Lawn Bowls

Manning Spring Challenge Review: 27th October

Before we begin this week’s report, here’s a joke via Decca From Crawshaw that was too good to leave out:

“We have a bloke at work who lost half an ear to a horse, so we call him 18 Months…. Because he’s only got an ear and a half.”

Now, after much worrying about this run of dodgy weather in Perth that saw us lose last week’s games in the midst of the wettest October in 56 years, the Manning Spring Challenge would be good to go for Week 3, as Half Price made his return from Down South just in time to reclaim command of this sinking ship that I steered into an iceberg.

Despite 18mm of rain falling from midnight until 9am, it was perfect conditions from midday onwards, with the usual touch of an afternoon sea breeze, making it 16 degrees by the time play got underway at 6:30pm, so hoodies and jackets were a requirement.

Of course, this is the last week of the preseason Spring Challenge before the beginning of Jack Attack in a fortnight’s time, and the major excuse for not getting Jack Attack underway next Wednesday is that it’ll be the day after the Melbourne Cup, and quite a few of our bowlers will be feeling the after-effects, plus the Tuesday Women’s pennants have to play on Wednesday due to several clubs being unavailable for Cup functions, Manning being one of them.

Another reason is that Pricey will be making his annual visit to Rottnest from this Friday onwards, this time for a record 10 days, but I might have to open a market to see if he’ll make it back to the mainland by New Years’ Eve, and at this stage, I’d given him between Buckley’s and None.

The ‘Closest To The Jack’ Challenge

Given we’re drowning in funds at the Manning Jack Attack reserve, Half Price decided it was time for the first Wednesday night $50 novelty game of this Wednesday night Manning bowls season, and this week’s novelty was what we’ve now dubbed the Closest To The Jack Challenge, which to anyone else is just called ‘Lawn Bowls.’

I would describe it as being a lighter version of the Spider challenge – The jack gets set in the dead centre of the green, one player from each team bowls on the rink they’re playing on (From opposite ends of course), the middle rinks go first as they’re the closest to the jack, and the outside rinks then get a potshot at them.

The view from Rink 8

In the washup, the middle rinks were definitely the place to be, because the winner of the $50 cash was Rowan from Lick My Bowls on Rink 3, although my AutoCorrect thought he was named Roman…. Chances are that those names are both incorrect and I’ve just made a tool of myself… again.

Anyway, well done Rowan!

The look of a man that says “I play for the Lick My Bowls”

The Overall Night

Decca about to fire one down as Jared’s ankles start panicking

Given we lost last week’s games, Half Price made the call to carry the fixtures from Week 2 over to Week 3, and with the losers playing the losers and the winners playing the winners from way back in Week 1, we were bound to see a few mismatches, and judging by some of these monster scores to take the cash, we definitely did.

The biggest winners on the night and taking the $50 cash with a lazy +30 shots were the Buffed Helmets II, who shutout the Merkins on Rink 5 with a 30-0 win, one of the biggest shutout wins on a Wednesday night at Manning in many a year, although there are now rumours of a leadership spill within the veteran indoor cricketers involving Crowder and Scotty, however, the only spill I saw involving the Buffed Helmets was a glass of Pepperjack on their table.

“This is the rabble you’re inheriting, Crowder!”

Deary me, there’s going to be an almighty scrap for the Biggest Drinkers prize.

In 2nd place to take the $30 cash, only two weeks after copping the biggest loss of the night, were The Bowling Stones, who went +20 shots up on the Top Shots in a 21-1 win on Rink 4, despite Jerry pulling off a drive on the final end that sent the jack to Karawarra, and after drawing the winning $1600 ticket in Chase The Ace last Friday night, Tiff and the ladies aren’t going to be short of cash for a few weeks yet.

In for 3rd Place and taking the $20 cash, in a result that none of us can believe, MANNING UP defeated The CD’s by +14 shots on Rink 2, capped off by a 12-0 shutout in the 2nd Set, and yes, you just read that correctly, not only did Manning Up comfortably avoid a tiebreak, they finished 3rd overall, and here’s the scorecard as proof:

A very nice win for John, Mark and Phil after being relieved of the deadwood, before “situation normal” resumes in a few weeks.

Looking at the other results, in the Aquinas vs Wesley showdown on Rink 1, the Wesley boys from Jack To The Future gave the young Aquinians from the iTunes a 17-7 hiding, as the iTunes took the consolation of getting smashed but still outscoring their parents.

