Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 10th November

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Pictured: Dusk settles in on a Wednesday night, and so does Jack Attack at Manning Memorial

After 8 months of build-up and record levels of anticipation, Greatest Social Bowls Competition Between Manning Road and the Canning River is back to end 2021, and I can start off by confirming this is officially the BIGGEST season of Manning Jack Attack in its illustrious history, with a record 26 teams (Beating the old record of 24) entered for this season, 10 of them being new (If you count Verse I, who are the old Team 180), with 4 teams also changing their names from the February/March comp:

That’s the marketing genius of Richard ‘Half’ Price for you… He could sell eyebrows to Tony Galati.

With 26 teams and 80+ bowlers participating over the next 6 weeks, the bar and kitchen are bound to cop a flogging, and on that note, I should give a big shoutout to a few people involved in the both of them; Brenda, Bianca and Janie making the meals in the kitchen, and to Theresa and Amber behind the bar servicing our collective drinking problem.

Also, a big thanks to Sue Hogg for taking the team photos, and to Manning’s Premier League representatives AJ Heal and Mark Ellis, who helped set up and supervise across the greens and hand out the coveted $5 drinks vouchers for touching the jack… There were that many hard luck stories you could write a book about them!

The Overall Night

Team Tommy and The Habibs in their epic encounter on ‘TV Rinkside’, aka Synthetic 3

On a cool November night (16 degrees Celsius and calm), it was a very even start to the new Jack Attack season, with only 3 teams winning both sets, 5 games went to tiebreaks, and a record 5 games had a drawn set, which is an early tick for the unique handicap fixturing system in Manning Jack Attack.

The overall winners on the night to take the $50 cash were some of the new kids on the block, Mac Attack, who put up a straight sets +20 win on fellow debutants Buffed Helmets II, and it’s ironic I call them new kids on the block, because they’re the parents of Adam MacPherson, who was so keen for Jack Attack that he entered 3 teams, Rock N Bowl and Ghost Riders being the other two.

We weren’t sure if Mac Attack is the actual name of the team, because the name on the shirts is the phonetic spelling ‘Macatac’… I think we’ll stick to Mac Attack for now.

On the adjacent Grass rink, 2nd place and the $30 cash went to the newly christened Bowled Guys, featuring Loose Bruce, Reed and Jamie, defeating Manning Up in straight sets by +14 shots, as situation normal returned for John and Manning Up, with the Bowled Guys being the only other team to win by double digits on Wednesday night.

In 3rd place and taking the $20 cash were The Lenny’s, who recorded a straight sets victory against last season’s champions the Great Bowls of Fire, and The Lenny’s led in a convoy of 3 teams sitting on +8 shots, but their straight sets victory got them 3rd on a countback.

Thankfully, with the expansion in teams, there’s now a payout for 4th place, something you’ll never see at the races, and taking the $10 cash for Week 1 were the Bowling Stones, who got the countback over Stop, Drop & Bowl as the Stones drew their 1st Set against Verse 1, before they won their 2nd Set 13-5 (Thanks to holding 4 turned into 8 on their powerplay), whereas Stop, Drop & Bowl dropped a set before winning in a tiebreak.

Coincidentally, both teams had a for/against of 16/8, and it should be noted that Ten Pin in 6th finished on +7 shots against Jack To The Future, so we weren’t all that far away from seeing a 4-way tie for the minors.

Looking at the other results, the match of the night was undoubtedly the Habibs against Team Tommy on Synthetic 3, with the Habibs winning the 1st Set 5-4 after using their powerplay on the final end to turn 1 shot into 2, then in the 2nd Set, Team Tommy held an almighty 5 turned into 10 on their 3rd End powerplay to rocket out to a 12-3 lead (I can confirm Steve Withers didn’t play on that end), but the Habibs held 3 on the 4th End to cut it to 12-6, then Johnny’s team used the Powerplay on the final end once again, and turned 3 into 6 to draw the set 12-12, bringing a dramatic ending to the high scoring epic.

A game where both teams held all of their powerplays

One thing you’ll learn playing the Habibs is that there’s never a dull moment with Johnny and Abes.

Looking now at the five tiebreak results:

On Grass 4, Howard’s End came back to win another clash of the debutants against Rock N Bowl, in a game that was only decided on the last shot of the tiebreak.

On Synthetic 2, the CD’s came back to defeat the Crawshaw residents after captain Helen came good in the tiebreak, combined with Crawshaw staple Decca being 6 beers short of his game.

On Synthetic 4, Team Pamba came back from losing the 1st Set 8-1 and going 4-0 down in the 2nd Set to bring down the debuting Ghost Riders, who appeared to suffer a gruesome highside in the last 5 ends of the night.

On Synthetic 8, Stop Drop & Bowl were 6-0 down after 2 ends against the Top Shots, but they won the final 3 ends and only just lost the 1st Set 6-5, and afterwards went on to win the 2nd Set 11-2 followed by getting the job done in the tiebreak, and all told, SD&B won 8 out of the last 9 ends of the night.

The fifth and final tiebreak was over on Grass 3, which nearly didn’t happen as Roy from the Merkins was left shorthanded after a few of his teammates inexplicably pulled their heart muscles and couldn’t play, but thankfully Barbara and the Unbelievabowls had 4 bowlers, so they kindly rotated their spare on every end, and roving reporter JT helped out as a floater to give the Merkins a 3rd bowler, and it resulted in a very close game, as the teams split the sets in blowouts, and on the last bowl of the tiebreak, JT pulled one out and got the Merkins over the line, but given everyone played for the Merkins at some point in the night, as Hot Chocolate would say, everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth.

