After a delayed start to the year, for reasons beyond our control, midweek social bowls returned to Manning Memorial for the year 2021, with a special warm-up event to get everyone back in the bowls mindset, and befitting of these troubled times, it was dubbed…
THE COVID CUP.
Another wild idea from the mind of Richard ‘Half’ Price, the COVID Cup could be described as being on par with some of the great pre-season sporting events through history, like the Foster’s Cup, the Ansett Australia Cup, the Wizard Home Loans Cup, and the NAB Cup.
The rules were standard Jack Attack rules; 2 sets of 5 ends, with one powerplay end for both sets, and the team with the greatest shot variance won the night and the mythical COVID Cup, which looked more like an envelope filled with $50 cash.
In addition to mandatory facemasks, jackets were needed due to the unseasonably cool conditions in Perth, as conditions dipped below 20 degrees with a noticeable South-Westerly breeze when play began at 6:30pm, which resulted in quick greens and plenty of new bowlers being caught out on weight.
Of course, a new tournament means new teams, and thanks to a sharp recruiting drive from Half Price over the New Years break, there’s a swag of new faces and a couple of name changes for the Summer 2021 edition of Manning Jack Attack:
Unfortunately, we have lost several teams – The ever popular Babes With Balls have departed, as have The Marg’s VII, Shiny Shiny Lawn Bowls, Hyperbowles, COVID Shots and Lockdown, who ironically couldn’t go on, Alpha Tauri were ‘merged’ back into Missing Moo’s, and the Orphans have been replaced as the phantom team by ‘Merkins’, who were originally called Incorrigibowls.
The Overall Night
6 teams didn’t play in the COVID Cup; The Bowled & The Beautiful, Team Pamba and The Breakaways will be back next week, while the Crawshaw residents and the Bull Shots didn’t turn up, which left the Habibs without an opponent, although Crawshaw were filled in at the last moment by Pricey’s better half Leanne, her sister Kath, and neighbour Sandy, and a big thanks to the ladies for helping keep up the numbers.
Without any further ado, the WINNERS of the COVID Cup and the $50 cash were Ten Pin (Well done Coral, Deb and Peter), with a +17 shot win over the aforementioned ‘Phil Inns’ claiming to live on Crawshaw Crescent, a margin set up by Ten Pin holding 3 shots (Turned into 6) on both of their powerplay ends.
2nd place saw a tie between the Trevor Chappells and the T-Birds, who both won in straight sets on +12 shots, with the Trevor Chappells winning a rematch of last season’s final against the Lawn Clippings on Rink 4, and the T-Birds, featuring Loose Bruce, Reed and guest lead Christine (In place of Kochie, who played for the losing Great Bowls Of Fire), defeating a Missing Moo’s team who played like they needed the hit-out.
New team The Lenny’s finished 4th overall with +10 shots in their Debut Derby win against Dyed On The Run, and 5th overall were the Top Shots on +8, with both teams recouping their $10 entry free, and receiving the $20 for the Best Team Mask Award was new team Dyed On The Run, simply because they were one of the few teams to have matching masks.
In some other results, The Bowling Stones managed to win in a tiebreak against Unbelievabowls, despite the Unbelievabowls being ahead 14-10 on total shots, the newly christened Tie Break Turkeys soared like eagles and defeated the Empire Strikes Jack in a tiebreak, the CDs and Soft Girls tied the 2nd Set, and with the Bull Shots not turning up, the Habibs had a practice match against two of the club’s finest in Blake and AJ, and given the Habibs are sponsors of the club, I’ll simply say they won, and ignore anyone who says otherwise.
To all of Wednesday night’s losers, I’d like to give you four words of consolation.
This week didn’t count.
