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In golf, people traditionally describe Round 3/Saturday at any tournament to be ‘Moving Day’, which is a term that also applies to Week 5 at Manning Jack Attack, because it’s the last chance for hopeful teams to get themselves in the Top 8/The Money Games before the finals in Week 6, when the Greatest Social Bowls Competition between Manning Road and the Canning River reaches its climax.
On the weather front, while Day One of the 1st Ashes Test got drowned out after Tea, we were in no such danger over here in Perth, with the warmest day in 10 months seeing temperatures peak at 40 degrees Celsius just before 4pm, and during the warm-up (5:00-6:30pm) it was still a brutally hot 38 degrees, with temperatures still in the mid-30s even after sundown, made even more unpleasant by the lack of an Easterly breeze:
There were 17 people that played Pakkers on Wednesday afternoon at Manning Memorial… 5 of them survived.
On the team front, we were down to 24 teams again, with Howards End formally withdrawing due to Steve’s broken ankle and his teammates being unable to carry on in his absence, putting the End in Howards End, while the Ghost Riders were unavailable, which means their planned Super Tiebreak against Rock N Bowl, which would’ve been viewed by everyone from the Premier to the Queen, never occurred.
For the purposes of the ladder, Rock N Bowl were formally awarded 3 points from Week 4, putting them in 11th overall, while the Ghost Riders, who were sitting in 2nd after Week 3, were officially 7th after getting 2 points from Week 4, but they obviously didn’t gain any points from this week, so you could whip out a bright red Sharpie and rule a line through their Top 8 chances.
So those withdrawals meant Grass Rink 1 wasn’t needed, and the only fixture change, after a few takes, was that The Lenny’s (Drawn against Ghost Riders on G1) and Crawshaw CC (Drawn against Howards End on S1) were matched up on Synthetic 1.
Other than that, after her performance bringing in the glasses back in Week 3, young Indie Macpherson (Daughter of Adam & Belinda from Rock N Bowl, and granddaughter of Macatac) was finally given her long awaited present for being the Best Glass Collector This Side of Manning Road, and it was only fitting that our esteemed bar manager Theresa award Indie her overdue present, with Pricey happily loitering in the back of the photo, which I never bothered to edit out:
There’s a future assistant MBC bar manager… Not in the top left corner, obviously.
The Overall Night
In the spirit of Adam Gilchrist presenting Alex Carey with his Baggy Green, the night began with Half Price, on behalf of Manning Up captain John, presenting Brent and Phil with their official Manning Up ‘Baggy Blacks’ and titles – Phil as ‘Inappropriate Comments Manager’:
And Brent as ‘Shits & Giggles Manager’:
Unfortunately, the two of them performed more like Jack Leach than Alex Carey.
Now, on to the scorching hot Week 5 results, and starting straight off the top with next week’s Spring 2021 Manning Jack Attack Grand Final matchup, in the Red Corner, finishing as minor premiers after a brilliant debut season….
The Maccers (Duncan, Dianne & Shane) made the right call skipping the Como Bowling Club Christmas dinner, because they’ve finished as minor premiers after getting up in an almighty contest against Verse 1 (Mick, Peg & Ronni) on Synthetic Rink 3, and I think both teams were so accustomed to winning in straight sets that they completely forgot they had to play a tiebreak after splitting the sets, but all of them got back out there and Macatac got the extra point, even though the result had no bearing on the Week 5 ladder positions.
It should be noted Verse 1 achieved what no other team had against Macatac this season, winning the variance on the night 13-12, set up by a final end powerplay of 3 turned into 6 that won them the 1st Set 8-6, and showcasing the importance of at least winning a set in Manning Jack Attack, if Verse 1 had lost in straight sets, they’d have dropped from 3rd to 7th, and if Macatac had lost in straight sets, they would’ve dropped from 1st to 5th.
