Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 25th November

Thanks to everyone who took part this year!

A big thanks to Theresa (Kochie’s far better half) for the photo

The last Wednesday of November rolled around, and it was time for the last week of Manning Jack Attack at Manning Memorial in the year 2020, marking the end of what was the most successful edition of the best bowls competition between Manning Road and the Canning River to date.

Last week, yours truly, Rocket and Half Price chewed the fat and discussed what had made this season so great, despite so much going on in the world.

Being able to live relatively freely (Compared to the rest of the world) since June helped big time, the Perth spring weather fell our way every Wednesday night, but we all seemed to agree that trading Merv Roberts from the Trevor Chappells to Kalgoorlie in July for a 1st Round draft pick (Plus agreeing to pay half his salary) was definitely the catalyst, and clearly it’s worked out well for all parties.

Just kidding Merv, hope all’s well in the Goldfields!

Turning to the weather, and it was appropriate that we enjoyed perfect conditions for the last night of bowls, dropping down to about 21 degrees Celsius with the Fremantle Doctor blowing in well past 6:30, which really lets you know that summer is coming up in under a week.

Corner To Corner Challenge(s)

The night kicked off with the third of the Corner To Corner challenges for both the Synthetic and Grass teams, and in front of a packed crowd, the Synthetic prize went to Thea from the Hyperbowles:

It was a tense finish over on the Grass, with Shaun from the Missing Moo’s ducking off to the bar after his shot took over as holder…

Only to come back and find his bowl had been hit up even further, so much so it managed to narrowly win the prize on account of being jack high!

Going to the bar instead of watching on – I think the Moo’s call that the ‘Filthy Phil’ method.

The Overall Night (Drumroll please)

The feature event of the night was the Jack Attack Grand Final live from ‘TV Rinkside’ (Aka Synthetic 4), and a big congratulations to this season’s champions….

The Lawn Clippings!

The winning team: Kyle, Ryan with his serious face, James and Matty

Saving their best for last, the Lawn Clippings whipper snipped the Trevor Chappells in what was a very competitive Grand Final, taking out the $300 grand prize, plus some special ‘Jack Attack’ hats courtesy of Bowls WA.

The lesson I’ve learned is that bowling underarm only really works when you play New Zealanders.

In the other games on TV Rinkside, the Great Bowls of Fire (Jamie, Bruce & Rede) claimed 3rd place from the Habibs in a tense tiebreak, as Jamie pulled out a huge hold on the last Great Bowl of the night, and in the 5th Place Playoff, The Bowlshoviks staged a massive comeback over Ten Pin, coming from 9-1 and 4-0 down in the 2nd Set to skittle the one time ladder leaders in a tiebreak.

Going around the greens, the anticipated Missing Moo’s Cup on Grass 1 turned into a bowls lesson, as the Missing Moo’s reminded their mates at Alpha Tauri just who the B-team is in this Moo’s setup with a big +17 win, the passionate CD’s took 7th place with a win over Crawshaw, Top Shots toppled the Babes With Balls in a tiebreak after both teams split the sets by identical scores (9-1), while the Bowling Stones requested they play the Dads in their last game of the year…

But all that did was ensure the Dads ended the year with their first win, meaning every team won at least once during the 6 weeks!

The word is that in response, Dads captain John has requested his team play the ladies 6 times next season.

In the race for the Wooden Spoon, it was decided (Out of fairness) that the teams who entered the competition after Week 1 (Bowling Stones, Lockdowns, COVID Shots, Orphans) would be exempt from ‘winning’ the spoon, which set up a clash between the Marg’s V11 and the Shiny Shiny Lawn Bowls for the prestigious piece of wood, and it appears that Jared and his Margs just wanted to tank more, as the Shiny Bowls won by +12 in straight sets.

There were no $30 and $20 prizes for the biggest wins on the night, but for the record, the Missing Moo’s were on top with that +17 win, and the Young Guns were 2nd with a +15 win over Hyperbowles.