2 points for a set win, 1 point for a tied set and/or tiebreak win
Grass 1: Ten Pin (4pts +17) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee*, 8-3, 14-2
Grass 2: T-Birds (4pts +12) defeated Missing Moo’s, 6-1, 9-2
Grass 3: Habibs vs Bull Shots – No Result
Synthetic 1: Bowling Stones (3pts -4) defeated Unbelievabowls (2pts +4), 7-4 3-10, 1-0 in a tiebreak
Synthetic 2: Top Shots (4pts +8) defeated Burrendah, 8-3, 4-1
Synthetic 3: CD’s (3pts +5) defeated Soft Girls (1pt -5), 7-2, 5-5
Synthetic 4: Trevor Chappells (4pts +12) defeated Lawn Clippings, 9-1, 7-3
Synthetic 5: Tie Break Turkeys (3pts +1) defeated Empire Strikes Jack (2pts -1), 6-2, 2-5, 1-0 in a tiebreak
Synthetic 6: Young Guns (4pts +5) defeated Great Bowls of Fire, 6-3, 7-5
Synthetic 7: The Lenny’s (4pts +10) defeated Dyed On The Run, 9-2, 7-4
John, Tie Break Turkeys: “We’re not the Tie Break Turkeys, we’re the Tie Break Eagles, because we came and we soared!”
“The quote of the night was when a teammate asked us ‘What part of winning do you guys not effin’ understand?’ – Which lead us to come back (After losing the 2nd Set) and win!”
Brodie, Young Guns: “We took our chances, Jonesy and Kochie were so unlucky – If this were cricket and we were batting, every shot would’ve gone flying out of reach through the slips!”
Kochie, Great Bowls of Fire: “No comment, wasn’t our night.”
Loose Bruce, T-Birds: “Christine was a good ring-in for us, she played very well – It was a good practicing night for the Missing Moo’s, because apparently they don’t play well in the first week!”
Shaun, Missing Moo’s: “We were paid to play like crap, and they were made up of ring-ins!”
Trevor Chappells vs Lawn Clippings
First up, I’d like to say I was devastated when the Perth lockdown kicked in just before the season was set to begin, because I had a lovely, tacky pre-game routine about the opening week being perfectly timed with the 40th anniversary of Trevor Chappell bowling underarm.
If only we’d played on the grass with a white jack so someone could play the role of Brian McKechnie throwing his bat.
Anyway, after I told the Rocket that Pricey had organised a ‘COVID Cup’ on Wednesday night, he remarked to this author that the Trevor Chappells seemed destined to draw the Lawn Clippings in a (Grand) Final rematch first up and even out the playing field.
Even with a totally random draw, as Dr Ian Malcolm would say, life, uh, found a way.
So, JT, Rocket and Ron reunited to face the defending champions and their familiar team of Jimmy, Ryan and his brother Kyle (Who bowled with identical green bowls), but the big loss for the Lawn Clippings this season is the ever reliable fourth bowler Matthew, which left them with a few continuity problems to deal with as we approach the new Jack Attack season, something the Chappells will themselves face in Week One, given Ron confirmed he won’t be available next Wednesday.
1st Set (Trevor Chappells 9-1)
In the spirit of Ashton Turner’s ill-fated move in the Big Bash Final, the Trevor Chappells won the toss and bowled first, and showcasing the benefit of some January practice, JT rolled the kitty onto the tee and sat his opening shot no more than a foot away.
Bowling third and facing a two shot deficit, Jimmy bowled a shot that left everyone (Including Alex from the Empire Strikes Jack watching on Rink 5) in disbelief, as the bowl, which had a near-perfect line, somehow split the gap between the holder and the kitty, despite it being no more than the width of a Size 4 bowl.
I’m not kidding, it happened.
But, clearly not phased by a piece of shocking luck, Jimmy went one better and followed the same forehand line, and persistence paid off as he took the jack and completed the 3-shot swing to lead 1-0.
It would be the only Lawn Clippings end of the 1st Set, as JT repeated the dose with another holding as the lead, which would be displaced by Ron to give the Trevor Chappells a hold of 2 until the final pairs:
But, acting more like an emergency service than a lawn mowing service, the Lawn Clippings dialled 000 to ask Jimmy to try and rescue the end, and to his credit, he did manage to cut the hold to 1 by knocking out Ron’s shot and getting the face of the bowl just ahead, but that left JT holding again, and the score was 1 apiece.