However, the Maccers are in the decider, and their opponents, charging up from 6th to 2nd place with an enormous straight sets +30 shot win on Grass Rink 4, which earned them the $50 on Wednesday night, THE HABIBS!
In a contest between the car wholesalers from the Habibs and the concreters from Team Catalano, the Habibs (John, Abes and Nick) gave the Italians a set of cement shoes and made them swim in the Canning River, winning 33-3 overall thanks to TWO holds of 5 on their powerplays, which gave them 20 shots there and then, enabling them to vault like Steve Hooker over the top of the Bowled Guys.
It should be noted the Habibs are the only team to defeat Macatac this season, coming in a tie break back in Week 2, so they’ll get a chance to do the double, and by the way Johnny, cheers for the pineapple you left us:
Given the Habibs are in the Grand Final, you don’t even need to ask if the game will be played on Synthetic 4 under the homely confines of their MV Wholesale sign, so good luck and well done to both teams!
The Bronze Medal Match will feature The Bowled Guys, who finished in 3rd place after missing 2nd due to being taken to a tiebreak by the Buffed Helmets II out on Grass 6, ultimately falling 6 shots behind the Habibs, and their opponents will be the aforementioned Verse 1, who would’ve been luckless if they’d missed the Top 4 after their performance, and this will be the third time in four seasons that Loose Bruce’s team (T-Birds/Bowled Guys) have played in the 3rd vs 4th game, while it’ll be the second time this year that Ronni from Verse 1 has played in the 3rd vs 4th game, after she featured in the Trevor Chappells back in February & March.
The 5th vs 6th game will feature Manning Up, who retained 5th place, easily the best-ever finish to a season for John, Trav, Phil, Brent and Mark, despite suffering a dreaded case of the tie break turkeys against Out On Parole on Synthetic 5, with the 2 points from winning the 1st Set proving crucial, despite losing the variance by 7 shots.
Manning Up’s opponents in 6th will be the Merkins, who managed to stay in the Top 8 thanks to miraculously scrounging a point from the 1st Set against Jack To The Future, which came on the final end when JTTF captain Alex had 2 bowls on the jack with his team up 7-5, only for the worst looking drive you’d ever see to come in and smash the jack out of bounds to get it reset on the Tee, and the Merkins had 2 out of the back to tie the set 7-7…. It would be the only bit of joy Roy and his team had, because Jack To The Future won the 2nd Set 10-2, and all told Alex and the team were horribly unlucky not to win in straight sets.
Coincidentally, Manning Up and Merkins are adjacent to each other in the alphabetical team list, and they both finished on 14 points and +2 shots on variance, although Manning Up were ranked ahead on countback due to having more 4 point wins 3-2.
The last of the major finals is the 7th vs 8th Game, which will feature 7th placed Team Pamba, who jumped from 12th to 7th thanks to a straight sets win by +6 shots against the CDs on Synthetic 7, and a big part of Team Pamba’s win was their lead Ian, who put 2 in the ditch on a powerplay to end the 1st Set, only to redeem himself by somehow taking the jack and resting it perfectly on his back bowl:
Well, broken clocks are right 730 times a year…. 732 in leap years.
Team Pamba’s opponents will be the Buffed Helmets II, who snuck into 8th place and cost themselves a surefire Buffed Helmets Derby thanks to pinching a set off the Bowled Guys, even though they lost the variance by -11 shots, which meant there was a mere 1 shot between the Buffs II (14pts -9) and 9th placed Jack To The Future (14pts -10), whose early season beltings on variance ultimately cost them a Top 8 spot, as did that bloody drive on the last end of the 1st Set on Wednesday night.
I’m sure young Alex will sleep well when he reads this and finds out the Wesley crew could’ve finished 7th… Instead, they finished Week 5 in Richmond’s former coveted position of 9th.
