Wednesday rolled around for Week 2 of the greatest social bowls competition between Manning Road and the Canning River, and in the wake of last week’s season opener, Richard ‘Half’ Price received multiple comments from teams about how impressed they are at the presentation of the outdoor tables to enjoy a drink at, and such a specific feature like table positions is a credit to the new bar manager Theresa, who didn’t budge in the face of some undue criticism of her setup.
It’d be very disappointing if someone kept moving those tables for no apparent reason.
Other than talk of tables, on what was the last Wednesday of the month, the weather was a pleasant 24 degrees Celsius with next to no breeze come 6:30pm, easily the best playing conditions of the season, and just to cap off another successful night at Manning Memorial, Pricey’s beloved headcase of a greyhound Honour Rampage drew Box 7 over her preferred 275m in the last at Cannington, and duly blew her opposition away.
In Manning Bowls terms, Honour Rampage from an outside box over the 275m is like Kristina Krstic playing in the WA State Singles Finals – A lay down misere.
The Overall Night
The night began with the first of this season’s Corner to Corner challenges, with two separate contests for the teams playing on the grass and the synthetic rinks, and starting with the grass, Peter from Ten Pins took the prize of 3x $10 drinks vouchers with the penultimate bowl, edging out this intrepid reporter, in what was a sign of things to come on Wednesday night:
And on a packed synthetic rink, Kelsey from The Lenny’s came through a big field to win the other 3x $10 drinks voucher prize on offer:
They both won as much as the biggest overall winners of the night – A very nice reward.
On to the results, and this week’s WINNERS of the $30 cash for the greatest win were the Breakaways, who lived up to their name and broke away from Dyed On The Run with a massive +25 shot straight sets win, capped off by the rare feat of winning all 10 ends.
I think coach Noelene might be making a few changes at the selection table this week.
In 2nd place and taking the $20 were Team Pamba, who defeated the Dream Team in straight sets with a +12 shot differential, and just one shot behind Pamba was a tie for 3rd place between The CD’s, who defeated the Bowling Stones in straight sets by +11 shots in a matchup of the old and new Manning Primary mums, and the Empire Strikes Jack, who defeated Burrendah by the same margin, with both teams receiving $10.
Keep your eyes on The Weekend West this Saturday, because those four teams might just get a mention in the local sports results.
Overall, there were 5 games out of the 12 decided in tiebreaks, 1 game had a tied set, and the coveted $5 drinks vouchers for touching the jack were all gone after just 40 minutes of play, which would suggest that Mark and Andy’s coaching has helped raise the standard of bowling, which is another positive sign for the future.
Of the 5 teams who won in straight sets last week, defending champs the Lawn Clippings are the only team to win all 4 sets thus far, after nailing both their powerplays to get over the top of the Hyperbowles, and 5 other teams remain undefeated after Week 2; The Young Guns, CD’s, The Lenny’s and Ten Pins.
The Young Guns’ effort to win on Wednesday night was huge, as they were without 4 out of their 5 best bowlers, including skipper Brodie and first choice bowler Liam, but led by Josh DiMargo and his band of sloppy seconds who barely knew how to bowl, the Young Guns shot down the T-Birds by 5 shots in a tiebreak, ensuring they jumped up to 2nd on the ladder.
The message from the stand-in skipper was clear – Brodie, your spot isn’t guaranteed anymore.
Finally, 7 teams recorded their first win for the season (Breakaways, Crawshaw, Empire Strikes Jack, Habibs, Soft Girls, Team Pamba and Top Shots), leaving just 5 teams yet to win after the opening 2 weeks, and out of those 5, the Bowled & The Beautiful have been as luckless as a Ridge Forrester-Brooke Logan marriage, as they’ve lost both their games in tiebreaks, despite being ahead on shot variance both times, which does actually leave them in 14th overall, just 1 point off the Top 10.
