After being caught in the COVID crossfire in 2020, the time-honoured Bowls WA Community Shield was back for 2021, hosted by the Hilton Park Bowling Club, with 28 teams taking part from all corners of WA for a great day of drinking and bowling in the glow of the Perth autumn, and after missing the 2019 edition, the Manning Bowling Club entered 3 teams from the successful Jack Attack program.
The recent champion team the Great Bowls Of Fire (Todd, Rede, Chris and special guest Christine), bronze medalists The CD’s (Natalie, Helen, Kelly and Marg), who flew the flag as the only all-female team in the tournament, a fact that should be recognised by Bowls WA, and the 4th-placed Trevor Chappells (Jason, Richard, Ron and Brodie), who went into the day with half the team suffering from alcohol-related ailments, or should I say, ale-ments.
The weather couldn’t have been any better, with sunny conditions and a top of 28 degrees with a pleasant sea breeze, which meant it was a bad day to be a beer, and after weeks of practice following the end of the Jack Attack season, all three Manning teams could be forgiven for feeling confident about snagging a Top 4 place against what would be some tough opposition.
As for the format, unlike Jack Attack, which is triples, the Community Shield is a Fours tournament with 4 games (1 hour and 15 minutes each) to decide the winner, making it a ‘rigorous’ test of endurance and bowling ability, and all teams blindly picked from 28 sets of fixtures, and it was down to total luck if you got the draw of death, or the proverbial cakewalk through the teams that would struggle to knock off the Tie Break Turkeys from Manning Jack Attack.
Finally, there were 3 different rinks at Hilton Park – A-Green was painfully slow, B-Green was average, but all of the Manning teams agreed that the fast C-Green played the best, given it was the closest we could get to replicating the greens at Manning Memorial, and it shouldn’t surprise you that the three teams were undefeated from 4 games on the C rinks.
The Overall Day
It was mixed bags all round for the Manning teams, with all three teams winning and losing twice from their four games, and the Trevor Chappells finished the best-placed of the trio in a tie for 9th place, only 1 shot ahead of the Great Bowls of Fire in 11th (Amazingly both teams held 39 shots for the day), who did at least take home $80 after recording the biggest win of any team in Round 2, which was the big success story of the day from a Manning perspective.
As for team performances, the Great Bowls of Fire started very well and won their first 2 games before the midday lunch break, and despite a collapse from 6-1 up to lose 11-7 in Game 3, Todd’s team were still in 8th place with a live chance at finishing in the Top 4 with one game to play, but they went down 7-9 to the Ditch Dodgers from Ellenbrook in a tough contest on B5.
Unfortunately, the CD’s drew the short straw, because after winning their opening game 11-6, they had the misfortune of drawing the eventual champions What’s Up Doc from an unnamed Eaton retirement village in Game 2, who defeated them 22-1 in an old-fashioned pants down job, although that pants down job earned the ladies a $100 voucher from sponsors Total Tools for having the equal-lowest score of the day, alongside wooden spooners TABTouch Forrestfield, who lost 29-1 in Game 1.
So, thanks to that aforementioned pants down job, the CD’s finished 17th on shot variance, the last of the train of teams on 2 wins, although based on their fine system, they only had themselves to blame:
Finally, from my perspective, the Trevor Chappells had what could be politely described as a tardy start, losing Game 1 against the team from Warnbro 11-10 after leading 7-5 AND losing a hold of 5 before the last shot of the 6th End, followed by a frustrating 8-3 defeat against the boys from the Bassendean Bowlo on A-Green, which featured an extremely rare tied end between myself (With the Marijuana Bowls) and ‘Shakesy’ from Basso, with the bowls being impossible to split after the tape was brought out, which meant the end was recorded as no score for either team, as per Section 1.6 Law 24 in the Laws of the Game.
As Richard ‘Half’ Price battled on despite his dicky knee playing up, there were several key changes after the lunch break; All four Chappells had a much-needed beer, a move comparable to Popeye eating a can of spinach, Brodie ‘Quarter’ Price was dropped down to skipper in place of Ron, a move Brodie relished, our last 2 games were on the cushy confines of C-Rink, and the end result was the Trevor Chappells came home with a wet sail, winning 15-5 against the Forrestfield TAB crew, and rounding out the day with an 11-5 win against Safety Bay after leading all the way.
But, it was the opening defeat that cruelled our day, and it proved the difference between a share of 9th and a place in the Top 5.
The final highlight of the day from a Manning perspective was the appearance of our own Brad Hogg in his role as Bowls WA Ambassador, in which he had a photo with all the award winners, and there was a raffle held in which the lucky winner would receive the services of Hoggy, himself a pennants player for the Manning Eagles, as a super sub for their final two games.
That lucky team turned out to be the aforementioned Ditch Dodgers, as the dream of having a dual Cricket World Cup winner playing in a team named after Trevor Chappell remained a fantasy, mainly because none of myself, Ron, Richard or Brodie actually purchased a set of tickets.
Although, I think the Ditch Dodgers would’ve been scratching their heads and wondering if it was worth it, because in a ripping yarn that won’t be forgotten by those who ventured out to Hilton Park….
HOGGY BOWLED ON THE WRONG BIAS!
Well, in fairness to the great man, he was the master of bowling a wrong’un in his cricketing days…..
Overall, it was a great day out, albeit a bloody long day out, and we’ll find out in 12 months if we can send some more esteemed representatives from Manning to Hilton Park in 2022.…
Assuming Planet Earth doesn’t explode on it’s own axis by then.
NEDS came from Leeming, The Bowling Stones came from Melville.
Manning Team Photos
The Trevor Chappells
The Great Bowls Of Fire (Complete with Hoggy and the Ditch Dodgers)
Categories: Lawn Bowls