Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 31st March

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Greg from the Empire Strikes Jack holds court on Rink 3

Before we begin, a big thanks to the following people for their work throughout the season: Richard ‘Half’ Price, Andy Lill, Mark Ellis, AJ Heal, Sue & Greg Hogg, Theresa, Rachel & Lauren behind the bar for servicing our collective drinking problem, Donna and the ladies in the kitchen for the 5-star steak sandwiches, and to all the colourful characters who came down to Manning Memorial and made this season as enjoyable as ever!

They say all good things must come to an end, and it was exactly the case down at Manning Memorial as the Summer/Autumn 2021 edition of Manning Jack Attack reached FINALS WEEK, bringing a close to what had been yet another highly successful edition of the Greatest Social Bowls Competition Between Manning Road and the Canning River, and if there’s a better Jack Attack competition in Australia, then I haven’t seen it.

In case you’re unaware of the format, Finals Week is very simple – The major prize money finals are 1st vs 2nd (Lawn Clippings vs Great Bowls of Fire) 3rd vs 4th (Trevor Chappells vs CD’s) and 5th vs 6th (Young Guns vs Empire Strikes Jack), with 7th vs 8th (Habibs vs Bowled & The Beautiful) both earning $30 worth of drinks vouchers, and every team from 9th place all the way through to 24th playing the team directly below or above them on the ladder, with the 23rd vs 24th game serving as the clash for the Wooden Spoon between Burrendah and Dyed On The Run.

Once Pricey had worked out the prize money ‘deductions’ from his new fishing rod, which seemed to get a thorough workout down at Busselton, the Grand Final winners would receive $350 cash, 2nd place $300, 3rd place $200, 4th place $150, 5th $100, and 6th place $75.

Turning to the weather for the last time, and it was looking rather bleak at midday with scattered showers hitting Perth, but conditions improved to a cloudy 23 degrees with 75% humidity and a southwesterly breeze, as the threat of more rain amounted to 2 minutes of spittle.

On another note, The Breakaways were unavailable to play on Wednesday night, which almost left the Soft Girls without an opponent, but the Manning Darts crew once again came to the rescue and fielded a team of ring-ins (Adam, Paul & Phil) to give them a game and keep the numbers even.

I think that’s why they call themselves the Manning Magicians… Because they can conjure up replacement players from thin air.


The Corner To Corner Challenge

The night kicked off with the third and final Corner To Challenge for both the Synthetic and Grass rinks, and on the Synthetic, Brenda from Dyed On The Run popped up to win the $30 worth of drinks vouchers, which turned out to be a good omen for Dyed On The Run in their Wooden Spoon clash:

The Grass winner was an anonymous player called The Mystery Bowler, who wished to keep their identity hidden for personal reasons, but let me tell you, the Mystery Bowler was better on a long drive than Allan Moffat:


The Overall Night

Starting with the Grand Final on TV Rinkside, which appropriately came right down to the last shot of the tiebreak, and I can confirm this isn’t an April Fool’s Joke, the WINNERS of Manning Jack Attack for February/March 2021…

GOODNESS GRACIOUS, GREAT BOWLS OF FIRE!

Todd aka Kochie (Captain) holding the $350 cash, the legendary Paul ‘Alphabet’, and Chris, aka Jonesy

The 5/1 underdogs looked dead, buried, cremated and smoked after losing the 1st Set, but skipper Todd produced two clutch shots for the ages, first at the end of the 2nd Set to force a tiebreak, and on the last shot of the night, the David Koch impersonator hit out Lawn Clippings skipper Ryan to take the hold and win this season’s Jack Attack title, in what some experts have called the greatest upset since Prince Charles divorced Diana.

Going way back, The Great Bowls of Fire won the 2016 November/December competition, so we can call this their second Manning Jack Attack title – Unfortunately, we have no idea where the old trophy ended up, much to Todd’s disappointment.

Commiserations to the Lawn Clippings, who fell so agonisingly short of another Jack Attack title, but considering the talent they’ve lost in the last few seasons, making a fourth consecutive Grand Final was a fantastic effort from Ryan, Kyle & Jimmy:

Left To Right: Kyle, Ryan, Jimmy, and Jimmy’s missus (Photo by Kim Burke)

Moving on to 3rd place, and in another tough money game that went to a tiebreak, it was the CD’s who stormed home to finish on the podium, over the 4th placed Trevor Chappells!

The CD’s: Helen, Kelly, Natalie and Marg (Photo by Kim Burke)

Ron and Ronni from the Trevor Chappells, aka the Two Ronnies, also had a team photo of their own:

Unfortunately yours truly was absent for it

You’ll notice that the famed CD Shirts made a comeback after they were ruined in an ‘unfortunate washing incident’ last year, and that was probably what gave the ladies the inspiration to come back after dropping the 1st Set 17-4, as Jason put in a losing performance that was described as being on par with Gary Ablett Snr in the 1989 Grand Final, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Two Ronnies over the line, but as it turned out, every player in the game got $50 for their efforts.