Rules: 2 points for a set win, 1 for a tied set and/or tiebreak win, tiebreaks do not count towards shot variance
Grass 1: The Empire Strikes Jack (4pts +11) defeated Burrendah, 6-1, 9-3
Grass 2: Ten Pins (3pts +1) defeated Trevor Chappells (2pts -1), 2-7, 7-1, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 3: Young Guns (3pts +3) defeated T-Birds (2pts -3), 2-5, 9-3, 5-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 4: Top Shots (3pts +4) defeated Missing Moo’s (2pts -4) 1-8, 11-0, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 5: Team Pamba (4pts +12) defeated Dream Team, 13-2, 6-5
Synthetic 1: Crawshaw Crisis Committee (3pts, 0) defeated Great Bowls Of Fire (2pts, 0), 2-5, 6-3, 3-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 2: The Lenny’s (3pts +9) defeated Merkins (1pt -9), 9-2, 4-4
Synthetic 3: Breakways (4pts +25) defeated Dyed On The Run, 13-0, 12-0
Synthetic 4: CD’s (4pts +11) defeated The Bowling Stones, 6-2, 8-1
Synthetic 5: Habibs (4pts +8) defeated Tie Break Turkey’s, 6-4, 9-3
Synthetic 6: Soft Girls (3pts -3) defeated Bowled & The Beautiful (2pts +3), 8-3, 5-13, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 7: Lawn Clippings (4pts +7) defeated Unbelievabowls, 8-2, 6-5
Nat, CD’s: “The old Manning Primary School mums have taught the young Manning mums a lesson on how to play bowls – As it turns out, it’s not all about the t-shirts!”
Kochie, Great Bowls Of Fire: “The biggest mystery of the night is why certain teams are playing each other – The focus is on Pricey, and I think we need a committee to reevaluate his position!”
Kym, Crawshaw CC: “Graeme (That’s Graeme with an OAM) bowled a bowl that was a bit short, and a spectator said ‘Graeme hasn’t got enough legs.”
Graeme, Crawshaw CC: “Kym went to the bar to buy a beer, and the lady behind the bar said he’d had too many.”
“Too many what?”
“Too many birthdays.”
I do apologise Graeme, I’ve probably stuffed up that joke.
Trevor Chappells vs Ten Pins
Fresh off setting the pace in Week 1, the Trevor Chappells were dealt a hand grenade at the selection table ahead of a big game on the grass, as the Rocket suddenly left for Victoria (Via a car, as you do) last Thursday, and Ron went to Ascot to see his mare Regal Poyse run in Race 7, and at 2 players down, skipper JT was on the brink of pulling a Zak Kirkup and conceding defeat before the event had even occurred.
For the record, Regal Poyse was backed into favourite despite starting from the Swan River, got caught 3-wide and ran 5th, which makes you ask the question – Was it worth going?
But, thanks to some last minute scouting from Pricey, help arrived in the form of Manning Darts regular Ronni, who had been left teamless after the Bull Shots suffered a family emergency before Week 1 and unfortunately were left on the outer due to the risk of uneven team numbers, and Ronni’s neighbour Cameron (At least I think they’re neighbours), who did have some bowling experience, and to me, it didn’t matter if the Trevor Chappells lost, because the threat of a forfeit had passed thanks to the pair of them.
To be truthful, I was disappointed Ron wasn’t there on Wednesday, because this was a rare chance in history to have The Two Ronnies playing together:
Ten Pins were skippered by Corner To Corner winner Peter, alongside Coral, with guest bowler Jack and his goldfish bowls stepping in for Deborah, and as everyone who’s anyone knows, you can’t play Jack Attack without a Jack, and needless to say, he featured very prominently.
Bowl Colours: JT (Black with green logos), Ronni (Maroon), Cameron (Yellow), Peter (Orange), Coral (Black with green & red lining), Jack (Black with a goldfish)
1st Set (Trevor Chappells 7-2)
In our first game on the grass since Week 2 of last season, the Trevor Chappells won the toss and bowled first, and in a result I did not see coming, JT and Ronni wound up holding 3 shots thanks to a knock-in from Cameron (Who bowled as the skip) that managed to hit Ronni’s second shot a good 6 feet closer to the kitty ahead of Jack’s final shot, as Coral (Bowling second) bowled a forehand that lightly brushed the jack off-line, but it otherwise just had too much weight and didn’t feature in the photo.
Ronni held again on the 2nd End, sneaking another forehand ahead of Coral in amidst a sea of shots that just didn’t have the right weight, and the score moved on to 4-0.
On the 3rd End, Big Cam came to the fore and took the jack (Where was the whistle!), but I thought his shot may have just been beaten by a late backhand from Jack, but when Peter brought out his measuring tape, there was a slight margin the way of the yellow bowl, and the score was 5-0!
