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Well folks, we’ve reached the halfway point of the season for the Greatest Social Bowls Competition Between Manning Road and the Canning River, and it was a fairly quiet week following on from Week 2, with the only major piece of team news being that we’ve unfortunately lost last season’s runners-up the Habibs due to a couple of dramas, which means that in order to maintain an even 26 teams, The Zebras, who did withdraw last week, are now planning on making the greatest comeback since John Farnham devalued the word ‘comeback’ in 1980.
An executive decision has been made that the Zebras will inherit the Habibs’ record effective immediately, as you’ll see on the ladder below, and luckily for everyone else, the Habibs fill-ins have achieved eight-tenths of stuff all this season.
Another note for this week is that the Synthetic greens have been undergoing a bit of concrete maintenance, so we were lucky to even get to play on them, with Synthetic Rink 8 out of action for the night, plus the entire ditch at the ‘Canning River’ End didn’t have it’s usual grass cover, so there was double the punishment for those who sent bowls into the ditch…. Namely a few chips probably went missing of their bowls.
That forced a late fixture change, with the scheduled Synthetic 8 game between The Lenny’s and Jack Sabbath being moved all the way out to the lightless reaches of Grass Rink 6, which is where Jack Sabbath had to play in Week 2, so I’d say Alex and the team will be glad to see the back of it.
One final note for this week is that Half Price made a triumphant return from his mildly successful fishing trip to Busso, and it appears the universe rewarded Pricey for actually showing up this week, because his dud dog from Dubbo, Ned Keeping, took his second win in 3 days in Race 4 at Cannington.
Sure, 2 wins in 3 days is great, but Phar Lap won 4 times in a week.
The Overall Night
It was very tricky conditions for bowling on Wednesday night, with a solid easterly breeze throwing more than a few social bowlers off their game, given the norm for Manning Jack Attack is the afternoon sea breeze, so unsurprisingly there were quite a few bowls that either started wide and stayed wide, or sometimes people didn’t bowl wide enough and watched as their bowls veered at right angles into the head on the adjacent rink.
Overall, 5 teams took all 4 points, the most of any week thus far, with 2 games featuring drawn sets and 6 going to tie breaks, so it seems that with the finals drawing ever closer, the serious contenders are starting to put themselves in the frame for the Money Matches.
The biggest winners on the night to grab the $50 cash were Team Pamba, who very nearly featured in the money last week despite losing in a tiebreak, but this week they were dying hard with a vengeance, winning by 14 shots against a Decca-less Crawshaw Crisis Committee, and the damage was done entirely in a 14-0 1st Set win, with the 2nd Set finishing in a 6-6 draw as Wilko’s team salvaged a point on the final end.
Funnily enough, Team Pamba were somehow drawn for a rematch against Out On Parole on Grass Rink 4, which went against Half Price’s unofficial ‘no repeat fixture’ rule, so it turned out the hasty redraw worked out well for Graeme, Shirley and the team.
There was a countback required for 2nd and 3rd place, as Macatac and the Great Bowls of Fire both won in straight sets by +12 shots (On adjacent rinks), but 2nd place went to defending champs Macatac 9-7 on the ends countback, as they defeated the Buffed Helmets I 16-4 on Synthetic Rink 6, and the Helmets cried foul during the game, claiming that Macatac had an unfair advantage because they could use Shane’s wispy goatee as a windsock:
As you can see, it was blowing a fairly solid Easterly.
So that meant 3rd place + $20 went to the Great Bowls of Fire, who are up into 2nd place on the ladder off the back of their win against last week’s overall winners Rock N Bowl, and while Kochie was happy to get back in the money, he was naturally irate at being robbed of several drinks vouchers for touching the jack, especially when he scored 2 touchers on the same end not even a minute after I’d blown the whistle…
His only problem was the Unbelievabowls got a toucher 2 seconds after the whistle had gone.
4th place overall and the $10 went to The CD’s (+11 shots), who copped an almighty drive-by in the Week 2 report, but they were determined to make up for it in the Manning Primary Mums Derby against the young mums of the Bowling Stones, racing away to a 12-3 win in the 1st Set, but after after 4 ends in the 2nd Set, the Stones led 7-1 and were set to send the game into a tie break…
But the old school Manning mums held off their second powerplay until the final end, and in one of the more brutal scenes in Manning social bowling history, the CD’s proceeded to hold 4 turned into 8 on their powerplay, giving them the 2nd Set 9-7, ensuring a straight sets 11-shot victory to get themselves in the money….
Even a drinks voucher from Pricey wasn’t enough to ease the pain for the Bowling Stones.
Random fact, the youngest Bowling Stone is younger than the youngest CD, but the oldest Bowling Stone is older than the oldest CD, a statement that may or may not be correct.
