Lawn Bowls

Manning Twilight Bowls Review: 16th December

A big thanks to Richard ‘Half’ Price, Greg Hogg & everyone at the Manning Eagles for all the work they’ve done making Wednesday nights happen this year

Peter and Coral inspect the hold on Rink 3

After a good run through spring and into summer, this week’s edition of Twilight Bowls marked the last Wednesday night of social bowls down at Manning Memorial for 2020, and with a festive mood among the bowlers with the countdown to December 25 well and truly on, Half Price decided to give us an early Christmas present.


Last week’s 11 end games of triples felt a bit too boring after 6 weeks of Jack Attack, so to make it a bit more fun, teams were allowed one powerplay end for the night, the rule about maintaining your bowling order went out the window, which made Wednesday’s games some kind of hybrid of Jack Attack and a traditional game of triples lawn bowls.

If you ask me, that’s an example of the kind of experimentation that you get down at the Manning Eagles – Folks like Half Price aren’t afraid to try something new and make the great game of bowls fun for everyone.

Weatherwise, it was another good night – 24 degrees Celsius down to 22, with a persistent south-westerly breeze causing a few problems throughout the evening.

The Overall Night

Once again, 8 teams took part on the night, including regular Manning Jack Attack teams the S.Cool Dads, Hyperbowles, Bowlshoviks, Great Bowls Of Fire, Ten Pin and the Trevor Chappells.

With the CDs unavailable, John and the S.Cool Dads (With help from the floating Half Price) helped fill the void by providing enough players for a second team – Dubbed S.Cool Dads II for the record – with another team from the Manning Eagles called Lennie’s, featuring Club President Greg Hogg, helping create the even number of 8 teams, so that said, a big thanks to all of those individuals who helped give everyone a game for the night.

Also, unless the Rottnest sun fried my brain (as well as my feet), it looks like John played for the S.Cool Dads ‘Magoos’ (The twos), which probably explains why he was so happy talking about three wins in a row after the night was done.

Overall, the biggest winners on the night to take the $30 cash were the underarm aficionados the Trevor Chappells, who shook the nerves and rattled the brains of the Great Bowls Of Fire with a massive 21-3 (+18) win, a scoreline that Kochie won’t want to read again until I remind him of it on Friday night.

It was a long gap back to 2nd, which came down to a tie on +5, as Esperance-bound Ten Pin defeated Lennie’s 12-7, while Hyperbowles scored 8 on the final 3 ends to win 16-11 over S.Cool Dads I, with both teams winning 7 ends for the night, and under normal circumstances, Hyperbowles would’ve been declared 2nd on total shots…

But, in the Christmas spirit, both teams got $20… even though the Hyperbowles had gone home when we did the presentation.

In the fourth and final game of the night, the aforementioned S.Cool Dads II defeated the Bowlshoviks 8-5 after 11 ends in a very hard fought game, and Half Price suggested I give a special mention to Craig from the S.Cool Dads, who had apparently only bowled twice in his life, but played fantastically after a bit of coaching on his weight, and another mention goes to Bowlshoviks captain Alex, who had a great drive on an end in which S.Cool Dads were holding 2, with Alex’s shot managing to take out both holding shots at once, but his great work went unrewarded when the kitty decided to roll closer to the S.Cool Dads.

I could be wrong, but the regular S.Cool Dads played the Bowlshoviks last Wednesday… Which means they’ve now been dusted off by the sloppy seconds as well.

Captain’s Comments

Deborah, Ten Pin: “Coral was the star bowler tonight, she drew a couple of shots and held for us!”

John, S.Cool Dads II: “That’s 3 in a row now, so we should be heading towards the top grade – We want to take on those Trevor Chappells, that’s our aim – Knock them off!”

Phil, S.Cool Dads I: “The Trev Factor got us again”

Trevor Chappells vs Great Bowls of Fire

Fresh off a tiebreak win last weekend (With a big hand from Pricey), Ron came back to help the Trevor Chappells one last time in 2020, as thanks to a bit of fixture ‘manipulation’, they took on a familiar foe…

Goodness Gracious, Great Bowls Of Fire!

The overall winners from last Wednesday night were comprised of Todd, known by everyone as Kochie, Chris, aka Jonesy, Reed with his 007 briefcase, and absent on Wednesday was regular team captain Loose Bruce, so housesitter Ashley filled the void as the 4th character.

So as you can see, a slightly different looking Great Bowls Of Fire to the one from Jack Attack – In fact, this one should’ve been called the T-Birds.

As you’ll see in the photos, Kochie bowled with his usual pair of half red/half black bowls, Jonesy originally used Kochie’s second pair before he switched to a pair of black bowls with a green symbol, and you’ll notice that Ash used the second pair of ‘ranga’ bowls from Reed’s briefcase.

The Chappells used their trusty sets – Ron had his shark bowls, JT used the enormously biased bell bowls, and Rocket had the pair of narrow graphite light brown bowls.