Pricey’s Choice Awards

Most Improved Team – The Bowling Stones

Most Passionate Team – The CD’s (Despite objections from Kochie)

Best Dressed Team – The Babes With Balls

Best Team Spirit – Crawshaw Crisis Committee

Most Friendly Team – Top Shots

Most Unorthodox Team – Alpha Tauri


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: Missing Moo’s (4pts +17) defeated Alpha Tauri

Grass 2: Top Shots (3pts 0) defeated Babes With Balls (2pts 0) – Top Shots won the tiebreak, Total score was 10-10

Grass 3: T-Birds (4pts +5) defeated Team 180

Grass 4: Bowled & The Beautiful (4pts +12) defeated COVID Shots

Grass 5: S.Cool Dads (3pts +8) defeated Bowling Stones II (1pt -8) – 1st Set was a 5-5 tie

Synthetic 1: Shiny Shiny Lawn Bowls (4pts +12) defeated Marg’s V11 – Marg’s V11 take the wooden spoon

Synthetic 2: CD’s (4pts +9) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee

Synthetic 3 (5th Place Playoff): The Bowlshoviks (3pts -5) defeated Ten Pin (2pts +5) – Bowlshoviks won 2-0 in the tiebreak, Ten Pin were ahead 15-10 on total score

Synthetic 4 (Grand Final): Lawn Clippings (4pts +7) defeated Trevor Chappells

Synthetic 5 (3rd Place Playoff): Great Bowls Of Fire (3pts -2) defeated the Habibs (2pts +2) – Great Bowls won 1-0 in the tiebreak, Habibs were ahead 10-8 on total score

Synthetic 6: Young Guns (4pts +15) defeated Hyperbowles

Note about Synthetic 7: With no-one available to play for the Orphans, Lockdown played an 11 end singles game, scoring 3-2-1 for the closest holders, which Adelaide won with 28 points, Lucius finished 2nd on 21, and Takara 3rd on 17.

Captain’s Comments

Nat, Helen & Kelly, CD’s: “Roses are red, violets are blue, we’re the most passionate, sucks to be you – See you in 2021!”

Also, a big thankyou to the CD’s for their support all season!

Pricey, Nat, Helen, Kelly and JT (Thanks again Theresa)

Alex, The Bowlshoviks: “The 1st Set was pretty village (9-1 Ten Pin), then after going 4-0 down in the 2nd Set, in one of the greatest tactical calls in Jack Attack history, I made myself lead, and we came back to win the set and the match!”

Loose Bruce, Great Bowls Of Fire: “It’s good to get a place, the Habibs started off strong, but we got them in the 2nd Set, then Jamie snuck one right in there at the end to win the match – Very happy to talk away with 3rd place!”

Kochie, T-Birds: “It was good to finally get back on top, but we were still missing one of our players, who we are now thinking may be our anchor – We’re now looking forward to next season, sailing away from our lost anchor!”

Shaun, Missing Moo’s: “Amy went out and purchased her own bowls, and we got back into the Winners list, putting the B team back in their place, so they know they’ll stay the B team for next season – We only won by +17 because we bowled left handed on the last end!”

Kym, Crawshaw Crisis Committee: “We’d like to thank Richard – Not very much, but a little bit, and the kitchen staff, because for 5 weeks we’ve requested mayonnaise and still haven’t got any!

On the night: “We didn’t lose, we won BY A LOT, we got 71 million votes, and we’re going to the High Court to get the result overturned”

“We’re just good bowlers out of luck, and we’ll be back next week to drink our winnings:”

The Final Ladder

Only the Top 10 positions are actually official for prize money reasons – The rest are up to the imagination.

The Grand Final: Trevor Chappells vs Lawn Clippings

In front of a sold out Rink 4, with a TV audience greater than the ARIAs, the Trevor Chappells of JT, Rocket and Ron took on last season’s runners-up the Lawn Clippings, compromised of the Van Beek brothers Ryan & Kyle, along with James (Aka Jimmy) and Matthew, overcoming the big loss of Jacky Garbin and a slow start to reach their third consecutive Manning Jack Attack decider.

This reporter knew Ryan and Matty very well, given we were all in the same year group (2013) at Aquinas College.