In the clash of the new teams on Rink 3, Lick My Bowls were clearly inspired by Rowan’s win in the Closest To The Jack Challenge, as they defeated Howard’s End, who did salvage a draw in the 2nd Set, and I can confirm that both teams will be ready to go for their Jack Attack debuts in a fortnight.

On Rink 6, The Lenny’s comfortably disposed of the returning Crawshaw residents in straight sets by +12 shots, despite Decca’s inadvertent attempt to bust Jared’s ankles while they set the jack, and The Lenny’s were very unlucky, because back in Week 1, +12 shots would’ve earned a team 2nd place…. This week it didn’t even get 3rd.

The game on Rink 7 between Team Tommy and the Bowled Guys was the closest game of the night, with Todd and the Bowled Guys coming back from 3-0 down to tie the 1st Set 3-3, creating a one set shootout, and in that 2nd Set, both teams would end up foiling each other’s powerplays, but the difference was Team Tommy held 4 on the Bowled Guys powerplay on the 4th end to lead 6-3, and the Bowled Guys could only hold 2 on Team Tommy’s powerplay, as the Withers/Harders partnership held on to win the set and the match 6-5.

Lucky last, on the dreaded Rink 8, the Great Bowls of Fire overcome a huge scare at the end of the 1st Set to defeat the Buffed Helmets I in straight sets, in a game that was forgotten about as soon as the players stepped off the rink, although a highlight came on the opening end of the night, when Buffed Helmets captain Scotty bowled what looked like an old-fashioned pineapple out of the hand, only for his red bowl to hit the the infamous Rink 8 bank just before the side ditch, completely changing the trajectory of the shot, and to the sheer disbelief of everyone, the bowl kept on going, landed flat on it’s side, and held the shot.

“It happens.” “What, s**t?” “Sometimes.”

To describe what that shot looked like, just imagine one Shane Keith Warne bowling to Andrew Strauss in the 2005 Ashes.

So overall, a rare night with no tiebreaks, although we did see two games with tied sets, and now that the barrier trials are done, that’s it for a few weeks, with Jack Attack starting November 10!


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

Rink 1: Jack To The Future (4pts +10) defeated iTunes, 8-2, 9-5

Rink 2: Manning Up (4pts +14) defeated the CD’s, 5-3, 12-0

Rink 3: Lick My Bowls (3pts +8) defeated Howard’s End (1pt -8), 12-4, 5-5

Rink 4: Bowling Stones (4pts +21) defeated Top Shots, 9-1, 12-0

Rink 5: Buffed Helmets II (4pts +30) defeated Merkins, 16-0, 14-0

Rink 6: The Lenny’s (4pts +12) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee, 9-2 9-4

Rink 7: Team Tommy (3pts +1) defeated Bowled Guys (1pt -1), 3-3, 6-5

Rink 8: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +10) defeated Buffed Helmets I, 6-5 9-0

Captain’s Comments

Kym, Crawshaw Crisis Committee: “We scored more points than last week, I blame Graeme and Peter for not showing, we’re glad that the preseason’s over, looking forward to Jack Attack when we’ll hit our straps”

Helen, CD’s: “This game is shizen, thank god it’s the preseason, there’s always room for Natalie to come back, but you can’t bowl too many pineapples.”

Todd, Bowled Guys: “Exceptional game, everyone had arthritis, bring on Jack Attack!”

Todd, regarding Mr Harders borrowing what appeared to be Steve Withers’ Manning Bowling Club Jacket: “They bowled with a Manning Bowling Club jacket, now I know it’s cold, but I think they’re taking the piss!”

John, Manning Up: “I thought we had an even contribution from everyone, Simon and Brent didn’t bowl a bad bowl, and the rest of us held our own, and we look forward to situation normal in Jack Attack when the deadwood returns!”

Jared, The Lenny’s: “Good win, nearly had my ankles taken out by Decca when he was setting a jack.”

Decca, on that incident: “I bowled it overarm, and it was too late to warn him (Jared) – Pricey said it was a good rebound off the bank!”

Glen, Buffed Helmets II: “We got lucky on the Powerplay, the Merkins were just a good team out of luck, especially because Brendon Crowder didn’t turn up for us.”

Carmo, Buffed Helmets I: “It was an equally crap effort, season 2021 indoor cricket captain Scotty showed as much leadership as Donald Trump, he’s played bowls for a few years in Bunbury, and somehow he’s still a lock for the indoor cricket captaincy.”

Categories: Lawn Bowls

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