Outside of the Top 4, Grass Rink 1 was the venue for the top of the table clash between Paul’s Heroes and Team Epic, and this week Paul’s Heroes were short a player, so John and Manning Up stepped up and sacrificed Phil to play for Maddie’s team, thinking it would give themselves the best chance of winning, but Phil bowled so well that Paul’s Heroes were renamed ‘Phil’s Heroes’ for the week, as Manning Up’s Inappropriate Comments Manager got the Smith family over the line in a tie break, keeping them on top of the ladder.
Another ‘Derby’ on the night was the long-awaited Manning Darts Derby between Verse 1 and the Top Shots on Grass Rink 4, and I suppose the great shame is that Darts and Jack Attack regular Mick (Who was in attendance) can’t play for Verse 1 this season due to his back injury, and he could only sit and watch as Gerry, Irene, Leslie and Gordon’s Top Shots bagged another 4 points, propelling them into the Top 8 after being 25th post-Week 1, leaving Ronni, Peg and Sally in Wooden Spoon contention.
Yep, you wouldn’t even pick it, but the Top Shots are one of only a few teams to get a pair of 4-point victories this season.
With the news of the Habibs being unavailable (For the last time), they once again needed a team of ring-ins to give the Buffed Helmets II a game, and what we got was the first proper test of the Premier League/Divvy 1 player non-preferred hand rule, as Adam Mac (Division 1) and Buffed Helmets manager Glen (Division 3) both filled in and bowled left-handed, while Adam’s mum Dianne came across from Macatac to complete the Habibs line-up.
What we found from our two guinea pigs is that the non-preferred rule is a great equaliser, as the Habibs went on to win the game in a tiebreak, although Glen and Adam proved to be pretty handy mollydookers:
I kid you not, Adam’s shot wicked the jack after I took that photo…. It was that red hot he couldn’t get a voucher.
Continuing on with the results, on Synthetic Rink 1, Team Tommy were in 3rd place heading in to Week 3, but they were made to look anything but that against the Unbelievabowls, who won the 1st Set 7-1 and led 4-2 with an end to play, and just when it looked like Team Tommy might just send it to a tie break by holding 3 with a bowl to come, Sue came in with an unbelieva-bowl and cut Team Tommy’s hold to 2, drawing the 2nd Set 4 shots apiece and ending the night there and then.
On Synthetic Rink 3, Ten Pin once again won their variance by 9 shots, this time striking Roy and the Merkins 15-6 overall, but one can only agree that Peter and Coral (Minus Deb on Wednesday night) are suffering a serious case of Groundhog Day, because for the third time in as many games, Ten Pin lost in a tie break, giving them the strange conundrum of sitting in 15th overall with a healthy variance, but still being without a win in 2022.
On Synthetic Rink 5, Manning Up and the Bowled Guys were engaged in a big crunch match with major bearing on the Money Matches to come, and it appears sacrificing Phil to Paul’s Heroes was a win/win for all parties, because not only did Paul’s Heroes win, but Manning Up managed to avoid a tie break and won both sets by a collective total of 3 shots, thanks to a couple of crucial holds late in both sets, plus a hold of 4 early in the 2nd Set.
Unfortunately, it was not the birthday present that Bowled Guys captain Loose Bruce was looking forward to.
On Grass Rink 4, Out On Parole made the most of their fixture change by defeating the always-vocal This Is How We Roll in a tie break on Grass Rink 4, although This Is How Roll narrowly won the variance, and they achieved the rare feat of taking the jack…
On the opposite rink….
Without bowling on the wrong bias.
That opposite rink was Grass Rink 5, where Beginner’s Luck defeated How We Roll’s sister/parent team Stop Drop & Bowl in a tie break, propelling themselves into the Top 8, while Stop Drop & Bowl have also played in 3 tie breaks in as many games, winning 1 of them, but a major positive is that another 2 points brings them one step closer to dodging the Wooden Spoon, although Sharyn was probably keen to end this season with a trophy, so watch out for Stop Drop & Bowl in the fight for the ‘Close To Crap’ toilet roll.
Finally, the last result of the night was the rescheduled Synthetic Rink 8 game on Grass Rink 6 between The Lenny’s and Jack Sabbath, who featured on the very same rink last week against The Bowled Guys, and this time around The Lenny’s won the 1st Set 7-5 after a final end hold of 2 on their powerplay, but Alex and Jack Sabbath boarded the Crazy Train and won the 2nd Set 10-2 to notch up a rare win on variance, but they still can’t get an overall win this year, as The Lenny’s won the tie break, via a bowl from Naomi, to stay within touching distance of the Top 8.
Last season Jack Sabbath won games while being blown out in the variance, this season they’ve kept the variance close in all 3 games, but haven’t won any of them.
