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Well friends, we’re fast approaching the pointy end of the Manning Jack Attack season, and I tell you what, it may have been the first day of Summer here in Perth, but it certainly didn’t feel like it, because it was 19 degrees Celsius with an annoyingly strong sea breeze, which meant the apparent temperature was barely above 16 degrees.
To think it was 37 degrees in Perth on Saturday…. These are strange times indeed.
Moving on to the bowls, it should be noted straight off the bat that there were a few absentee teams this week:
Sister teams Rock N Bowl and the Ghost Riders were both unavailable to play this week due to functions, although there is something in the pipeline to determine who will get the points from the game by next Wednesday, while their absence forced a few major fixture changes, because the Ghost Riders were drawn to play Macatac in a Macpherson Derby, while Rock N Bowl were drawn against Ten Pin, which obviously meant Macatac had to play Ten Pin, with the stipulation that Ten Pin would be given their choice of either Synthetic 2 or Grass 1, and Ten Pin took the grass without blinking, which meant there was no game on Synthetic 2.
Howard’s End were also once again unavailable due to Steve’s ankle injury, and their status for the final 2 rounds is unknown with Steve confined to couch duty, and the residents from Howard Parade were due to play the Top Shots (Jerry, Irene, Leslie and Gordon), who just can’t get a clean run this season, but thankfully they had enough players to make a game out of thin air, and it turned out the Top Shots nearly beat themselves…
The key word being nearly.
The Corner To Corner Challenge
As we do in every even-numbered week, Wednesday night began with what was the second of the Corner To Corner Challenges for this season, and starting with the Grass edition, the hold and the $30 went to Roy from the Merkins, with 2nd place and $20 going to Peter from Ten Pin, who does have a good record when it comes to the Corner To Corner, especially on the grass:
Over on the Synthetic Rinks, the winner was Ryan from Out On Parole, while 2nd place went to Enzo from Team Catalano, who smacked out the Buffed Helmets’ 2nd holder to get the $20 cash, and that was the start of what turned out to be a great night for Team Catalano:
To quote Enzo, “It was in my way!”
The Overall Night
Starting at the pointy end, this week’s winners to take the $50 cash were the ladder-leading Macatac, who defeated Ten Pin in a 26-0 shutout on Grass 1, in what was a major mismatch in the standings (Although not by design), and Macatac have now raised the bat to bring up the half century in shot differential, which is now some 2.5 times the next best (The Bowled Guys on +20)…. Still, anything can happen in bowls, and it usually does.
In fact, Dianne Mac was so good she had to go back to Como the next day and fill in for their Thursday 5th Division team against Manning, and her rink won 27-19 and Como got the points 5-1.
2nd place overall and the $30 went to Team Catalano, who pulled an Italian Job on Stop Drop & Bowl by +17 shots in straight sets on Synthetic 3, which would’ve been good enough to win the $50 on 97/100 Wednesdays, but this time around they got the $30, capping off a great night for Enzo, who told me he had a good feeling during the warm-up:
3rd place and $20 went to the Buffed Helmets II, captained by Scotty, who smoked Out On Parole’s last remaining hopes of a fifth consecutive Manning Jack Attack Grand Final thanks to a +14 shot straight sets win on Synthetic 1, and it looked like the minor selection gamble of dropping Carmo to the Buffed Helmets I in place of the returning Cheese worked out quite well for Buffs II, who now sit in 7th after being last in Week 1.
Meantime, 4th place and the $10 originally went to the Bowled Guys on +10 shots, who got the nod on the total shots countback against stablemates the Great Bowls of Fire 16-14 after they couldn’t be split on ends won….
However, after the Week 2 scoring calamity, it turned out Sarah Murdoch was once again presenting the prize money, and the actual 4th placegetters were the Unbelievabowls with a +13 shot win against the Crawshaw residents on Synthetic 6, on what was a happy birthday for team vice-captain Sue!
It should be said that Todd & Bruce were good sports about it and handed over the $10 to Sue and Barbara, even if Pricey would’ve done another justice payout, but a major catastrophe was avoided and the right team got 4th place before correct weight was declared, and it was a well-earned 4th place for the Unbelievabowls, who set themselves up thanks to two superbly executed Powerplays, which resulted in them holding 4 turned into 8 shots not once, but TWICE.
