Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 9th February

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Bowls at twilight at Manning Memorial…. How’s the serenity

With the New Years break done, the Summer 2022 Jack Attack season ignited in a blazing inferno at Manning Memorial, and let me tell you, Richard ‘Half’ Price’s phone has melted due to the record levels of demand for the Greatest Social Bowls Competition between Manning Road and the Canning River, and the end result is that for the first time in recorded history, the maximum 28 teams have been entered (As we have 14 rinks available), with 23 teams backing up from the recent Spring 2021 season, and 5 new teams making their debuts on the hallowed grounds of Manning Memorial:

Paul’s Heroes – Representing the Smith family from Mukinbudin, no relation to Hogan’s Heroes

Team Epic & Team Swan – Twin teams nominated by Ian ‘Stewy’ Stewart, who did not win 3 Brownlow Medals for St Kilda and Richmond…. Funnily enough, Ian Stewart also coached the Swans.

This Is How We Roll – A second team nominated by Sharyn from Stop Drop & Bowl, aiming to win a third Wooden Spoon under a third name to create a piece of unmatched Manning Jack Attack history.

Zebras – Nobody knows who they are, nobody knows how they got here, and nobody knows if they’ll play or not.

From last season’s teams, Ghost Riders, Howards End and Team Catalano decided they’ve got other things to do in life, while Jack To The Future’s latest creative name change has seen change their name to…


Let’s hope Alex doesn’t eat the head off a live bat while he’s playing this season.

The Overall Night

The season begins on the Synthetic rinks

Ahead of a near perfect night for bowling, there was only one fixture change due to Team Swan and Zebras being unavailable, with Beginner’s Luck and Ten Pin being shifted onto Synthetic 3, which meant only 5 Grass rinks were in use, much to the relief of Dave the Greenkeeper.

As it turned out, those teams weren’t the only absentees on Wednesday night, with last season’s runners-up the Habibs also missing, simply because, as Half Price found out at 6:20pm, Johnny and Abes thought Jack Attack started next week, depriving themselves of the chance to play under the homely confines of the MV Wholesale sign.

We did call John’s number… Just to ask him where the hell he was

You’ll find out what happened to them a little further down the page.

Without any further ado, the overall winners on the night to get the $50 cash were Team Epic on debut, who won by 14 shots in straight sets against Crawshaw Crisis Committee on Synthetic Rink 6, and should be noted that Team Epic featured a cameo appearance from Maureen from Thornlie, who was called in to fill a number as Team Epic were a player short, but it turned out she may just be the best bowler to grace Manning Jack Attack since one Brad Hogg in 2020.

Still, it remains to be seen if we’ll see Maureen again, because Decca was all over her like a rash all night, first saying “Hello mum!” when Maureen was waving her hands directing traffic, then he asked the age-old question “Do you inhale and exhale?” right as Maureen was about to bowl…

Based on the scorecard, whatever breathing technique Maureen was performing was strong enough to blow Crawshaw away.

2nd place overall ($30) went to Paul’s Heroes on debut, who certainly bowled like Hogan’s Heroes in a 12 shot straight sets victory against the Top Shots on Synthetic 5, and Paul’s Heroes were so sleek they drove off to Mukinbudin without taking their winnings, which absolutely did not go straight on the bar.

3rd place overall ($20) went to the Great Bowls of Fire, who defeated Team Pamba by 7 shots in straight sets on Grass Rink 5, with the Great Bowls overcoming the devastation of getting 6 touchas on the jack without getting a drinks voucher, so no doubt Kochie is already trying to get his hands on the drinks voucher template so he can print his own.

Sadly Kochie, in the words of ‘whistlemeister’ Adam Mac, you were half a metre too late…. Six times.

4th place overall ($10) went to The Lenny’s, who defeated Out On Parole by 6 shots in straight sets on Grass Rink 2, in a very low key performance to start off this season, set up by holding on both of their powerplays, and coming from 3-0 down in the 2nd Set to eliminate the worry of a tie break.

Turning to the other results, and outside of the Top 4, the only other team to win in straight sets were the Buffed Helmets I, who defeated the CD’s on Synthetic Rink 2, and that came despite another ‘unique’ Manning Jack Attack moment, when Nutsy from the Buffed Helmets picked up a blue bowl and bowled it on the wrong bias, as many people have done over the years, but his fate was sealed when it turned out that bowl belonged to Helen from the CD’s, who then spent 5 minutes wondering why she only had 1 bowl.

