Lawn Bowls

Manning Twilight Bowls Review: 9th December

After some kind of an All-Star Jack Attack showdown against South Perth Bowling Club apparently never got out of the ‘brilliant idea’ phase, Half Price organised an off-season midweek Triples tournament for anyone interested in venturing down to Manning Memorial over the summer, and that was more enough to entice yours truly and the Trevor Chappells back for a social game on a Wednesday night.

Whereas Jack Attack is intended to replicate the rules of the Bowls Premier League, this format was closer to what you’d see in a traditional game of Triples lawn bowls.

Games consisted of 11 ends (Rather than 2 sets of 5 ends), with a 12th end tiebreak if need be, there were no powerplay ends, each player bowls their shots in order, the bowling order can’t change, the skips stand up at the far end until it’s their turn to bowl, and, if the kitty gets rolled in the ditch, it stays there.

Although, for the sake of constituency, tiebreak ends won’t be counted towards the shot differential.

As for the Wednesday evening conditions, it was still a warm 30 degrees at sundown after a top of 32 Celsius, somewhat consistent with the stinking temperatures in Perth this week, but the bigger challenge was a mean Easterly that kicked up right as the games were getting underway at 6:30, which was a tough adjustment after there’d hardly been any windy nights during the most recent edition of Jack Attack.

The Overall Night

Given this semi-competition was organised relatively late, only 7 teams from Jack Attack were able to back up on Wednesday night; The T-Birds, Great Bowls Of Fire, The CDs, The Bowlshoviks, The Dads, Ten Pin, and the Trevor Chappells.

To even up the numbers, a couple of gun bowlers from the Manning Eagles (And Kochie’s better half Theresa) were parachuted in to play in a game with the CDs, led by former Australian Referee Of The Year Sue Hogg, with Alastair and former WA State Champion Laura also taking part, while Laura’s partner Blake gave a hand to the Dads, by practicing on the other rink and giving them inspiration.

Unless I’m very much mistaken (And I probably am), Alastair, Laura and Kelly bowled together, and Sue bowled with Marg and Helen, and in a shorter 10-end game, Team Alastair won 8-7 thanks to a hold on the final end, after which they all went to the bar.

We’re not sure why they only played 10 ends instead of 11, and we’re not sure why the Australian Referee Of The Year didn’t pick that up.

The overall winners and taking the $30 were the Great Bowls Of Fire, who had a 13-4 (+9) win in the derby against the T-Birds, with notorious flip-flopper Kochie switching over to join Loose Bruce and the Great Bowls just so he could experience what it’s like playing for a good team.

In 2nd overall and taking the $20 were the Dads with an 11-8 (+3) win against the Bowlshoviks, and it looks like John and the Dads have developed a case of winning fever after they broke their Jack Attack losing streak a fortnight ago, as they came back from 4-7 down after 7 ends to storm to victory.

The fourth and final game between Ten Pin and the Trevor Chappells on TV Rinkside proved to be the closest result of the night – Ten Pin looked to have the game won at 9-6 with an end to play as Demolition Deborah starred as the skip, but the Chappells held 3 on the 11th End to force a tiebreak, which went the way of the underarm aficionados with a hold of 3.

It wouldn’t be the Trevor Chappells without winning a game at the death with underarm.


Great Bowls Of Fire 13 defeated T-Birds 4

Manning Eagles/Team Alastair 8 defeated The CDs 7

Trevor Chappells 9 drew with Ten Pin 9, Trevor Chappells won 3-0 in the tiebreak Dads 11 defeated The Bowlshoviks 8

Captains Kochie’s Comments

“I just wanted to see what it felt like to win – Bruce just did his job…. and I did what his teammates normally do.”

Trevor Chappells vs Ten Pin

With Ron unavailable for the night, JT and Rocket were joined by former Team Some Hope teammate Richard ‘Half’ Price, in what was the first time the trio had played together since they won the Manning Jack Attack competition at the end of February 2018.

I say as a trio, because Pricey did play for Team Hope in the mythical 2018 Community Shield at Thornlie, which was also the very same event where we found out someone had named their team ‘Trevor Chappells’, and we’ve been laughing about it ever since.

Our opponents on Wednesday night were fellow Manning Jack Attack veterans Ten Pin, comprised of Coral, Deborah and Peter, who had led this most recent Jack Attack up until Week 5, when a devastating loss to The Habibs knocked them out of the Top 4 altogether.

The bowling order for both teams, with identifying bowl colour.

JT (Black bowls with a bell) bowled lead, Rocket (Light brown) bowled second, and Pricey (Light blue) bowled as the lead for the Trevor Chappells.

Peter (Orange bowls) bowled lead, Coral bowled second, and Deborah was the skip for Ten Pin, with Coral and Deborah using identical pairs of black & green bowls.

Ten Pin won the toss and bowled first, and beginning the night with a long end, Peter and Coral were holding 2 as nobody seemed to find the right line and length:

Coming down to the skips, Pricey got mighty close to denying Coral the hold, but the jack high line gave Ten Pin the opening hold of the night for 1-0.

On the 2nd End, JT got a hit up from Rocket to hold through to the skips, in another display of bowls social distancing:

But along came Demolition Deb with her booming mollydooker deliveries, to not only take the hold, but get the second hold as well for 3-0.