It was also quite appropriate that the Trevor Chappells bowled underarm on the last bowl of the game, although based on the result, that formula is only successful when you play a team full of Kiwis.

5th place went to the Empire Strikes Jack, with 6th place going to the Young Guns, who tied the 1st Set 4-4 on Synthetic 3 to create a 1-set shootout, but the ESJ put them away by holding 4 on the 4th End to win it 7-2.

7th place went to The Habibs against the Bowled & The Beautiful, and after the Habibs’ shenanigans with ridiculously short ends last week, Pricey had to leave a reminder on their scorecard about the rules of bowls:

And in the last of the major games, the Wooden Spoon clash on Synthetic 7 between Burrendah and Dyed On The Run went down to a tiebreak, and Dyed On The Run came out the winners, which means that Burrendah will be having their name engraved on the mythical Wooden Spoon, which was physically restored thanks to John from the Tie Break Turkeys:

Burrendah will soon be in illustrious company

By avoiding the Wooden Spoon and finishing second last, Dyed On The Run were awarded a roll of toilet paper, because according to Pricey, by finishing second last, they’re Close To Crap.

It will come in handy in the event of an outbreak

There were 6 tiebreaks from the 12 games on Wednesday night, once again showing just how tough the competition is, and on that note, well done to John and his Tiebreak Turkeys, who waited until the last possible moment to win their first game of the season against Merkins, appropriately in a tiebreak after they almost blew a 13-0 1st Set win.

For the record, there was no money for the biggest win on the night, but the T-Birds were on top with a straight set +15 shot win against a depleted Top Shots, and second overall was the Ten Pins, who ruined their track record of playing a tiebreak every week by pumping The Lenny’s in straight sets by +14 shots to finish in 9th place.


The Half Price Choice Awards

Best Team Uniforms: The Bowling Stones

Best Dressed On The Night: Decca from Crawshaw Crisis Committee

Most Friendly Team: Top Shots

Most Consistent Team: Ten Pins, for playing in 5 consecutive tiebreaks

Bowlers with a Drinking Problem: Crawshaw Crisis Committee

Soft Under Pressure, aka the Marshmallow Award: Tie Break Turkeys

Bribery Award: Missing Moo’s, for always requesting to play on the grass

The Folded Like A Pack of Cards Award: T-Birds, for falling from 7th to 14th after Week 5.


Results

Scoring – 2 points for a set win, 1 point for a tied set, 1 for a tiebreak win, tiebreaks aren’t counted in score differential

Grass 1: Dream Team (3pts -5) defeated Bowling Stones (2pts +5), 6-5, 3-9, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 2: Ten Pins (4pts +14) defeated The Lenny’s, 8-2, 10-2

Grass 3: Crawshaw CC (3pts -5) defeated Missing Moo’s (2pts +5), 8-4, 3-12, 3-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 4: Soft Girls (4pts +9) defeated The Breakaways*, 6-2, 9-4

Grass 5: Tie Break Turkey’s (3pts +8) defeated Merkins (2pts -8), 13-0, 2-7, 3-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 1: T-Birds (4pts +15) defeated Top Shots, 12-0, 7-4

Synthetic 2 (3rd vs 4th): CD’s (3pts -6) defeated Trevor Chappells (2pts +6), 4-17, 8-1, 2-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 3 (5th vs 6th): Empire Strikes Jack (3pts +5) defeated Young Guns (1pt -5), 4-4, 7-2

Synthetic 4 (Grand Final): Great Bowls of Fire (3pts -1) defeated Lawn Clippings (2pts +1), 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 5 (7th vs 8th): Habibs (4pts +6) defeated Bowled & The Beautiful, 7-5, 7-3

Synthetic 6: Unbelievabowls (3pts -3) defeated Team Pamba (2pts +3), 6-4, 2-7, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 7 (Wooden Spoon Game): Dyed On The Run (3pts +3) defeated Burrendah (2pts -3) 6-9, 8-2, 1-0 in the tiebreak


Captain’s Comments

The Mystery Bowler: “Pricey, he’s priceless.”

Kym from Crawshaw Crescent, regarding their Drinking Problem Award: “We don’t have a problem with alcohol, we have a problem WITHOUT alcohol.”

Todd & Jonesy, Great Bowls of Fire: “We started very slowly, lost the first 4 ends, but we changed it up with short ends to get ourselves back into it, then we really had to dig deep to win the final end of the 2nd Set to force the tiebreak.”