The only other important game next week is the fabled Wooden Spoon Game, which will feature Stop Drop & Bowl against Crawshaw Crisis Committee, with Kym, probably sitting on his harvester right now, desperately needed to rescue Decca and Malcolm, and while the loser of that game will have their name engraved on the Wooden Spoon, the winner will receive a Toilet Roll…. Because you’re Close To Crap.
When it came to the overall results on a steaming hot Wednesday night, there was no mistaking the prize money winners this week, with the aforementioned Habibs comfortably winning the $50 cash with that +30 shot win against Team Catalano, which is the new clubhouse leader for the biggest win by any team this season, surpassing Macatac’s +26 shot win against Ten Pin last week.
2nd place and the $30 went to the Great Bowls of Fire, who defeated Rock N Bowl in straight sets by +22 shots (23-1) on Grass 4, winning 9 ends out of 10 on the night, and it’s good to see Todd’s defending champions, who had Loose Bruce’s brother Craig filling in for Paul Alphabet, finishing the season the way they wanted to start it, and that variance boost means the Great Bowls snuck into 10th place on the ladder, a fair effort after being winless and 22nd after the first 3 games.
3rd Place and the $20 went to The Lenny’s, who snapped their two-game ‘setless’ run by comfortably defeating Crawshaw in straight sets by +14 shots on Synthetic 1, as Decca and Malcolm were so short-handed they had to sweet talk one of the ladies from Beginners Luck into playing for them…
If only Malcolm could play bowls like he influences people, because there was end where Decca bowled on the wrong bias, only for Malcolm to put one in the gutter, in a morbid case of “Follow the leader”:
Completing the money, in 4th place to take the $10 for the second week running, with the exact same variance as last week, the Unbelievabowls, who defeated Stop Drop & Bowl in straight sets by +13 shots on Grass 4, and I can confirm Barb & Sue actually got their money without us stuffing up the count.
Completing the rest of the results, on Grass 2, the Buffed Helmets I, featuring a fired up Carmo after the roasting he copped in the Week 4 Captain’s Comments (He was described as The Sleeve), made a mega comeback to win in a tiebreak against Team Tommy, who were +9 up on variance, but despite blowing a big lead, the Tommy Shelby support group didn’t go home empty handed, because their super sub Sol, who had barely ever seen a bowl, let alone played the game, got the first two $5 toucha vouchers on the Grass, both within a minute of the whistle.
On Synthetic 2, the Bowling Stones, minus team bedrock Tiffany, had a resounding straight sets win (5-3, 10-0) against Beginner’s Luck, which ensures the Stones, who were stone motherless last after Week 4, are safely away from the perils of the Wooden Spoon, while Beginner’s Luck have run out of what their team is name after….
And on Synthetic 6, the Top Shots and Ten Pin had an extremely close game, featuring a 1st Set that was tied 4-4, and a 2nd set that had the bare minimum score of 3-2 that went the way of the Top Shots, giving Gerry and Irene’s team their first variance win of the season, and they’ve now completed a hat-trick of wins, while the tied 1st Set has helped Ten Pin avoid playing in the Wooden Spoon game, as they were able to jump Stop Drop & Bowl on variance.
Speaking of Ten Pin, Half Price gave a description to me of what he believes was the best bowl he’s seen this season, which came when Gordon from the Top Shots (via the Manning Darts) had two bowls on the jack with a bowl to come from Deborah, who was using an older pair of bowls that typically turn at right angles, and instead of going for a drive, Deborah went draw weight, and by sheer skill, managed to split both of Gordon’s bowls and sit her shot right on the jack.
A description of a bowl that wouldn’t look out of place in Premier League, and unfortunately for Deb, it didn’t change the result.
