We’ve finally begun the ascent to the pointy end of the Summer/Autumn 2021 edition of the Greatest Social Bowls Competition Between Manning Road and the Canning River, as Week 4 marked the penultimate chance for teams to crack the Top 4 and the Top 10, with just 2 points separating 1st spot from 12th, such is the competitiveness of Manning Jack Attack.
Before I begin the report, this week’s thank you goes to Sue Hogg, who managed to submit the Top 3 teams from Week 3 into the Page 77 sports results in last Friday’s West Australian, and she also helped arrange the brand new colour code tags with bowl sizes for the newer sets of narrow bowls, after a grey bag mysteriously disappeared last Wednesday night, an incident so mysterious that the Manning Eagles almost required the assistance of the X-Files.
Lastly, it was another clear but muggy night on the weather front, with the BOM reading 24 degrees Celsius and a humidity rising above 72% at 6:30pm, which made conditions on the grass very damp, especially for those playing barefoot.
The Overall Night
The night started with the second of this season’s Corner To Corner challenges, and starting with the Grass, Bec from the Dream Team took the $30 worth of drinks vouchers, continuing the Dream Team’s turnaround in form:
Meanwhile, I can say without hyperbole that the Synthetic edition was one of the best Corner To Corners ever played at Manning Memorial, with a toucher on the jack looking like the winner for all money:
But, it was crucially hit out by a heavy bowl, creating enough of a gap for the final handful of bowlers to aim at, and on the lucky last shot, Todd (Alias Kochie) from the Great Bowls of Fire was able to set up one of the closest finishes in Corner To Corner history:
And wouldn’t you know it, one of Manning Jack Attack’s leading characters got the $30 worth of vouchers!
On to the real action, and the OVERALL WINNERS for Week 4 were none other than the formerly winless Bowled & The Beautiful, with Christine and company determined to refute this roving reporter’s suggestion that they change their name to the Young & The Winless after a hat-trick of tiebreak defeats, and they did that in style with a 24-shot win against The Breakaways on Grass 5 to take the $30 cash – Bravo Christine, the monkey is off the back!
In for 2nd Overall and the $20 were the MV Wholesale crew of John and The Habibs, who had a 22-shot win over the Soft Girls on Grass 2, remarkably winning the 2nd Set 21-0 thanks to holding 5 shots on their powerplay (And 5 more on the last end), and taking 3rd overall and the $10 were the CD’s, who enjoyed a 15-shot win against the shorthanded Top Shots.
Around the greens, as some kind of equalisation measure, organiser Richard ‘Half’ Price drew the Top 6 teams against each other, and perhaps it was fitting that all 3 games would be decided in tiebreaks.
The Lawn Clippings came from behind to defeat Ten Pins, who couldn’t quite make it 4 tiebreak wins in a row, as the Lawn Clippings go back to top spot, The Empire Strikes Jack got the better of the T-Birds despite being 5 shots down on variance, keeping the ESJ in 2nd place, while the Young Guns and Trevor Chappells played a wild game on Green 3.
The Young Guns salvaged a drawn 1st Set at 5-5 after being down 5-3 with an end to play, after which they raced out to an 8-0 lead with an end to play in the 2nd Set, but the Trevor Chappells withheld their powerplay until the final end, and remarkably went on to hold 4 shots to tie the set at 8-8 to force a tiebreak (Due to 2 drawn sets), although the Young Guns staved off disaster and comfortably won the one-end decider, leaving 3 teams tied on 13 points with just 1 game to go before the finals.
Going back through the record books, the only other instance I can find of two drawn sets in a game of Manning Jack Attack was Missing Moo’s and Ten Pins last season (October 28), which should tell you how rare it is.
In some other results, The Lenny’s and Great Bowls Of Fire (Through some tough personal circumstances) both won in straight sets to leave 4 teams on 12 points, Dream Team and Crawshaw are now tied on 7 points and -7 shots after they both won (Crawshaw are ahead simply due to their name starting with C), Missing Moo’s befuddled the Bowling Stones with fake hand signals, and the Merkins got their maiden Jack Attack win against Dyed on the Run, in a game that saw Dyed captain Brenda get bitten by a bull ant, and both teams somehow forget that you have to play a tiebreak if the scores are one set apiece – They came back for an abridged 1 vs 1 tiebreak after everyone had packed up, and the Merkins won.
As for the Tie Break Turkey’s… Well, I’m sure Half Price would agree that they went better than Honour Rampage at Cannington.
Scoring: 2 points for a set win, 1 point for a tied set/tiebreak win, tiebreaks do not count towards shot variance.