The only prior history the teams had was back in Week 1 of the last edition of Manning Jack Attack, when the Trevor Chappells were still going around as Team No Hope, with the Lawn Clippings coming back to win a close match in a tiebreak.

Looking back, with the form Rocket was displaying in the warm-up, the Chappells would need divine intervention to even get close to a tiebreak.

1st Set (Lawn Clippings 6-1)

Notes on the bowls – Matty & Kyle bowled with identical green & yellow bowls, Ryan and Jimmy bowled with identical black bowls (With a yellow ring + blue triangle), JT bowled with the black & yellow bell bowls with worn-down stickers, Rocket had the slightly orange graphite pair, and Ron had his black & white Shark bowls.

The Lawn Clippings won the toss and bowled first, and the opening end of the night could be best described as nervy, with nobody managing to get within 5 feet of the jack, and at one stage the Trevor Chappells were holding one of the worst holds of 3 you’ll ever see (Jimmy clipped the jack on a shot that went long), but bowling third, Ryan landed a shot right between 3 TCs shots and held for 1-0 to the Clippings.

Next up, the 2nd End was a prime example of what a bowls Grand Final should be.

It started with JT bowling a beauty as the lead to beat out a pretty good leading shot by Matty:

Then up stepped Kyle after subbing in for Ryan, and his second shot was EVEN BETTER, knocking out JT’s holder, creating what was effectively a 3-shot swing with Matty’s shot still in play:

Ron was able to take one green bowl out and cut the hold to 1 with a well-weighted shot that couldn’t quite beat the holder, Jimmy nudged out JT’s original holder, but it was a fairly clear hold of 1 to Kyle, making it 2-0 to the Lawn Clippings.

On the 3rd End, JT once again sat a shot on the jack to beat out Matty, and it almost wasn’t enough with Kyle coming back for Round 2, but this time the shot landed half a foot to the right, as the Chappells skipper got a bit luck to fall his way for once:

A hard shot from Jimmy to try and save the end came to nothing after it took out Kyle’s bowl, but with 3 other Lawn Clippings bowls still in the head, the hold remained at 1, and the score was now 2-1.

Both teams held off on deploying the powerplay on the 4th End, and starting off another competitive end, Ryan bowled lead, and with his first shot took the jack to pick up a $5 drinks voucher, which was last seen in the hands of a delighted Jimmy.

That ‘toucher’ survived a wide forehand from JT that started out on Rink 3, only to cut back and miss the kitty by what looked like two inches from where we were all watching up at the bowlers end.

Said shot can be seen parked at the bottom

When it came down to the final pairs, Ryan’s shot was still holding, even after being joined by some decent efforts from Ron and Rocket, but bowling third, Matty decided it was time for a moment of glory, giving Ryan’s holder something resembling a Byron Pickett hip and shoulder all the way to the bar, which still left the hold at 1, and the score was 3-1 Lawn Clippings with a Double Powerplay final end to come.

In hindsight, the Double Powerplay end was pretty much over as soon as it began, because on a long end, Jimmy took the jack on the first shot, with JT somehow threading the gap between the holding shot and the jack in another agonising near miss:

As you can see, Rocket and Ron got close, but not close enough to breaking Jimmy’s hold, and the 1 turned into 2 on the powerplay meant the Lawn Clippings claimed the 1st Set 5-1.

A +4 set win probably didn’t do justice to just how close the game was, evidenced by the fact that outside of the powerplay, no team held more than 1 shot on any end.

However, I can’t say the same about the 2nd Set.

2nd Set (Lawn Clippings 8-5)

Picking up where he left off, Jimmy (Bowling third) stepped up and produced another toucher on the opening end of the 2nd Set, turning around what was at that stage a hold of 4 to the Trevor Chappells.

It was looking like a safe hold of 1, but the Rocket, who does have a tendency to launch missiles into his teammates’ shots, managed to take both the jack and holding shot even further down the rink, right next to a back bowl sent down by Ryan.

