Lawn Bowls

Manning Spring Challenge Review: 20th October

After a successful launching pad last week, the Manning Spring Challenge attempted to soldier on through the threat of wild weather to Week 2, and it turned out that we were sharing the club with a Saudara Designs Spring Fashion parade, which I can report was a fashion show that Hyacinth Bucket herself would’ve loved….

Although, despite being a Spring fashion show, I didn’t see Jean Shrimpton in a white shift dress.

While the ladies & gents interested in fashion had no issue with the elements, they were a major issue for the future of the Spring Challenge, especially with a forecast of 5-10mm of rain for Wednesday off the back of Tuesday’s storms, and in the days leading in, I reckon I did more studying of weather patterns than Jeff Newman did in 40 years with Channel 7.

After a Tuesday evening discussion, ironically as it started belting down in Perth, Half Price decided he’d make a call on the night’s events at 9am on Wednesday morning, right before he drove down south for a few days of R and R, and based on the information available at the time, Week 2 was given the all-clear to proceed, with yours truly doing the organising alongside Kim ‘Burkey’ Burke.

There’s a few words you don’t want to hear in your life… “JT is running bowls tonight.”

However, a few teams read the tea leaves and decided to withdraw, firstly the Crawshaw Crisis Committee, who were reduced to a team of two by lunchtime, before the weather forecast convinced them to pull the plug on the night, while Lick My Bowls and the Merkins were also unavailable for undisclosed reasons.

That said, at 5:30pm the weather looked fine, albeit it was blowing the usual westerly, and at 6pm we looked like we were going to get away with the worst of the foul weather, right as the teams rolled up and started practicing:

Then, not even a few minutes later, it started raining lightly, which persisted until well past 6:30pm, when we were due to start:

Then it got even harder, which forced myself and Burkey to make a call by quarter to 7:

Ultimately, given it was a school night (We do have plenty of parents with young children + teams of teenagers going through exams), and the fact that the rain showed no signs of stopping, we made the call to abandon play, with more details to come from Half Price during the week about finances & fixtures, which I think will carry over to next Wednesday….

Which is also forecast for 6-10mm of rain.

I can inform you that the Royal Commission into the decision to try and go ahead with the night has already started, with several key witnesses issued with subpoenas, and personally I blame the Bureau of Meteorology for taking down the Perth radar last week for ‘upgrades’….. HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT WAS COMING AT 6 O’CLOCK, YOU PACK OF NERDS.

Still, the weather didn’t seem to stop Alex and the crew representing Jack To The Future from having a roll-up on Rink 1, and amazingly enough, with the boys from the iTunes vanishing into thin air, Jack To The Future produced a brilliant display of wet weather bowling to record the first-ever perfect score seen on a Wednesday night at Manning Memorial, which counted for absolutely nothing:

A shame it doesn’t count

I did joke on Monday that the game on Rink 1, would’ve been Wesley (Jack To The Future) vs Aquinas (iTunes)…. coincidentally, Wesley are playing Aquinas in the PSA this weekend, and as per usual, Wesley will be right up against it, having been robbed of a huge chance of victory at Manning Memorial.

As it turned out, if Burkey and myself had waited until after 7pm to make a call, we might have been able to get a full night’s slate of games in, given the weather did clear up, but even then it was still drizzling until at least 7:30, and most of the teams were already enjoying a ‘social’ night at Manning, plus we would’ve finished playing at 8:30, which links back to the problem of it being a school night.

So, while a few of the teams stuck around to enjoy a drink and a bit of the fashion show, the others waited for the weather to clear up so they could have a roll up, namely Jack To The Future, the Bowling Stones (With their kids using the carpet bowls), Team Tommy and the Buffed Helmets, while ‘The Mayor of Manning’ Grahame Maples took the time to provide a few simple pointers to Phil from Manning Up, the big one being that you should shorten your step on the mat when you bowl, an issue I’ve been guilty of many times over.

Steve Withers showing the hoods from Team Tommy how it’s done, even when they’re not looking
There’s a few characters you wouldn’t want to see on a dark night
The Buffed Helmets also had their selection trials

You should also know the night was definitely a weird one, due to the simple fact that after last week’s drinking performance, the Buffed Helmets weren’t the last team to leave Manning Memorial on Wednesday night…

Because that honour belonged to the organisers of the fashion show, who kicked on until well past 10pm.

So yes, unfortunately the night was doomed just before it began, but I suppose we should look at the major positive in all this….

Manning Up didn’t lose in a tiebreak.

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