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 2: Buffed Helmets I (3pts -9) defeated Team Tommy (2pts +9), 1-12, 5-3, 2-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 3: Habibs (4pts +30) defeated Team Catalano, 18-1, 15-2
Grass 4: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +22) defeated Rock N Bowl, 10-0, 13-1
Grass 5: Unbelievabowls (4pts +13) defeated Stop Drop & Bowl, 6-3, 12-2
Grass 6: Bowled Guys (3pts +11) defeated Buffed Helmets II (2pts -11), 2-4, 15-2, 4-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 1: The Lenny’s (4pts +14) defeated Crawshaw CC, 13-2, 7-4
Synthetic 2: Bowling Stones (4pts +12) defeated Beginner’s Luck, 5-3, 10-0
Synthetic 3: Macatac (3pts -1) defeated Verse 1 (2pts +1), 6-8, 6-5, 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 4: Out On Parole (3pts +7) defeated Manning Up (2pts -7), 3-5, 10-1, 2-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 5: Jack To The Future (3pts +8) defeated Merkins (1pts -8), 7-7, 10-2
Synthetic 6: Top Shots (3pts +1) defeated Ten Pin (1pt -1), 4-4, 3-2
Synthetic 7: Team Pamba (4pts +6) defeated CD’s, 4-3, 7-2
John, Manning Up: “I’d say it was hot, but everyone would say that… When it came to the game, getting the 2 points made a big difference, even if the tiebreak curse came back.”
Graeme, Team Pamba: “During the powerplay, Ian lead and put two in the ditch, then out of nowhere on the next end, he’s put two bowls on the jack… first time he’s done it in his life!”
Todd, Great Bowls of Fire: “It was good to come come home with a great win and a bit of money to go with it, we’re finishing the season how we should’ve started it.”
Kelly, CD’s: “When the chips are down we’ve usually come up with the goods, but a hot synthetic rink after a 40 degree day is nobody’s friend, and we took half of the 1st Set to get our game going, which meant we ultimately lost by a shot, then in the 2nd Set it felt like the jack was a magnet, moving all over the place in what must’ve been unprecedented evening for touchers, and it probably cost us any hope of winning the game…”
“We played well, but the reality has hit us that we won’t be finishing in the Top 3 again after last season’s success.”
Bruce, Bowled Guys: “It’s annoying to think if we’d won that 1st Set we would’ve finished 2nd… Still, at least we came back and actually won!”
Fuzzy, Buffed Helmets I: “Doctor was a debutant tonight, and all up he played well, and after dropping that 1st Set, we all did our best work under pressure, winning 2nd Set and getting it done in a tiebreak!”
Cheese, Buffed Helmets II: “The high point of the game was probably when JT had to bring the calipers out on a measure, but after that it turned into a bit of a poor showing from us, even as we got into the Top 8.”
Duncan, Macatac: “We’ve been fortunate to meet some wonderful people this season, and it’s all been in light hearted fun… but I hope we win next week!”
Decca, Crawshaw Crisis Committee: “Once again, if it was last end wins, we’d be the best team in the comp!” – For reference, Crawshaw held 2 on the last end of the 2nd Set, which they lost 7-4.
Photos from the night
They say the sun shines out of my arse…. Well, it was definitely shining out of the back of that white roofed house on Challenger Ave:
Another look of the sunset…. it was still 35 degrees when I took this one:
Up at the Waterford Wide end at the start of the evening:
I’d call this ‘Synchronised Bowling’, although you can see Roy from the Merkins in the middle either contemplating the point of his existence, or realising he’d just bowled a lemon:
An earlier look at the Buffed Helmets vs Team Tommy, back when Team Tommy were still chasing the lure and winning the 1st Set 11-2:
Bowled Guy Reed with a bigger stride than Geoff Lawson:
The action between Jack To The Future vs Merkins (Left) and Out on Parole vs Manning Up (Right)
One of the few ends of The Lenny’s vs Crawshaw in which Decca actually got a bowl in bounds:
A measure between Crawshaw and The Lenny’s on the last end of the night….. The Green Bowl of Crawshaw got it:
The end of the tiebreak between Macatac and Verse 1, and you can get another good look at the Macatac team shirt:
And to cap off Week 5, here’s another photo from the special presentation Theresa had for Indie:
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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