Falling into an early hole, the Chappells needed to respond, and on a short end, JT was the early holder, but Rocket went one better and got himself a toucher, with the only problem being that there weren’t any $5 bar vouchers on offer:

It turned out to be a very good end for the Chappells with Pricey getting the measurement for the 3rd holder over Deborah, and as quickly as Ten Pin had broken away, the scores were level at 3 shots apiece.

On the 4th End, it looked like the Chappells might take the lead when JT edged out Peter, but reverting back to type, Rocket did more damage to his own team when he managed to knock the jack into the path of Peter’s orange bowl to make it the holder, and an attempted backhand by Pricey didn’t quite work, as he tried aiming for the holder, but only rang JT’s bell, making the score 4-3.

On the 5th End, after venturing back to the bar for another round, Rocket returned to find that JT had delivered a doozy and taken the jack (Where was the powerplay when we needed it), so with a cold drop of Swanny D hitting his brain, Rocket committed yet another self-inflicted error and took out JT’s shot, which left Peter unopposed as the holder:

Someone get the North Koreans on the line, we’ve got a defective Rocket.

Peter’s shot was untroubled until the skips, where Pricey tried a backhand that got oh so close to taking over as the holder, but was an inch too far to the right of the jack:

But saving his best for last, and obviously having had enough of a warm-up, Pricey rolled down a fantastic shot to slot in right in front of Peter and take the end for 4-4:

Reaching the halfway point in the game, the 6th End was the most uneventful end of the night, as Coral pretty comfortably held with a shot that turned out to be comfortably better than some of the crap everyone else dished up, with Pricey keeping it to 1, as Ten Pin reclaimed the lead 5-4.

On the 7th End, it was nigh on impossible to split Peter and Rocket heading into the skips, with one angle looking more favourable to the orange bowl, and another, like below, looking better for the brown bowl:

However, Pricey tried aiming for the orange bowl on his first shot, but managed to hit JT’s shot further away, which somehow had the effect of nudging Peter’s shot away, and making Rocket the holder for 5-5.

On the 8th End, the Trevor Chappells took the lead for the first time on the night, and it could have been a huge haul, because they were holding 3 with a shot to come from Deb:

However, the Ten Pin skip was able to cut the damage to 1, even as she took the jack into Pricey’s shot, but it was still a comfortable hold for the Trevor Chappells for a 6-5 lead.

As quickly as they fell behind, Ten Pin bowled a strike on the 9th End with a hold of 3 thanks to Coral up second and Deb’s latest demolition work as the skip, with the Chappells not even landing within 10 feet of the kitty with the Easterly causing chaos, making it 8-6 with two ends to play.

Needing to respond with only two ends to play, it looked like Pricey had done the job by sneaking his shot in just ahead of Peter:

But, I keep referring to Deborah as Demolition Deb for a very good reason, because down to the lucky last shot, she warmed up another mollydooker forehand, smashed Pricey’s holder out of the way and created a 2-shot swing to hold for 9-6 with the legs eleventh to play.

At this point in time, JT was cracking the sads John McEnroe style with a boundary pole in frustration at how the Chappells had seen their only avenue for a comeback slammed shut by some quality bowling, causing Rocket to come over and give him a clip over the years to ‘remind’ the captain that he still had to bowl.

Apparently that slap to the senses worked, because in response to Peter’s leading shot, JT hit the jack TWICE, sending it closer to the centre of Rink 3 than our own Rink 4.

With everyone’s radar all over the place, both touching shots held 2 all the way down to the skips, and even Deb couldn’t turn the situation around for Ten Pin, while Pricey was able to slot a backhand in to make it a hold of 3, and after Deb’s last shot went too long, the Chappells had a shot to potentially hold 4 and win the game!

Alas, Richie’s backhand started a bit too wide and stayed out of bounds, meaning the scores were tied a 9-9 at the end of the regulation 11 ends, and it was time for a tiebreak!

Fancy that – We get Pricey back in the team, and it’s like the good old days of Team Hope playing a tiebreak every week.

Halfway through the 12th End decider, it was looking pretty good for Ten Pin, with Coral and Peter holding shots about 2/3 feet from the jack, after Rocket somehow managed to bowl a shot that passed through the gap, such is his luck:

But, in a display that had to be seen to be believed, Rocket went for another forehand with the same line, but this time, he was able to take a minuscule amount of weight off the shot, which proved the difference between another miss, and hitting Coral’s shot out to become the new holder:

That was a shot that even Deborah couldn’t respond to, probably because one of JT’s bowls (Which you can see below in the centre-right) was disrupting the preferred left-handed forehand line, which meant Deb had to bowl wider than usual with her heavy bowls, and the end result was both her shots finished too wide.

And, just to add a bit of gloss to the comeback win, Pricey produced a pair of identical twins between Rocket and Peter’s shots to make it a hold of 3, as no more than 5 bowls finished within 2 feet of each other, but unfortunately for Ten Pin, they were 4th and 5th.

Thus, after going on a 6-0 run in the final 2 ends, the Trevor Chappells pulled a rabbit out of the hat, the finger out of their backside, the fat out of the fire, victory from the jaws of defeat, you name it, they somehow won.

It may not have had the glitz of Jack Attack, but it was a fantastic game of bowls nonetheless.

Categories: Lawn Bowls

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