Grass 1: Crawshaw CC (4 pts +12) defeated Burrendah, 9-3, 7-1
Grass 2: The Habibs (4pts +22) defeated Soft Girls, 5-4, 21-0
Grass 3: Young Guns (3pts 0) defeated Trevor Chappells (2pts 0), 5-5, 8-8, 3-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 4: Dream Team (3pts +2) defeated Tie Break Turkeys (1pt -2), 4-2, 4-4
Grass 5: Bowled & The Beautiful (4pts +24) defeated The Breakaways, 16-1, 10-1
Synthetic 1: Merkins (3pts 0) defeated Dyed On The Run (2pts 0), 8-4, 3-7, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 2: The Lenny’s (4pts +8) defeated Unbelievabowls, 5-4, 9-2
Synthetic 3: Missing Moo’s (4pts +10) defeated Bowling Stones, 8-0, 6-4
Synthetic 4: CD’s (4pts +15) defeated Top Shots, 9-1, 7-0
Synthetic 5: Great Bowls Of Fire (4pts +9) defeated Team Pamba, 8-3, 6-2
Synthetic 6: Empire Strikes Jack (3pts -5) defeated T-Birds (2pts +5), 1-7, 5-4, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 7: Lawn Clippings (3pts +6) defeated Ten Pins (2pts -6), 2-7, 13-2, 2-0 in the tiebreak
Kym from Crawshaw Crescent: “My best bowl of the night that gave us 3 on the powerplay, I hit the ground on the way through.”
Christine, Bowled & The Beautiful: “We’ll take the YOUNG in Young And The Winless, but you can cancel the Winless part!”
Shaun, Missing Moo’s: “Some very creative sign language confused the Bowling Stones as to whether or not they were up or down – The mums then had a team huddle, which made them forget it was their turn to bowl!”
Todd/Kochie, Great Bowls Of Fire: “Finally we caught fire, first powerplay win of the season, it was enjoyable to finish early tonight, and it was good to have a win in memory of Jonesy’s mum.”
Bruce, T-Birds: “We won the 1st Set, then they came out hard in the 2nd Set, really beating us on the 1st End with 4, and we were playing catch up all set, and lost in the tiebreak.”
Helen & Natalie, CD’s: “It should be known that the Top Shots are genuinely lovely people, even when they only had 2 players, but poor old Gerry, he got his bias wrong so many times that we suggested he pull his own pants down…. He hesitated and politely declined.”
John, Tie Break Turkey’s: “We bowled with freedom tonight, we all bowled commando – It didn’t work, so we’re gonna go one step further next week.”
Trevor Chappells vs Young Guns
Sit back, strap yourselves in, and get ready to read through a barnburner of a game.
Back on top of the ladder after Week 3, albeit on shot variance, The Trevor Chappells (JT, Ronni and Ronnie) took on a familiar set of opponents in the Young Guns, captained by gun netballer Brodie ‘Quarter’ Price, and deputised by Josh DiMargs, Liam Hoskin, the successor to Robert Whittaker, and Connor, the lanky mollydooker whose name I’ve probably buggered up, but I’ll stick to Connor… unless I’m very much mistaken.
Given they had 4 players, the Young Guns seemed to have a common sense system in the 1st Set – The crappiest bowler from the previous end would sit out the next end.
Despite having the billing of a massive Top 4 clash, it was shunted by Half Price over to Grass Rink 3, and funnily enough, the last time the Trevor Chappells played on the grass was on the very same Green 3 back in Week 2.
We would reach the same outcome… Albeit in a very unlikely way.
Bowl Colours: Brodie (Blue), Liam (Black with the red sticker), Josh (Purple), Connor (Red), Ronni (Brown), Ron (Black & White), Jason (Black & Green)
1st Set (5-5 Draw)
I may be a low-grade tosser, but I’m not good with coins, as shown when the Young Guns won the toss and bowled first on a green that would get progressively slower throughout the night, but despite losing the toss, it was the Trevor Chappells who took an early 2-0 lead when Jason and Ron held on the opening end.
The Young Guns responded on the 2nd End when Connor held at least 1 with a mollydooker forehand, while there was nothing in it between Josh (Purple) and Ron, with a measurement for the 2nd Shot using Jason’s shoe going to waste when he hit Ron’s bowl back, ruining the measurement before we had the chance to use the tape – Thus, the scores were leveled at 2-2, given the sporting thing to do was to give the Young Guns the 2 shots.
While we never properly measured that 2nd End, I’ve dug this up from the phone while we were waiting for the tape…. Which might be damning on myself considering the eventual 1st Set score.
Somewhere I imagine Ron is currently cursing me after seeing this photo.
Desperate to make amends to his aggrieved teammate, Jason did very well to start the 3rd End, sitting both lead shots within a few feet from the jack, but he wasn’t exactly helped when Ronni hit the second shot away from the jack:
And the captain was swearing like a sailor (With John from the Tie Break Turkey’s in earshot) when Connor landed a backhand and squarely smashed the holder out, giving the Young Guns an easy hold of 1 to lead 3-2.