On the 3rd End, Ron set the standard on a very average head, and the Rocket got himself into the game after a solid warm-up to make the hold 2 on his final shot, and as everyone watched with baited breath, Jim’s shot passed through everything and finished just short, and the score was 3-1 after a measurement that was apparently unnecessary.
On the 4th End, Kyle was sitting just ahead of two Trevor Chappells bowls as it came down to the final pairs, on what was another end to forget:
But, correcting himself after a forgetful first shot, Rocket came in on a forehand, and, as Rockets can do from time to time, he caused some serious damage, but somehow, he picked his line so perfectly that it hit both black bowls, which BOTH belonged to the Trevor Chappells, and pushed them AHEAD of Ryan’s shot to produce another 3 shot swing, and make it 5-1 with an end to play.
It was a Double Powerplay on the final end, giving the Lawn Clippings the chance to at least tie the set and snag a point with a hold of 2, but they were immediately under pressure when JT took the jack on the first shot, although in a devastating twist, he didn’t get a drinks voucher from Pricey.
Still, it turned out to be the second-best shot of the final end, because the Rocket came in on a mollydooker forehand and bumped it out, which had the effect of increasing the hold to 2, and thanks to the powerplay, the set finished 9-1 in favour of the Trevor Chappells, which surprised just about everyone.
First game back, and the Trevor Chappells did something they didn’t do in November – Win a set against the Lawn Clippings.
2nd Set (Trevor Chappells 7-3)
Keeping up the consistency, JT hit the jack again to start the 2nd Set, but Jimmy went one better and nudged it further away, but just like JT, he didn’t get a drinks voucher for a superb shot.
As it turned out, the Lawn Clippings would hold 1 on the opening end, but it wouldn’t be Jimmy with the honour, it would be Kyle, who took the hold with a deadset beauty that sat stone dead on the jack and had the unintended side effect of hitting Jimmy’s shot out of the head, although there was mixed messages from JT to the bowler’s end about which team was holding shot, as he tried in vain to point out Kyle had taken the honours by tapping on the bowl.
That end taught me that me to learn something totally separate from playing bowls… Auslan.
On the 2nd End, the brothers Van Beek went 1-2 on the Chappells – Kyle held first, but Ryan displaced him to give the Lawn Clippings a 3-0 lead after 2 ends, and the early prognosticators would have had this game going to a tiebreak.
On the 3rd End, Jimmy promoted himself back up the order and looked set to make it 4-0 Lawn Clippings, as JT’s shot was ahead of Ryan’s and holding second shot due to being closer to the line of the jack…
But leaving the best for last, Rocket conjured another shot from thin air and hit the holder dead square, sending it flying out of the head and taking over as holder, producing another 3 shot swing the way of the Trevor Chappells to cut the score to 3-2, another turning point on the night.
For some reason, my mind has gone blank about the 4th End, but based on the pictures, Rocket definitely bowled a humdinger and took the jack to deny Jimmy the hold, which tied the scores at 3-3 with an end to play, with the powerplays still to come, which felt like a waste considering 1 shot was enough to take the points.
Trying to give the Lawn Clippings a chance, Jimmy promoted himself up to the lead bowler, but it just wasn’t to be, as Ron and Rocket wrapped up the night with a hold, surviving a last gasp attempt from Ryan to change the outcome, which, to his credit was bloody close, but alas, no cigar.
Now, Ron had definitely finished as the holder, which made the 2nd Set score least 5-3 to the Trevor Chappells, but there was some confusion as to who had the second shot, considering it was never measured, but Ryan had filled out the end on the score sheet as being 2 shots (4 with the powerplay) to the Trevor Chappells, so the official 2nd Set score read 7-3 the way of the victors, which turned out to have a major impact on the overall scores, given the Trevor Chappells featured in the tie for 2nd overall with the T-Birds.
Overall, it was a straight sets win to the Trevor Chappells, thanks to another consistent team effort, although I’d think both teams will once again feature prominently in the Top 6 this season.
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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