Note to Pricey… Make sure Jack Sabbath don’t get another game on the Grass this week.
Scoring: 2 points for a set win, 1 point for a drawn set or a tie break win, tie breaks aren’t counted in the overall variance
Grass 1: Paul’s Heroes (3pts +4) defeated Team Epic (2pts -4), 6-7, 6-1, 1-0 in the tie break
Grass 2: CD’s (4pts +11) defeated Bowling Stones, 12-3, 9-7
Grass 3: Top Shots (4pts +7) defeated Verse I, 7-1, 4-3
Grass 4: Out on Parole (3pts -1) defeated This Is How We Roll (2pts +1), 3-6, 5-3, 1-0 in the tie break
Grass 5: Beginner’s Luck (3pts +5) defeated Stop Drop & Bowl (2pts -5), 2-7, 10-0, 2-0 in the tie break
Grass 6: The Lenny’s (3pts -6) defeated Jack Sabbath (2pts +6), 7-5, 2-10, 1-0 in the tie break
Synthetic 1: Unbelievabowls (3pts +5) defeated Team Tommy (1pts -5), 7-2, 4-4
Synthetic 2: Team Pamba (3pts +14) defeated Crawshaw Crisis Committee, 14-0, 6-6
Synthetic 3: Merkins (3pts -9) defeated Ten Pin (2pts +9), 0-10, 6-5, 2-0 in the tie break
Synthetic 4: Buffed Helmets II (3pts +3) defeated Habibs (2pts -3), 5-7, 12-7, 1-0 in the tie break
Synthetic 5: Manning Up (4pts +3) defeated Bowled Guys, 7-5, 6-5
Synthetic 6: Macatac (4pts +12) defeated Buffed Helmets I, 9-4, 7-0
Synthetic 7: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +12) defeated Rock N Bowl, 11-0, 5-4
Carmo Buffed Helmets I: “Macatac had an unfair advantage, they were using Shane’s goatee as a windsock!”
Nat, CDs: “Who are the young Manning Mums, we taught them how to play bowls tonight….
“And don’t you diss the CDs again, Jason”
What’s that? Diss the CD’s again?
Naomi, The Lenny’s: “Not to brag but I bowled the winning bowl in the tie break!”
Julie, Team Pamba: “We had a couple of hand symbols – ‘Need more weight’ and ‘Too Wide’ were a couple, and to cut a long story short, Graeme now has sore shoulders because his brother-in-law kept bowling wide bowls.”
Graeme, Team Pamba: “It’s hard when you go the Powerplay and your lead puts two bowls in the ditch.”
Todd, Great Bowls: “We had a flying start but we narrowly won the last set, so it was good to get back in the money, but more importantly, I think the whistle for the Toucher drinks vouchers should be blown twice to confirm a touch, I missed out on 4 vouchers tonight… Get stuffed Pricey!”
Alison, Stop Drop & Bowl: “Jonah bowled and hit the jack… On the opposite rink… It wasn’t even on the wrong bias.”
John, Manning Up: “We were asked to free up a player for Paul’s Heroes, so we released the one bloke who was going to give us the best opportunity to win…”
“As for the Bowled Guys, fantastic game, they were formidable opponents, the 5th end of both sets kept chopping and changing as to who had shot… somehow we got both, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
Paul’s Phil’s Heroes: “I thought I’d bowl well out of spite.”
Kym, Crawshaw CC: “We missed Decca desperately tonight, nobody can sledge like Decca, as shown when we lost the 1st Set 14-0, but we came back and drew the 2nd set, so another 3 weeks and we’ll be starting to hit our strops.”
Mazey, Buffed Helmets: “Fuzz has the copyright on the windsock joke, not Carmo, but it’s the word of a Carlton supporter (Fuzz) vs a Freo supporter (Carmo), so they’re both stuffed.”
That comment somehow ended in a bet between Carmo and Mazey over who would finish higher out of West Coast and Freo this season… Based on the outcome of Friday’s practice match, Carmo has already claimed his prize.
Photos From The Night
Pricey giving Phil his payment for helping out Paul’s Heroes…. A schooner of Swan Draught:
The Merkins landed a resting toucher:
Rede from the Bowled Guys keeping watch on Synthetic Rink 5, and you can see Dianne (Habib), Scotty and Kip on Synthetic Rink 4 in the Habibs vs Buffed Helmets II game next door
Carmo (Buffed Helmets I) blowing the smoke from the finger pistol after he took the jack…. Only problem was Ellen (Smiling behind him) hit Carmo’s bowl out without him knowing:
Manning’s latest Social Member, Buffed Helmets captain Scotty, who later received a special C on his red dot
Team Tommy in motion:
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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