One thing you will learn from playing as the lead in bowls is that if you land a shot in the head, and the bowl sits there on it’s lonesome, it’s liable to get the same treatment as a US President sitting in an open top car riding through the streets of Dallas.
Having taken the lead for the first time on the night, Brodie (Who bowled skip on this end) went for the aggressive powerplay on the 4th End, but his plans were stifled when Jason and Ron held a huge 3 to stifle the powerplay and lead 5-3, with a Trevor Chappells powerplay to come to end the set.
Just as the Young Guns had been stifled on their powerplay, the Trevor Chappells were stifled on theirs after Josh hit out Jason’s lead shot to get a simple hold, and despite having the 2-shot cushion and at least 3 shots in the head, DiMargs would get the first and second holder to tie a riveting set at 5-5.
So there we all were realising it was a drawn set, naturally thinking that the 2nd Set was going to be a winner-take-all shootout to stay in the Top 4.
It turned out we all forgot there was another possible outcome.
2nd Set (8-8 Draw)
You’ll notice throughout that 1st Set commentary that Liam barely got a mention, as he seemed to spend several ends on the bench, or, as his teammates described it, he was bowling to his height… short.
Well, that somehow changed to start the 2nd Set, as the bloke with the very questionable haircut stepped up to lead and wound up half a foot from the jack, which held despite another firecracker from Ronni, who missed by no more than half a foot.
The 2nd End was one of the signs of just how much the grass was slowing up as the night wore on, as half the shots ended up hopelessly shallow, and Connor and Josh landed two shots ahead of Ron to move the score along to 3-0, and at this point the Trevor Chappells were in all styles.
On the 3rd End, Brodie took the powerplay to try and put the game away, but Liam rolled the jack into the ditch, which meant that it would be set on the back of the T, something the Young Guns definitely remembered after last week, although, as per the rules, the Trevor Chappells could ask for the jack to be reset.
Jason declined, figuring his team could somehow work with a long end, which backfired as Brodie promoted himself to the lead and pretty much put the end away with 2 consistent backhands, leaving it all down to Ron to pull a Ronnie Biggs and pinch the end, and it seriously looked like he had it on the last shot, which came out with a perfect line, and with everyone (Including Half Price) at the opposite end cheering on the inanimate bowl like we were desperate punters cheering on a horse, it just had to keep rolling too far away.
2 shots for Quarter Price, and with the powerplay, it was 7-0 with 2 ends to play, and the Trevor Chappells’ strategy started to shift to salvaging the final 2 ends for shot variance purposes, but the Quarter Price demolition carried on during the 4th End, and this backhand would probably go down as the shot of the night, beating out Ronni and Ron, who did well enough just keeping it to 1:
Thus, it was 8-0 with an end to come, but the Trevor Chappells did have the powerplay in hand, despite the captain fielding a handful of questions as to why he didn’t play it earlier.
The correct answer is laziness… Which in this case turned out to be a good thing, because it saved their arses.
The 5th End…. aka what the hell happened
If you do the math, the Trevor Chappells needed 4 on the powerplay just to tie the set, and in a good start, the captain led by example and held 2 shots from the lead, as the Young Guns suddenly appeared to be hearing footsteps and started firing blanks, despite their huge advantage.
So, coming down to the final pairs, the Trevor Chappells were still holding 2, as Connor bowled first against Ron, who made it even more interesting when he had enough weight to hit a shallow bowl of Ronni’s up next to the holder, with the added bonus being that his bowl was able to creep up to stay as the 3rd holder.
As the panic started setting in, Connor’s last shot definitely didn’t have enough to break the hold of 3, leaving Ron with the chance to give his team the vital 4th shot (Which we didn’t know at the time), and the bloke we call ‘Dymmo’ duly delivered, and after Jason went to steal Half Price’s tape measure, it turned out he’d got the 4th holder by no more than a finger nail!
So from 8-0 down, the Trevor Chappells had made David Copperfield blush and magically tied the 2nd Set at 8-8, and for only the second time in the history of Manning Jack Attack, we’d had a game where both sets were drawn.
Josh did say (In jest) he was going to kill someone if the Young Guns had somehow lost the Set after being 8-0 up….
Technically they didn’t lose, so he didn’t, AND IT WAS ON TO THE TIEBREAK!
Tiebreak (Young Guns 3-0)
In something of an anti-climax after such an entertaining pair of sets, the tiebreak never really reached any great heights, and with the wide-open jack sitting at a decent length after the leads (Jason & Brodie) cracked under the pressure, it was Josh and Connor who took the win for the Young Guns, with Ron close but no cigar, and for the second time this year, the Young Guns won in a tiebreak on the grass, and the Trevor Chappells lost in a tiebreak on Green 3.
Considering how the 2nd Set went, it was probably a fair result for a game that went 10 minutes longer than I’d expected!
Categories: Lawn Bowls