tiebreak SET, Team 180 switched up their order, with Ronnie bowling against our Ron as the skip, which turned into a riveting contest after Ronnie took the jack right to the edge of the ditch, creating what looked like another nail biting measurement.
But once again, I don’t call him Ron Biggs for nothing, delivering an absolute laser on his last shot to hold, and the measure for the second holder went his way by inches.
In hindsight, that was the last end No Hope won for the night.
On a shorter 2nd End, quite a few shots didn’t even make it past halfway (JT and Ronnie the main culprits), and it would turn into an end dominated by Mick, although the tape measure was back to measure another deceptive second holder.
Somehow it went Ron’s way again, as jack high somehow proved the difference.
On the 3rd End, The Rocket got dealt a crap hand by nature – The breeze randomly picked up when he started his follow-through for his second shot – It subsequently fell way short, which was a shame, because his first shot was almost good enough to hold, as you’ll see.
Despite any one of 3 No Hope shots settling in the head, it was Harry who held, despite some serious heat from Rocket and Ron, and the scorecard was level.
After a 4-4 set, it was now 2-2 with 2 ends to play in the 2nd, but it all changed on the 4th end, when 180 played the powerplay.
Bowling last against Ron, Harry’s shot would prove the most crucial shot of the night, beating out Ron, turning 1 into 2, and the scorecard was a carbon copy of the 1st Set, Team 180 leading 4-2 with an end to play.
The obvious difference was that No Hope still had the powerplay in hand, which meant that a simple hold would send the game to a tiebreak (In the most hilarious way possible), and a 2 would secure 9th.
After the first couple of pairs, it was looking pretty good – JT’s shots were both around the mark, Rocket was there, but that all changed when Mick stepped up bowling last, and his first shot was a backhand that was definitely holding.
Ron then stepped up, and you could instantly tell that his shot was a bit narrow and didn’t quite have the weight.
In fact, it was so short, that it managed to hit one of Harry’s shots in far enough, that it was actually holding.
If we’d known that was going to be the outcome, I can say in hindsight that bowling with the wrong bias was probably the better option for Ron.
Anyway, Mick’s last shot couldn’t quite replicate his first, and Ron’s final bowl was a backhand that just had a bit too much weight on it.
One last hold of 2 on the night, and Team 180 wrapped up 9th place with a fairly convincing 6-2 in the 2nd Set.
It was a very close match for 8 ends (Befitting the closeness of the teams on the ladder), but Team 180 holding on the powerplay really proved the difference.
I think the major reason No Hope fell away on those ends was because the probability of a tiebreaker was greatly diminished by the tied set.
It clearly mentally rattled all three of us.
Finishing up, a big thanks to everyone who represented No Hope Avenue – Merv, Rocket, and especially Ron, who fronted up every week.
Ron and myself have committed to bowling in the 3 week tournament, and I’ll give you a big spoiler alert, we’ve renamed the team after a great underarm bowler.
Henceforth, we are, The Trevor Chappells.
A big thanks to Richard ‘Half’ Price for putting on the show – You don’t call yourself the Minister For Good Times for no reason – To AJ, Greg and the folk of the Manning Eagles as the hosts, and to all the people who gave their thoughts every week in the Captain’s Comments this season.
For me, the highlight was probably the constant shittalk between Kochie and the ladies of the CD’s.
Categories: Lawn Bowls
Always a great read young fella. Keep up the good work…and get a job.
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