It would later be described by Scratch as “The Trifecta” – The wrong bowl, the wrong bias, and the wrong rink.

The Buffed Helmets I vs CD’s game…. You can see Helen probably wondering why her bowl just got sent down

Moving on, and it may not be surprising with the amount of collective pre-season rust, but the opening night featured a grand total of 8 tie breaks, which I do believe ties the all-time Manning Jack Attack record.

On Synthetic Rink 7, Alex from Jack Sabbath was ropeable when he found out that they’d been drawn against reigning champions Macatac first up, but he would’ve been in dreamworld when Jack Sabbath won the 1st Set 10-0, but it didn’t last too long, as Macatac traded an eye for an eye and won the 2nd Set 11-0, then on a long end in the tie break, Shane from Macatac sat his bowl right on the jack and ensured the champs started the season the same way they ended the last one.

Shane bowling what I believe was the winning shot

On Grass Rink 1, Team Tommy were looking good to win their game against the Buffed Helmets II in straight sets as they led 6-5, 7-3 with an end to play, but the Buffs II held a massive 4 on their powerplay to win the set 11-7, giving them the overall variance and sending it to a tie break, where the crew of the People’s Dog overcame that disappointment to get the job done.

On Grass Rink 3, Manning Up dropped the 1st Set to This Is How We Roll 8-2, decided by How We Roll’s 3 on their powerplay, but Manning Up in their Baggy Blacks picked themselves back up, took the powerplay to start the 2nd Set, and they wound up holding 5 turned into 10, setting up a 12-3 2nd Set victory, and Manning Up would go on to win the tie break.

On Grass Rink 4, two of last season’s Top 5 in Merkins and Verse 1 faced off to begin the season, and they would go on to split the sets before Roy and the Merkins took the victory by holding 3 in the tie break, and I should also note Verse 1 (Peg and Ronni) will be without Jack Attack regular Mick due to some form of a back injury he’s developed over January.

To be honest, that’s the first time I’ve heard of someone hurting their back while being carried, instead of the other way around.

On Synthetic Rink 1, the mums of the Bowling Stones got the over the top of the Unbelievabowls in a tie break, set up by two crucial ends in the 2nd Set, when the Stones held 2 on the Unbelievabowls powerplay to take the lead 3-2, then they ended the set by holding on their powerplay, getting them into the tie break, in which they held 3.

Had they not stymied that first powerplay, the Unbelievabowls may very well have won in straight sets.

On Synthetic Rink 3, Beginner’s Luck started like a house on fire against Ten Pin, holding 6 twice in the 1st Set, the first being a full count on the 2nd End, plus a 3 on their powerplay on the very next end to set up a 14-6 1st Set win, but Peter, Deb and Coral are as tough as old boots, and they fought back to win the 2nd Set 9-6, despite another hold of 5 to Beginner’s Luck…

Ultimately the comeback didn’t work out, as Helen and Beginner’s Luck held 2 in the tie break.

Helen and Peter checking the scores as Coral chats on with Helen’s other half

On Synthetic Rink 4, right under the MV Wholesale sign, the Bowled Guys thought they might be on for a walkover when Half Price found out from Johnny that the Habibs thought Jack Attack started next week, so in stepped yours truly, Alison and Barry (from the Zebras) to become Habibs for the night.

I don’t think any of us will be getting a good deal from MV Wholesale anytime soon, because after the Habibs won the 1st Set 5-4 on a final end powerplay, the Bowled Guys took control and won the 2nd Set 8-3, then won the tie break thanks to Rede’s final bowl as the lead.

This actually wasn’t the tie break, this was one of the few ends the Habibs won in the 2nd Set

And in the final result of the night on the dreaded vortex that is Synthetic Rink 8, it was a clash of the 3 word team names between Rock N Bowl and last season’s wooden spooners Stop Drop & Bowl, and it was a promising start for Rock N Bowl (led by Belinda), who won the 1st Set 7-2, but in a big reversal of form from last season, Sharyn’s team came back to win the 2nd Set 5-3, and they would cap off the night by holding 1 in the tie break to get the extra point.

I do believe that means Stop Drop & Bowl are already halfway to matching their points total from last season, so good on you.