“They chucked some great bowls, but the Great Bowls chucked fire, and the lawn clippings ended up on the rose garden”

Ryan, Lawn Clippings: “We had it right up until the last bowl, then Kochie came from the clouds and held us out – Big thanks to Pricey and JT for the season”

Brenda, Dyed On The Run: “If the wooden spoon was handed down, it’d be worth more, but that toilet paper could be worth plenty if COVID comes again!”

John, Tie Break Turkeys: “A cataclysmic win, and one I didn’t expect – It was a predictable play on our part where we were very strong in the opening set, then nuffed the second, but we finally came through with the goods for the first time all season!”

Nat + Kelly & Marg, CD’s: “It was a really good game, Trevor Chappells owned us in the 1st Set, no small credit to Jason, even with new used bowls, he was on point.”

“The turning point was when Helen called the team huddle at the start of the second set, told us to forget the pants down job and just win the set by a shot to get the tiebreak, and it helped us reset our focus.”

“We are the top scoring women’s team in Jack Attack, and watch this space, we’re going penants next year!”


Unofficial Final Ladder


Trevor Chappells vs The CD’s

In a game that got shuffled to Rink 2 as a result of club sponsors The Habibs getting a game under their beloved MV Wholesale sign, the 3rd vs 4th playoff would feature two of Manning Jack Attack’s bedrock teams – The Trevor Chappells, and The CD’s, the team named after a memorable girls trip that involved a few drops of red and a few CD’s.

As you’ve seen in the photos above, the CD’s were captained by Nat, with Kelly from ‘Canadia’, the far better half of Jonesy from the Great Bowls of Fire, Helen, who shares the same name as my dear mum, and Marg.

As always, the Trevor Chappells were captained by this Roving Reporter, accompanied by ‘The Two Ronnies’ – Ron, aka Ronnie Barker, and Ronni, aka Ronnie Corbett, who was so determined to play well that she dragged her kids down to the club on Tuesday night to watch her practice.

On another note about The Two Ronnies, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this on here, but Ron is a retired maths teacher, and during a conversation on Wednesday night, Ronni worked out that at some point in time, Ron taught her mathematics at Australind Senior High School during the wild era known as 1980s Western Australia.

Apparently it’s a small world after all.

And one final note, in an effort to give the edge to the Trevor Chappells, the special something I mentioned last week arrived direct from Tweed Heads at the perfect time of 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon….

THE CANNABIS BOWLS.

Doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you’ll be high as a kite after playing with them.

Bowl Colours: Jason (Black With The Green Leaf), Ronni (Orange), Ron (Black & White Sharks), Helen (Navy Blue), Marg (Light Blue), Nat (Black White And Red), Kelly (Black & Orange with the sticker)


1st Set (Trevor Chappells 17-4)

The Trevor Chappells won the toss and chose to bowl underarm first, and it went spectacularly well on the opening end, because Jason landed 2 shots within a metre of the jack, then Ron hit one of Ronni’s bowls into the hold of 4, with the CD’s bowling in a different postcode on the one end where Helen was sitting out:

Marg bowled as the skip for the CD’s on the opening end, and it should be noted that she did hit the jack (And was robbed of a voucher since the whistle hadn’t gone), but the shot carried through and the kitty ended up landing perfectly on the blue line, and the end result was now a definite hold of 5 to the Trevor Chappells to begin the night:

Ron’s bowl furthest to the left being the 5th holder

The CD’s would call that a “Pants down” end, and it was so bad for them that I am an eye witness to them being sledged by their own kids asking how many shots they held.

On a long 2nd End, Jason was once again holding through to the final pairs after a few near misses, albeit with just 1 shot, but it looked like Helen may have pinched the hold on the final end, but after stealing Pricey’s tape measure, and with help from Alex from the Empire Strikes Jack venturing over from the opposite rink, it was the Green Leaf bowl that somehow held:

On the 3rd End, Jason kept the new bowl bounce going by hitting the Jack on his first shot (We were once again robbed of a voucher), then landing the second shot, which was improved upon by Ronni to make it a hold of 3, and out of absolutely nowhere, the Trevor Chappells were up 9-0 after 3 ends, but there was still a long way to go.

Clint Eastwood with a gun in a Spaghetti Western wasn’t this accurate.

On the 4th End, the CD’s called the powerplay to get themselves back into the game, and after a few ends of being on the receiving Kelly stepped up with the Size 0 bowls and provided some return fire with a pair of backhands that started out on Rink 3 and put the pressure on, with Helen adding to the hold, and despite having a case for holding 4 shots (Which would’ve been 8 on the powerplay), Ron somehow snuck a shot in that would end up as the 3rd holder, keeping it to 9-4.

Being 3 shots down with an end to go is manageable, albeit unlikely, but 5 shots is nigh-on impossible with how competitive Manning Jack Attack is.