Another fun fact, that was the Unbelievabowls’ first win of the season – A birthday surprise if there ever was one.
Moving on to the other results, with the the Finals/Money Matches only 2 weeks away, some teams decided that Week 4 was the best time to pluck 2 gears at once and break away from the pack, and the end result was there were only 2 tiebreaks from the 12 games, a season low thus far, with the other 10 all being decided in straight sets without any ties.
The aforementioned Bowled Guys are now into 2nd place thanks to a +10 shot straight sets win against Team Pamba on Grass 3, which included Bruce’s team scoring a 2/4 on the last end powerplay to win the 1st Set, keeping the pressure on Macatac up the top.
On Synthetic 4, Verse 1 (Mick, Peg & Ronni) made it a hat-trick of straight sets wins, defeating the Buffed Helmets 1, who were effectively 2 players down with Carmo sending shots into the ditch willy nilly and Fuzzy making it a hat-trick of games with a wrong bias bowl, yet it was still a tight game, with the total shots margin being only 3 (10-7) in favour of Verse 1, who are now into 3rd place overall after being in 23rd in Week 1.
On Grass 3, the Merkins’ great season continues with another tough straight sets win against Beginner’s Luck, leaving them in 5th place as the lowest of the teams on 13 points, and not even a minute after yours truly blew the whistle for the $5 drinks voucher, team captain Roy landed his first shot straight on the jack ensuring he wouldn’t be going home thirsty.
On Synthetic 5, The Habibs are into 6th place overall after taking all 4 points (+10 shots) against The Lenny’s, extending The Lenny’s set-less run to 2 weeks, although the last end was a firecracker, with The Lenny’s holding 3 down 1-8 and about to salvage a bit of pride, only for Johnny to put the full stop on the sentence and land his last shot past the two orange bowls to take the hold:
It should be noted the Habibs were also originally in that 3-way, +10 shot false count for 4th place on the night, but they were pipped on ends won 7-6 by the Bowled Guys & Great Bowls.
Over on Grass 5, Jack To The Future won a crucial game against the CD’s in a tiebreak to jump up from 16th to 8th, and more importantly the Wesley boys were ahead on shot variance (13-11) for the first time in any game this season, although the CDs also moved up the ladder (11th to 10th) thanks to splitting the sets, plus several teams around them losing in straight sets.
On Synthetic 6, Manning Up’s unlikely quest for the Top 4 continues with a third consecutive straight sets win against Team Tommy (A bit wayward without Sensei Steve Withers), and captain John gave credit to the psychological boost that Manning Up got from their new team hats:
The effectiveness of those hats in tiebreaks is still to be determined.
Finishing off the results this week, the Top Shots effectively played themselves while also representing Howards End, and despite Howards End leading on total shots 11-8, the Top Shots avoided defeating themselves and won the tiebreak, which has comfortably taken them out of wooden spoon contention.
In the final result of the night, as briefly mentioned off the top, the defending champions The Great Bowls of Fire have cracked it for a win, as they defeated the Bowling Stones in straight sets by +10 shots on Grass 5, which means Todd’s team are in contention for 9th, and the Stones are in the hunt for the ‘Close To Crap’ Award, or potentially the Wooden Spoon.
One final note for this week was that Richard ‘Half’ Price mentioned to yours truly that back in Week 2, Mark Ellis had bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t give away the $5 drinks vouchers because nobody could get close to the jack, and it definitely wasn’t a case of Mark being a Whinging Pom.
Well, I can report our Premier League lead would’ve like what he saw on Wednesday night, because there were 3 touches within 30 seconds of the opening drinks whistle for the Synthetic rinks, a theme that continued throughout the night for both Greens.