In conclusion, a very sound start to the season with plenty of very close games, which is exactly what the handicapper wants to see, and next week, we’ll have the first of the Corner To Corner challenges for 2022!


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: Team Tommy (3pts -3) defeated Buffed Helmets II (2pts +3), 6-5, 7-11, 1-0 in the tie break

Grass 2: The Lenny’s (4pts +6) defeated Out on Parole – Here To Bowl, 6-1, 6-5

Grass 3: Manning Up (3pts +2) defeated This Is How We Roll (2pts -2), 3-8, 12-3, 3-0 in the tie break

Grass 4: Merkins (3pts +2) defeated Verse 1 (2pts -2), 8-2, 3-7, 3-0 in the tie break

Grass 5: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +7) defeated Team Pamba, 7-5, 7-2

Synthetic 1: Bowling Stones (3pts -2) defeated Unbelievabowls (2pts +2), 2-6, 5-2, 3-0 in the tie break

Synthetic 2: Buffed Helmets I (4pts +5) defeated CD’s, 6-4, 5-2

Synthetic 3: Beginner’s Luck (3pts +5) defeated Ten Pin (2pts -5), 14-6, 6-9, 2-0 in the tie break

Synthetic 4: Bowled Guys (3pts +3) defeated Habibs (2pts -3), 4-5, 8-4, 1-0 in the tie break

Synthetic 5: Paul’s Heroes (4pts +12) defeated Top Shots, 5-2, 11-2

Synthetic 6: Team Epic (4pts +14) defeated Crawshaw CC, 9-1, 7-1

Synthetic 7: Macatac (3pts +1) defeated Jack Sabbath (2pts -1), 0-10, 11-0, 1-0 in the tie break

Synthetic 8: Stop Drop & Bowl (3pts -3) defeated Rock N Bowl (2pts +3), 2-7, 5-3, 2-0 in the tie break

Captain’s Comments

Alex, Jack Sabbath: “I am NOT a happy man, Pricey!”

Peg, Verse 1: “The author looks like a hunk in his mask.”

Hang on, how did that get in there….

Wilko, Crawshaw CC: “We brought home the winners, how good are we, where would they be without us!”

“Another positive is we’re already showing consistency, following on from last year’s Close To Crap award.”

John, Manning Up: “The boys let us down at the end of the 1st set, we gave the opposition an opportunity to come back, and credit to them, the boys gave us a 5 turned into 10 on the 1st end of the 2nd set, which got us into a tiebreak which we won, unlike the Tie Break Turkeys of old.”

Scratch, Buffed Helmets I: “Nutsy was definitely sober, which we know because he drove here, but you wouldn’t know it during the game, because he picked up a bowl and bowled on the wrong bias, and sealing the moment, it was an opposition bowl.”

“It was the trifecta – Wrong bowl, wrong bias, wrong rink.”

Carmo, Buffed Helmets: “Helmets 2022 indoor cricket captain Scotty was nowhere to be seen again, another nail in his coffin, another string to his bow.”

Todd/Kochie, Great Bowls of Fire: “Apparently the people with the whistle and the vouchers can’t walk past Grass Rink 3… Our jack was BLEEDING, that’s how much we were hitting it!”

Bruce, Bowled Guys: “It was a very strange performance from the Habibs… It was almost like someone else was playing for them, and that Jason Habib was a strange bloke, skinniest Habib I’ve ever seen!”


Photos From The Night

The freshly engraved Jack Attack trophy, with Spring 2021 Champions Macatac being lucky enough to get their name in ALL CAPS:

Paul leading Paul’s Heroes down the green

The Grass rinks into the 2nd Set…. You can see Mick Harders from Team Tommy watching on with the cap on

The end where Beginner’s Luck held all 6 shots against Ten Pin…. All of Peter, Deb and Coral’s bowls were somewhere out the back:

A wide shot of the Synthetic green at Twilight…. Ten Pin on the left, plus Loose Bruce and Rede with their backs turned:

The Grass rinks in action… you can probably see Kochie somewhere complaining that he didn’t get a drinks voucher

Peter From Crawshaw clapping the team on… Unfortunately they needed a bit more than clapping against Team Epic

And finally, here’s the Buffed Helmets making an enormous early impression in their quest for back to back Biggest Drinkers titles

Actually, I’ll be honest, one of those beers was mine.

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