Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 21st October

Week 2 of the end of year Jack Attack competition at Manning Memorial, and the team changes are still flying in.

There are now 22 teams in the competition, with the inclusion of the COVID Shots and Lockdown (As named by Half Price), while Shaun from the Missing Moo’s was able to deliver on a promise and got his mates to enter under the ‘default’ name of Moo’s Mates, replacing the Hansen Crew, who never actually showed up at any point.

Moo’s Mates are considering a number of new names for Week 3, one of which is Alpha Tauri (In reference to the Formula One team), because they’re the junior team to Red Bull/Missing Moo’s, so on that note, don’t be surprised if we see struggling bowlers getting swapped in and out of both teams for poor performances like Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon.

As per Chief Half Price’s ruling, for continuity’s sake, Moo’s Mates assumed the record of Hansen Crew, meaning they’ve started on a 2 (+5) handicap over the other teams, thanks in part to Lauren’s one-lady show last week filling in for the Hansen Crew.

Well, this is a bowls tournament, so you could say they got the rub of the green.


The Overall Night

A week after their upset defeat against the Bowlshoviks, the Lawn Clippings were back to taking a whipper snipper to their opposition, as the S.cool Dads found out in a 20-2 (+18) thumping on the Synthetic.

In 2nd overall, a week after they were on the receiving end of the biggest beating of the night, THE CDs, who delivered a +16 bullseye on Team 180.

Getting back on the comforts of the synthetic rinks and being closer to the bar offset the loss of the iconic CD team shirts for the ladies.

As for the other results, with the Week 1 winners playing each other and the Week 1 losers playing each other, it seemed there was more lopsided victories than last Wednesday, and there was only 3 tiebreaks (And a tied set) from 11 games, compared to 5 tiebreaks last week.

5 teams stayed unbeaten, with Great Bowls Of Fire and the Young Guns the only teams to win all 4 sets to assume the Top 2 places overall, while Missing Moo’s still haven’t dropped a set, despite being held to a 4-4 tie in the 2nd Set by the Bowlshoviks, who smuggled a point with a hold on the last end.

Well, the old socialists do love banging on about dividing out things evenly.

Meantime, the Trevor Chappells vs Crawshaw Crisis Committee could go down as the game of the season, as you’ll see below, and lastly, the COVID Shots and Lockdown made their Jack Attack debuts against each other, and it was a fairly resounding win to Debbie and the COVID Shots, who lifted the Lockdown in straight sets.

Someone tell the Victorian government that’s how you overcome a Lockdown.


Results

Scoring – 2 points for a set win, 1 point for a tied set, 1 for a tiebreak win, tiebreaks aren’t counted in score differential

Grass 1: Team Smith (4 pts +4) defeated Shiny Shiny Bowls

Grass 2: Moo’s Mates (4 pts +11) defeated Marg’s V11

Grass 3: Trevor Chappells (3 pts -1) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee – 1-0 in a tiebreak

Grass 4: Missing Moo’s (3 pts +5) defeated The Bowlshoviks (1 pt -5) – 2nd Set was a 4-4 tie

Synthetic 1: COVID Shots (4 pts +14) defeated Lockdown

Synthetic 2: CD’s (4 pts +16) defeated Team 180

Synthetic 3: Habibs (3 pts +6) defeated Babes with Balls (2 pts -6) – 4-0 in a tiebreak

Synthetic 4: Great Bowls of Fire (4 pts +10) defeated T-Birds

Synthetic 5: Young Guns (4 pts +8) defeated Bowled & The Beautiful

Synthetic 6: Ten Pin (3 pts +5) defeated Hyperbowles (2 pts -5) – 3-0 in a tiebreak

Synthetic 7: Lawn Clippings (4 pts +18) defeated S.cool Dads


Captain’s Comments

Kelly & Natalie, CDs: “Don’t let the lack of T-shirts fool you, THE CDS ARE BACK! We’re back on familiar terrain, and if we have to play on the grass again, Pricey is going to hear about it – Keep us on the synthetic and you’ll see us every week, and we’re closer to the bar – Everything aligns!”