With the set slipping away Max Merritt style, Peter called the powerplay for the Ten Pins, a move that would pay dividends with Jack landing a foot from the jack ahead of Ronni to turn 1 into 2, but sending at least 4 shots closer to the feet of Loose Bruce on Green 3 cost the Ten Pins the chance to hold 2 and give themselves a more realistic chance of winning the set, but alas, the score was cut back to 5-2, and the Trevor Chappells had the powerplay to come on the final end.
With the greens a bit slower than usual on Wednesday night, Peter set a short final end, but it didn’t quite work out as JT and Ronni were holding 2 prior to the skips:
But Jack cut straight up the middle on a booming forehand and disturbed the head with an inch perfect shot that moved the jack down to a foot away from the tee, with Jack now holding and a back bowl from Peter making it 2, but Cameron had the last shot, adjusted his line, and got the hold fairly comfortably for a 7-2 opening set win.
Far exceeding my low expectations of a wipeout, the Trevor Chappells had won a set, and full credit to Ronni and Cam for helping make that happen.
2nd Set (Ten Pins 7-1)
Starting the 2nd Set on a much brighter note, Jack warmed up with a simple hold of 1 in some Jack on jack action:
On the 2nd End, Coral was holding slightly ahead of JT, but needing something desperate, Cameron bowled a shot that I can only describe as a game of Pin Bowls – First it hit JT’s bowl to the right of the black line, then it somehow ricocheted straight into Coral’s bowl, and had enough momentum to roll forward and sit 2 feet from the kitty, and the scores were level at 1 shot apiece.
Obviously that used up the last of our magic bulldust, because the Trevor Chappells didn’t hold another end for the rest of the night.
Although I should note it wasn’t through a lack of effort, because on the pivotal 3rd End, the TCs were holding 4 with one bowl to come, which would’ve given them a huge boost of momentum with 2 ends to play:
But with the most important bowl of the night, Jack performed some Jack on jack crime and hit the kitty dead centre, just enough to stay out of reach of Ronni and make it 2-1 Ten Pins:
A 5 shot swing on one bowl.
Completely changed the game.
Repeating the strategy from the opening set, Peter called the powerplay on the 4th End, and after a fairly mild performance all night, the skipper delivered from the lead, and bowled a shot so good that JT quite literally bowled left-handed trying to respond.
Long story short, it didn’t even make this picture:
With Coral getting the second-holder as well, that turned 2 shots into 4 and made the lead 6-1 to the Ten Pins with an end to play, barely 5 minutes after they were a shot away from trailing 1-5.
It was a momentum swing akin to a tennis match, where a player fails to convert break points, and promptly gets broken on their next service game.
So the Trevor Chappells had the powerplay on the final end, but trying to hold 3 to seal the win never looked like happening, and Jack ensured the Ten Pins would set the tiebreak end with a hold on a jack high shot from Cameron, which also helped the Ten Pins finish ahead on shot variance for the night.
So with the teams neck and neck, it was a time for an all too familiar scenario for the six of us.
Tiebreak (Ten Pins 1-0)
Bowling to a good length for the winner take all end, JT got the better of Peter and held all the way through to the final pairs, but he wasn’t confident after how well Jack had bowled in that 2nd Set, and that pessimism was justified when Jack used his first shot to hit the holder out of business.
With the situation looking as bleak as a summer’s day in Scotland, on the last bowl of the night, Cam’s only realistic chance was to land his shot one line out on the forehand side, with enough weight to curl around a shallow bowl from Ronni and sit just in front of Jack’s holder, which would be a challenge on a slow green.
Standing up the far end, JT knew Cam’s shot was a bit too wide to hold, and just to rub it in, the weight turned out to be absolutely spot on, and the shot finished adjacent to the holder – A very good effort nonetheless, but not enough to deny the Ten Pins a victory.
Peter got me on the Corner To Corner, and he got me again in a tiebreak.
We may have lost, but thanks to the vital contributions of super subs Ronni and Cameron, the Trevor Chappells are still 5th overall, thanks to the 2 points from the 1st Set.
Had it been a straight sets defeat, we’d be sitting no better than 12th.
The season is still alive.
Categories: Lawn Bowls