Such was the Trevor Chappells’ luck on Wednesday night that the jack settled directly in line with said back bowl, increasing the hold to 2 to start the set.

Now there’s bad luck and there’s unforced errors in sport…. Surely that qualifies as both simultaneously.

The Lawn Clippings took full advantage of that early break on the next end, beginning with Kyle getting his second toucher of the night, which JT managed to brush for what must have been the third time on the night, and from there, Jimmy and Matt joined in the pile-on, and after some fairly quick measurements, the Clippings had held 4!

Yes, not many people know that the number Ron replaced the number 5 in 1981, as a tribute to Ronald Reagan.

So the Lawn Clippings were now up a set and 6-0 two ends into the second set, and if Betfair had done a live market on this game, they’d probably be at suspended odds.

Down but not totally out, the Trevor Chappells hit back on the 3rd End when Ron took the jack on a backhand, pushing the kitty into the path of a JT back bowl, setting up a potential hold of 2 and a way back:

Not giving up an end without a fight, Jimmy cut the hold to 1 on a backhand with his last shot, as the score moved on to 6-1 with two ends to play.

A handy piece of damage limitation

The 4th End pretty much put the result beyond any doubt, starting from when Jimmy promoted himself back to lead and sat his opening shot a foot from the kitty, joined later on by Ryan to comfortably hold 2 for the Lawn Clippings, even after Rocket came flying through and knocked the holder a line to the right.

It was now 8-1 with an end to play, and I could hear the sound of champagne corks going flying out the back.

Actually, that may have just been the CD’s celebrating a win.

With another Double Powerplay to end the night, the Trevor Chappells only need to hold 4 to force a tiebreak, a situation that Richie Benaud would describe as “Not an impossible task, but pretty effin’ close to it.”

As it turned out, the final end was the most competitive end of the night, just through the sheer number of shots that finished within 4 feet of the jack.

After a fairly mild opening in which Kyle (Bowling in place of Matt) held and JT skimmed the holding shot one last time, Ron took the jack again, and the Chappells were now holding shot:

Then, Ryan knocked in Kyle’s shot (Brothers have to help each other), although it looked like Ron was still holding from a deceptive angle:

It went down to the last pair of Jimmy and Rocket, and Jimmy looked to have put the end beyond reach when he guided a forehand (On his first shot) through the gap between Kyle and Ron’s shots:

In response, making amends for that misfire on the 1st End, Rocket saved his best for last, knocking out the holder and pushing the jack onto the blue line, and the Chappells had gone from being down to up 2!

Jimmy’s last shot went through the head and out of harm’s way, and holding at least 2 when they needed 4, it seemed like the only chance for the Chappells was for Rocket to somehow hit JT’s shot (Seen to the right of the blue line) up far enough, and just hope the shot still had enough weight to follow it in.

It was a good idea in theory, but Rocket’s line was just a bit too wide, and the hold stayed at 2 (4 with the powerplay), as the measurement for 3rd went the way of Ryan (On the right of the yellow line), and the Trevor Chappells ended the night with a small consolation prize of holding 2 on the powerplay.

The Chappells may have won that fight, but the Grand Final was very clearly in favour of the Lawn Clippings, taking out the Jack Attack title 5-1, 8-5!

JT bowled well, Ron bowled well, Rocket bowled, but this is a team game, and ultimately the Lawn Clippings were just more consistent across the board than the Trevor Chappells, and that was the fundamental difference between the teams.

I think it was Ryan who told me they hadn’t bowled this well all season…. picked a bloody good time for it.

The Finale

So that’s it for this edition of Jack Attack, and on Thanksgiving, I’d be a turkey not to say a big thanks to my two trusty teammates Rocket and Ron for a fantastic season, and I think the key to our Grand Final appearance was only playing in 1 tiebreak this time around, versus 5 during February and March.

The name change from Team No Hope to the Trevor Chappells really lifted our spirits, and our games.

Lastly, thanks again to you all for reading the Manning Jack Attack Reviews this season – If all goes to plan, the Trevor Chappells will be back for the next edition of the best bowls tournament between Manning Road and the Canning River in February!

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