Kochie, T-Birds: “The T-Birds weren’t Greased Lightning tonight, we were more like grease, because nothing could stick.”

Very nice to see Kochie back on Wednesday nights by the way

Abraham, The Habibs: “So we won the 1st Set 11-2, then we struggled in the 2nd Set and lost it 5-2, then we held 4 in the tiebreak to win – Saved our best for last!”

Shaun, Missing Moos: “We spent more time focusing on the betterment of our second team, mainly to check on the condition of the green and the amount of divots – As for our own game, we held the mat for long enough that they couldn’t bowl short ends, which they seem to love, and that was the key to the win.”

Kim, Crawshaw Crisis Committee: “Don’t remind me!”


Ladder


Trevor Chappells vs Crawshaw Crisis Committee

It was a match-up between the opposite sides of Manning Road – The residents of Hope Avenue, posing as the Trevor Chappells vs the residents of Crawshaw Crescent, who boast one of the deepest lists in Manning Jack.

As always, Crawshaw were skippered by Kim, with Peter as the deputy, joined by the colourful Derek/Deck, his partner Patsy and Malcolm, with the Chappells compromised of JT, Rocket and Ron.

In hindsight, I should’ve suggested they call him Captain Kim, because it sounds like Kath & Kim if you say it fast enough.

Playing on the grass for the first time this season, JT and the Rocket noticed during the roll up that the green was playing a bit slower than usual (Ron let us know it had been watered the day before), and it seemed that unlike on the synthetic where you have room to work, we had to absolutely aim for the vertical line adjacent to the centre.

So that said, JT took the ‘Red Dog’ bowls because of the narrow bias, while Rocket changed up and went for some poo brown bowls, which is a great choice, considering he is a die in the wool Hawthorn supporter.


Set 1 (Crawshaw Crisis Committee 4-2)

Crawshaw won the toss and sent The Chappells into bat (They gave them the mat, more specifically) on a very short opening end, which left everyone struggling to find the right weight, but bowling as the lead, JT was left holding thanks to getting hit up by a shot from Malcolm, beating out Kim to give the opening hold to the Trevor Chappells.

I can confirm that Crawshaw didn’t bowl 8 bowls on the opening end this time around.

On the 2nd End, Malcolm would respond to his blemish with a fairly comfortable hold to level the scores at 1 apiece:

On the 3rd End, the Crawshaws made the first of the lineup changes, with Peter coming on for Kim, and Patsy replacing Malcolm.

Kim gave Peter the lead, and would you believe it, he turned into a magician and clicked his fingers, and rested on the jack (After kissing it) with his first bowl of the night to make it 2-1 to Crawshaw after 3 ends, in what was proving a very tight opening set.

Most importantly, Peter did get a drinks voucher for that end – It’d have been a travesty if he didn’t.

On the 4th End, Malcolm came back on for Decker, as neither team played the Powerplay, which meant it was going to be a double Powerplay to end the set.

Decker was given the kitty, but he sent it into the ditch, which resulted in it being set on the T for a long end, which resulted in most shots ending up narrow, while some went flying into the ditch with too much weight.

Ultimately, Ron bowled a shot that had originally ended too wide, but somehow, Malcolm bowled a backhand that managed to knock the shot in, which none of the Crawshaw back bowls could beat as the holder, tying the set up at 2-2.

It made holding off the Powerplay a bit of a waste, because whoever held would win the set.

With the set on the line, would you believe it, Peter, more like Peter Perfect, DID IT AGAIN.

Ron did bowl pretty well, but nothing short of a precise drive was going to stop that shot from holding, and the Rocket did launch one, but he had his forehand line blocked and couldn’t make an impact, and Peter had pretty much won the set for Crawshaw off his own right hand with 2 great shots.

2 points to the Crawshaws, but that scoreboard would indicate just how close things had been, as both teams never held more than 1 shot.