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: Macatac (4pts +26) defeated Ten Pin, 10-0, 16-0
Grass 2: Bowled Guys (4pts +10) defeated Team Pamba, 7-6, 9-0
Grass 3: Merkins (4pts +5) defeated Beginners Luck, 6-2, 6-5
Grass 4: Jack To The Future (3pts +2) defeated CD’s (2pts -2), 5-6, 6-8, 3-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 5: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +10) defeated Bowling Stones, 5-3, 9-1
Grass 6: Top Shots (3pts -3) defeated Howards End (2pts +3), 4-8, 4-3, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 1: Buffed Helmets II (4pts +14) defeated Out On Parole, 8-0, 9-3
Synthetic 3: Team Catalano (4pts +17) defeated Stop Drop & Bowl, 11-2, 8-0
Synthetic 4: Verse 1 (4pts +3) defeated Buffed Helmets I, 5-4, 5-3
Synthetic 5: Habibs (4pts +10) defeated The Lenny’s, 6-4, 9-1
Synthetic 6: Unbelievabowls (4pts +13) defeated Crawshaw CC, 11-5, 11-4
Synthetic 7: Manning Up (4pts +6) defeated Team Tommy, 8-4, 6-4
Cheese, Buffed Helmets II: “We’re now calling Carmo ‘The Sleeve’ because of how short the sleeves are on his shirt… It’s fitting, because he was the last arrive, and the first to sleeve.“
Carmo The Sleeve, Buffed Helmets I: “Just when we thought the 2022 indoor cricket captaincy was within everyone’s reach, Scotty snatched it and sailed into the sunset with a series of calamities including a wrong bias, and claiming his clothes had shrunk in the wash.”
“Also, send my regards to the ladies in the kitchen, The kids chicken nuggets & chips are superb.”
Scotty, Buffed Helmets II: “Kip started the day with a kayak session with a swimmer training for the Rottnest swim, and didn’t realise he hadn’t put his bung in the kayak and was wondering why the swimmer’s stuff was floating…”
Glen, Buffed Helmets I: “We may have to introduce a ranking points system from 5 down to 1…. Carmo’s already on a 1 after being dropped.”
John, Manning Up: “Team Tommy are a great bunch of blokes, but they got rolled, and we reckon it was the psychological boost from the new hats that got us over the line, although reality will kick in next week.”
Barbara & Sue, Unbelievabowls: “After two heartbreaking losses in tiebreaks, we broke through for our first win, AND it was Sue’s birthday as well!
Enzo, Team Catalano: “I said to JT before the night that I had a good feeling, and it came true, because we had a stellar night where everything went right, the eye was in, and we just couldn’t miss – It was nice to get reward for effort.”
Helen, CD’s: “Marg is a teacher at Aquinas (She did teach Jack To Future at Wesley), and she brought the spreadsheet to rotate us around, but at the end of the night, the students taught the teacher a lesson.”
Ronni, Verse 1: “We had a good time tonight – Great fun, the Buffed Helmets are a great team to play against.”
Duncan & Dianne, Macatac: “We’re in trouble next week, because we’ve given up the Como Bowling Club Christmas dinner to come and play here in Week 5… I don’t think we’ll be too popular (At Como)!”
Todd, Great Bowls of Fire: “As Thin Lizzy once said, the boys are back in town!”
Decca, Crawshaw CC: “We did win the last end, which was just about the only thing we won all night.”
Ladder updated 7/12/21
A few photos from the night
Duncan Mac from Macatac standing watch on Grass Rink 1:
Jerry posing for the camera… Ever the star, his shot ended up finishing a foot from the jack.
The Buffed Helmets II and Out On Parole going for the measure…. I think the Buffs II held 3 on this one:
The far side of the Synthetic rinks, where Team Tommy were taking on Manning Up on the left, and the Unbelievabowls and Crawshaw Crisis Committee are going for the measure:
Mick and Glen checking the scores between Verse 1 and Buffed Helmets 1…. From afar it looked like Glen was the captain of The Love Boat
Here’s a ‘bewdy’ that Richard from Jack To The Future landed in the 2nd Set against the CDs:
Nat trying to change the outcome of the tiebreak for the CDs…. It was the CDs on the grass, so naturally nothing good happened.
Reed setting one down for the Bowled Guys
Alex leading the way for Jack To The Future… With Jerry sneaking in the photo:
And finally, here’s a few looks at the Synthetic Rinks at twilight:
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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