The Trevor Chappells won the toss and bowled first, and in what was a sign of things to come for the Great Bowls, JT bowled two consistent shots as the lead that brushed past the jack without moving it, while Kochie did touch it, but moved it slightly closer to the 2 holders, which proved crucial for the 3rd holder, as a jack high shot from Rocket got the measurement ahead of Jonesy and Reed, helping the Chappells started the night with a 3-0 lead.

On the 2nd End, Ash bowled in place of Reed, and actually did better than her more accomplished teammates, but through it all, Ron was able to hold, then Rocket came through with a forehand and moved the jack right on to Ron’s bowl, and it was looking like another hold of 2:

But Kochie, bowling as the skip, was trying to hit up one of Jonesy’s shots to get the jack high hold, but it went about as well as Port Adelaide’s attempt to make a Grand Final appearance, and he hit Ron’s second bowl up far enough to make the hold 3 for 6-0 after just 2 ends.

End 3 was a bit more straight forward – JT held through to the final pairs, and it was down to Reed to try and get the Great Bowls on the board, and from the bowlers end (And in close), it looked like Reed had got it on his final shot by no more than a split hair, considering how far apart they were, but when the tape rolled out, it was the Chappells who extended the torture to 7-0.

On the 4th End, Ash was back, and she managed to hit the jack, although at first glance JT looked to be holding:

But Rocket warmed up one of his Intercontinental Missiles and took out the holder, and took the measurement out of play to increase the lead to 8-0.

Needing something big to get back into it, Great Bowls took the Powerplay on the 5th End, but that idea very quickly went down the toilet when JT bowled two crackerjack deliveries, then Ron increased the hold to 4, as the Great Bowls couldn’t even land a bowl in the head, Rocket increased the hold to 5 by the time Kochie fired down a line drive to try and kill the head, which you can see in motion:

Fair play to the Finance Guru, he got his line right and absolutely wiped out JT’s shot behind the jack, but it was still a comfortable hold of 4:

So barely halfway into the game it was 12-0, and as Billy Birmingham would say, a comeback was “Not an impossible task, but pretty effin’ close to it.”

On the 6th End, Jonesy decide to change things up by going for a pair of older bowls similar to JT’s, a change that definitely showed as he held after the lead bowls, only for Rocket to slip one in and take the hold, which had Kochie weighing up another thunderbolt…

Which he duly delivered, and this time he took the jack, and Ron’s bowl, right to the edge of the green, but Great Bowls didn’t have any back bowls in play within a 40 kilometre radius, and ultimately, Ron got the hold, and Rocket got 2nd, and the score was now 14-0.

That orange bowl obviously being out of bounds

On the 7th End, Jonesy kept his run going and took the jack again hold through to the final pairs:

Then, deadset chaos ensued when Kochie managed to inadvertently turn into the 4th bowler for the Trevor Chappells and hit Jonesy’s shot out, and honestly, we had no clue who was holding when the 12 bowls were done.

We originally measured JT against Kochie, which narrowly went the way of JT to confirm the 7th consecutive Trevor Chappells hold, but on a second look, Ron’s shot – Which we measured afterwards – Was probably closer than both of them.

So that was 16-0, and by this point the sting had gone out of the game and were just having a good old laugh about various things, like how a Manning Eagles Christmas Carol should be called Powerplays Of Christmas Past, and I think there was something about Welcome Back Kotter.

Gabe Kaplan couldn’t be there for the 8th End on Wednesday night, so we made do with Ron sitting a dart right on the jack, and credit to Ashley, who very nearly upstaged him to limit the hold to 1 for the time being:

However, it seemed like Kochie once again wanted to experience what it was like to play for a winning team, so forgetting which team he was actually playing for, he inadvertently knocked Ash’s shot further away while aiming to take out the holder, making it a hold of 2, which didn’t change after another drive:

The score was now 18-0 with 3 ends to play, and the 9th End was a fairly lame end from everyone, but summing up the night for the Great Bowls, the Trevor Chappells held 3 by pretty much being less crap, and the score was now 21-0.

With the result now mathematically beyond doubt, the 10th End was the shortest end of the night, and wouldn’t you know it, Jonesy and Kochie finally found a length that suited them, and thanks to Jonesy taking the jack, the Great Bowls were holding 2…

Rocket tried his best, but it just wasn’t quite enough, taking out Kochie’s shot, but Chris still held, and after being blanketed through 9 ends, OH WHAT A THRILL, THE GREAT BOWLS OF FIRE WERE ON THE BOARD!

It was now a far more respectable 21-1 with an end to play, and having held off the powerplay until now, the Trevor Chappells could only watch as the Great Bowls finished with a flourish, as Jonesy took the jack on his first shot, and got a helping hand at the end from Kochie as the skip, who hit in Jonesy’s second shot to make it a hold of 2 to end the night, and thus, the final score in the final hitout for 2020 was 21-3, and it was another victory using underarm.

So last week, the Great Bowls Of Fire won the $30 as the biggest overall winners.

This week, they’ve helped another team win the $30 as the biggest overall winners.

That’s the spirit of Christmas giving right there.

Categories: Lawn Bowls

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