Also, I’d note that Barbara was unlucky in the extreme, because not even 30 seconds after Mark Ellis blew his whistle for the next touch of the jack, she put this bowl down:

You can see Pricey up the end talking to them about the bowl

With luck like that, if you fell out of a boat, you’d hit sand.

Completing the results, on Grass 5, the aforementioned Ten Pin cleaned up Jack To The Future 9-2 in the 1st Set to set up their win, in another debutants clash on Synthetic 6, Beginner’s Luck brought down Team Catalano with a variety of distracting tactics, like providing them with grog, and flirtatiously asking team captain Enzo if his pencil still had enough lead in it….

It did.

And lucky last, Out On Parole formally retired the Lawn Clippings name in a sedate pre-game ceremony on Synthetic 1, and the paroled whipper snippers ultimately got the job done by the barest of margins against the Buffed Helmets I, a result that was seemingly decided by Out On Parole winning the 1st Set 5-4, after holding 1 turned into 2 on a final end double powerplay (Buffed Helmets had played their powerplay as well), followed by the 2nd Set ending in a 4-4 draw, as the teams went for another final end double powerplay, but the Buffed Helmets could only hold 1 when they needed 2.

Overall, a very solid beginning to the 6-week competition!


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: Bowled Guys (4pts +14) defeated Manning Up, 6-1, 11-2

Grass 2: Mac Attack (4pts +20) defeated Buffed Helmets II, 15-1, 9-3

Grass 3: Merkins (3pts +3) defeated Unbelievabowls (2pts -3), 15-3, 0-9, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 4: Howards End (3pts -1) defeated Rock N Bowl (2pts +1), 1-5, 6-3, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 5: Ten Pin (3pts +7) defeated Jack To The Future (1pt -7), 9-2, 4-4

Synthetic 1: Out On Parole (3pts +1) defeated Buffed Helmets I (1pt -1), 5-4, 4-4

Synthetic 2: CD’s (3pts -1) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee (2pts +1), 4-9, 6-2, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 3: Habibs (3pts +1) defeated Team Tommy (1pt, -1), 5-4, 12-12

Synthetic 4: Team Pamba (3pts -4) defeated Ghost Riders (2pts +4), 1-8, 7-4, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 5: Bowling Stones (3pts +8) defeated Verse 1 (1pt -8), 3-3, 13-5

Synthetic 6: Beginner’s Luck (3pts +4) defeated Team Catalano (1pt -4), 6-2, 7-7

Synthetic 7: The Lenny’s (4pts +8) defeated Great Bowls of Fire, 7-3, 6-2

Synthetic 8: Stop Drop & Bowl (3pts +8) defeated Top Shots, 5-6, 11-2, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Captain’s Comments

Team Pamba: “We’re very disappointed in our team manager Shirley, she went missing to take a phone call, and she was gone for so long that the other team asked if we had an albatross for a manager… Funnily enough, we started playing better after she left!”

Todd/Kochie, Great Bowls of Fire: “It was a premiership hangover we had to have… now it’s out of our system, we’ve got the cattle to improve, and we’ll get a losing team from this week next Wednesday.”

Bruce, Bowled Guys: “They were better at their banter than their bowls… Also, we don’t want Todd back!”

Adam, Rock N Bowl ‘manager’: “It came down to the last bowl, where the Rock N Bowl were holding 2, and Howard’s End, with the last bowl of the day, sat it right on the holder to take the win.”

Kym, Crawshaw: “Mal went to a football function to get a photo taken, the only problem was he was a week early, so he turned up here and did nothing, and I had to hop off the harvester in Wialki to play tonight, and I can tell you they’re still talking about how AJ Heal missed a Grand Final in the ’80s for decking someone.”

“As for the loss, we blame Decca, who was about 6 beers short and off his game, and he left early…. we think he was on a promise!”

Enzo, Team Catalano: “We played against Beginner’s Luck, and the noise level and the cockiness just put us off our game, and they were using various tactics to put us off – Every time we’d roll one down they’d offer us grog, and there were flirtatious remarks like ‘Can I borrow your pencil’…. All they wanted was my lead pencil!”

“End story, we got distracted.”

Helen, Nat, Marg, Kelly, CD’s: “They (Crawshaw) flogged us in the 1st Set, then we pinched the 2nd Set, and Helen (Who is a Penants player) bowled like shizen all night, but she came good at the best possible moment in the tiebreak, and even better, Nat hit the jack and got a $5 voucher, so, winners are drinkers!

Glen, Buffed Helmets I: “We got beaten by a younger, fitter, better looking team, only just by 1 shot, so we gave them a good run for their money – They didn’t drink during the game, and they didn’t hang around for a drink after the game… I think that was their advantage.”

Carmo, Buffed Helmets II: “Pricey is nowhere to be found when you need him, because we hit the jack twice in 3 shots, and he was probably at the bar spending our voucher.”

“This competition was about finding our 2022 indoor cricket captain…. We’re still no closer to a result, although (Brendon) Crowder’s continued absence brings him closer to the mantle.”

“P.S, I think Carry has finally conceded the earth is not flat.”

Special comment from Cheese, Buffed Helmets II:Our captain spent more time on Tinder than he did on the rink.”


A few more photos from the night

Pricey performing the pre-game formalities
I enjoy a good photo of a sunset
Manning Up vs The Bowled Guys
The Merkins and Unbelievabowls create the best looking head since Jennifer Hawkins
Marg telling Kelly where to bowl
Roy hitting the jack for the Merkins

And lastly, here’s a rare shot of Carmo on the mat, and not swiping right:

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