2nd Set (Trevor Chappells 5-4)

Starting the 2nd Set, Patsy came on for Malcolm, as Peter had got himself just ahead of JT on the short end after the first two pairs were done…

Then Kim, bowling third this time around, bowled what was in my view the shot of the night, and disturbed the head so well that he took the jack to Peter, and gave Crawshaw the first hold of 2 all night.

On End 2, Malcolm and Decker came on for another short end, and if anything, it was the most consistent end all night, as no fewer than 6 shots managed to land within 2 feet of each other – Ultimately, it was JT’s shot that held, with Malcolm preventing what easily could’ve been a hold of 2 or 3.

On the long 3rd End, it appeared Crawshaw had made a winning break, as Decker bowled his best shot of the night to edge out JT on a back bowl (And possibly the second holder on a jack high bowl) then Kim bowling third would become the holder with another lovely resting, shot, absolutely making it 2, and possibly 3 pending a measurement.

It was no longer than a chewed fingernail in it, but JT was somehow the 3rd holder, making the score 4-1 with 2 ends to go, and Crawshaw got the sniff of blood in the nostrils, and played the powerplay on the penultimate end.

Unfortunately for them, the short end didn’t work to their advantage, as Ron snuck in a backhand in that rested 2 feet from the kitty, and bowling 3rd, the Rocket was able to get the edge on Kim and hold 2 against the Powerplay!

When you analyse the result, that was the end that saved the match for the Trevor Chappells.

Now down 4-3 with a Powerplay to come, the Chappells simply needed to hold to force the tiebreak, as the Crawshaw residents went with Peter, Patsy and Kim as their trio.

It was tight, but in another deceptive jack high measurement, Rocket ended up as the holder by no more than a foot!

I noticed Rocket and Ron were shaking hands at the bowler’s end, thinking that Peter had held and the Chappells lost, which makes sense when you look where is blue bowl is compared to the Rocket’s shot:

Once everyone got down to the northern end, they properly realsied what happened – The Chappells had held on the Powerplay to make it 5-4, AND IT WAS TIME FOR A DREADED TIEBREAK.


Tiebreak (Trevor Chappells 1-0)

This would be one of the more memorable finishes to a game of social bowls in recent human history.

It was a tough team selection moment for Crawshaw, but they went with Peter, Decker and Kim, with the skipper giving himself the last bowl of the night.

So in the tiebreak, JT was the original holder after the lead bowls against Peter, getting his second shot in behind his opening bowl:

On the second pair, Ron made it 2, as Decker couldn’t pick his weight, leaving the Chappells in a promising position:

Then on his first bowl, Kim snuck in behind on a very good forehand to become the holder, which still managed to hold after Rocket used his last shot of the night to hit up one of JT’s bowls into the head, only to fall what seemed like an agonising half-a-foot short of holding, meaning for all intents and purposes, the Crawshaw residents had negotiated yet another crisis and won the match.

Considering tiebreaks don’t count for points differential, the best option for the skipper was to just send his last shot out of harm’s way, preferably the gutter on Green 4.

In essence, just bowl a pissy little underarm delivery against a team named after Trevor Chappell.

The irony.

But, that’s a losing attitude to have, so Kim decided to end the night with a bang….

The only problem with that internal decision was that Kim managed to bowl so accurately, that his bowl had enough weight on it to hit one of Rocket’s poo brown bowls (Which had originally hit up JT’s shot) up so far…

THAT IT BECAME THE WINNING SHOT.

WOULD. YOU. BELIEVE. THAT.

Now, I’ve seen Jack Attack matches go down to the last shot at least a dozen times…

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one where a team managed to hit up an opposing bowl to holder to lose the game.

The sheer look of bewilderment on JT’s face was comparable to Steven Bradbury at Salt Lake City in 2002, as he suddenly realised “Holy crap, we’ve pinched this!”

So on that note, all I can say to Kim and the Crawshaw residents is thank you.

Not only for giving the Trevor Chappells the win, but on an entertaining night overall.

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