So with an end to go, the Trevor Chappells deployed the powerplay, and despite setting a short end, the CD’s did themselves in big time with length that wouldn’t even cut it at a work function at the club, as they didn’t even land one bowl within 5 metres of the jack, and the Trevor Chappells would end up holding 4 on the powerplay for 8 shots, to add a bit of caviar to the set win.

I should note that photo was captured with the same camera that they used to provide evidence of Bigfoot.

So the 1st Set ended in a 17-4 drubbing the way of the Trevor Chappells, and you may think that was a mental drubbing too big to come back from, but I should tell you, if Manning Jack Attack games were decided after one set, I’d have won at least 8 titles in a row, so feel free to read on.


2nd Set (8-1 CD’s)

On the opening end of the 2nd Set, it was another tough measurement involving Ron, this time against Kelly, but with the benefit of being jack high to the kitty on his back bowl, Ron got the hold, although you could’ve been forgiven for thinking the CD’s had held:

After the opening end, there was a small spittle of rain that began to fall for no longer than 2 minutes, but more importantly, Helen called a CD’s team meeting, and what happened in that brief moment in time I have no idea, but I can only imagine it would be close to Al Bundy’s worst nightmare.

Regardless, Helen’s comments obviously worked, because the ladies picked themselves off the canvas from that point on.

On a long 2nd End, Jason was holding on both shots from the lead, and while they were good, there was still more to come….

Because on a captain’s bowl, Nat got the line and weight right, hit the jack, and while either the kitty or the bowl could’ve landed anywhere, it got the result it deserved, and it was an easy hold of 1 shot, tying the scores at 1 apiece.

Now it was game on in the 2nd Set, and the CD’s called the powerplay after taking control of the mat, and the pressure was on when Kelly held on a backhand as the lead, surviving a shot from Ronni that managed to split the gap between the holder and the jack, and Nat made it a healthy powerplay by adding the second holder, and from nowhere the score was 5-1:

I’ve got no memory of what happened on the 4th End, but I can tell you for a fact that Marg held from Jason and Ron, whose final shot never really looked like breaking the hold, only for it to keep rolling and lie just behind Marg’s bowl, just to rub it in:

So it was 6-1 CD’s with an end to play, and it was scorelines like this where keeping the powerplay until the final end would seemingly come in handy for the Trevor Chappells, because a hold of 3 would mean it was game over.

Staying on the subject, a hold of 3 was a very realistic prospect during the skips, because Jason had held all the way through, Ron had slid a shot in that was definitely second holder, and if Helen couldn’t land her final shot, Ron would have the final shot to wrap up the game:

Funnily enough, Helen can be seen bowling the shot that took the jack in the background

Helen, with the spirit of Dom Sheed on the boundary line, got it DEAD CENTRE.

You can see in the photo that Kelly’s shot was now the second holder to boot, so the 2nd Set finished up at 8-1 in favour of the CDs, meaning the fight for 3rd place would (Appropriately) be decided in a TIEBREAK, and given shot variance means absolutely nothing on Finals night, the Trevor Chappells finished ahead 18-12.


Tiebreak (2-0 CD’s)

If an extra $50 on offer wasn’t enough to make us fill our dacks with nervousness, both captains (Nat & Jason) stepped up to play as the leads in the tiebreak, and pretty much deciding the game on the opening shot, Nat’s bowl appeared to wind up sitting right on the jack, but Jason very nearly produced the shot of the night in response and hit the jack, but crucially, he didn’t hit it dead centre, and the end result was the kitty ended up closer to Nat, while the toucher was just out of reach.

To cut a long story short, Nat’s shot won the tiebreak, which it deserved to, and on the final bowl of the night, Ron unfortunately (Depending on your point of view) hit Nat’s second shot ahead of Jason’s, so the tiebreak was officially a 2-shot win to the CD’s, who would win the major consolation 3rd prize in a hard-fought comeback:

With 7 bowlers involved, and a total of $350 prize money at stake in the 3rd vs 4th game, the CD’s winning ensured every player got $50, so in a way, it did work itself out in the end, although based on their post-game activity, the ladies aren’t going to have much cash left for the post-season trip to the Bahamas:

I have a feeling Kochie’s cracked the shits with the CD’s for leaving their wine glasses like that before….


Final Thoughts

So that’s all for Manning Jack Attack, season February/March 2021, and given I’ve thanked everyone else I’d best thank my beloved teammates the Two Ronnies for their hard work pinching 4th place – Ron Dymock, who stepped out of his comfort zone and played as the skip for an entire season, and Ronni H, who came in off a day’s notice ahead of Week 2 to replace Rocket Rod, and out of the kindness of her own heart, ended up playing the other 4 remaining games, and it should be said that without her, the Trevor Chappells wouldn’t have finished in the Top 4.

So to quote the Two Ronnies, it’s good night from me… and it’s good night from him!

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