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The long hot summer is over in Perth, the rain returned the moment it ended, and that all meant it was time for Week 4 of the Greatest Social Bowls Competition between Manning Road and the Canning River, and with just 2 rounds to go until Finals Week, there’s been all kinds of activity on Challenger Avenue:
Thanks to Sue Hogg, last week’s results made their way into the Sports Results section of Friday’s West Australian, although it is The West, so we were surrounded by 400 stories about West Coast’s injury crisis:
Another feature for the night was a new whistle method for the Touch The Jack drink vouchers, following on from Kochie moping about how he always took the jack but never got a voucher after the whistle had gone, with this new method being one whistle blow signalling the next toucher for both greens, and two blows signalling that the voucher had gone.
Old habits die hard, but I can confirm Kochie got stuff all, again.
With Country Week kicking off with the Welcome Fours on Thursday, combined with the finishing touches to the concrete resurfacing job, the Synthetic green was a bit out of whack, with Rink 8 being where Rink 1 usually is, and all the other rink numbers were subsequently jumbled – The reason is only 6 Synthetic rinks were being used on Thursday, so the club moved Rink 1 to what we’d call Rink 2, thus keeping the side ditches out of the equation.
However, we did work with it, and there was no mass confusion that I know of.
This week also marked the debut of the Zebras in place of the Habibs, which marked the return of Barry after his Habibs appearance in Week 1, and we marked the triumphant return of former Trevor Chappells skip Ron/Dymo to Manning Jack Attack after almost a year away, in which time he’s been plundering myself and Half Price $5 at a time in our 3-2-1 games on Tuesday afternoons, so he was ready to roll 1st Up.
In other news, Team Tommy came in ready to pay tribute to their namesake Tommy Shelby, who was formally retired on Tuesday after a superb career on the track that included 3 Group 1 victories, the 2021 Australian Greyhound of the Year title, and just over $1m in earnings, one of only 8 Australian greyhounds to ever achieve that milestone:
Talk about a coincidence, the Season 6 premiere of Peaky Blinders is released, and Tommy Shelby retires a few days later.
Anyway, a big congratulations to Steve, Mick, and the rest of the Withers & Harders families on the little fella’s superb career, and a big thank you to Mick for giving myself and Half Price these very valuable hats, which will sit proudly alongside my Tommy Shelby stubby holder.
Finally, the Bowling Stones have issued me with a correction, as a so-called statement of fact last week that the oldest Bowling Stone is older than the oldest CD turned out to be incorrect – The Stones are all younger than the CDs.
It has been duly noted, although, to quote George Costanza:
The Corner To Corner Challenge
Week 4 meant it was time for Round 2 of the Corner To Corner Challenges for this season, and with the cooler temperatures and a solid Westerly breeze in, it was a bit more of a challenge to reach the other side of the green without landing in the ditch or ending up 10 metres short, but a handful of people succeeded in getting it right.
Starting with the Grass, the winner of the $30 cash was Chris (aka Jonesy) from the Great Bowls of Fire, with the runner-up spot ($20) going to Maddie from Paul’s Heroes:
The Synthetic Challenge was won by Mick from Team Tommy, who kept up their excellent record in the Synthetic challenge, with Nat from the CD’s taking the $20 cash for runner-up, and the funny part about that result is that they happened to be playing each other on Synthetic Rink 8:
Only one of them was still smiling at 8pm.
The Overall Night
Turning to the results, it looks like teams are starting to hit 7th gear in the hunt for the Top 8, as Week 4 featured a season-high 7 straight sets victories, plus one game with a drawn set, which means the ladder has been shaken like a Sydney apartment building.
The winners of the $50 cash on the night were the Top Shots, who brought up a hat-trick of straight sets victories with their +13 shot victory against This Is How We Roll on Synthetic Rink 5, and that’s a big achievement given how competitive Manning Jack Attack is these days, and it all came after Gerry & Irene weren’t sure if the Top Shots would have Gordon & Leslie available, but they got there, it went very well for them, and the Manning darters are into 5th place overall.
2nd overall and the $30 went to Manning Up, who defeated (formerly) 5th placed Team Epic in straight sets by +12 shots on Grass Rink 3, despite another attempt to offload Phil to a shorthanded team, and more importantly, Manning Up have jumped from 4th into 2nd place on the ladder, only missing top spot on variance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if John, Mark, Trav, Simon and Phil are starting to suffer altitude sickness as they scale heights never before reached in their Jack Attack careers.
It was a countback for 3rd and 4th place between Out On Parole and the Great Bowls of Fire, who both won in straight sets by +11 shots, with the exact same overall scores (17-6), but Out On Parole got 3rd and the $20 on the ends countback 6-5, as they defeated the Bowling Stones on Synthetic Rink 5 to jump from 19th to 9th overall, the equal-greatest climb up the ladder this week, and to be honest, I think the Stones were still flummoxed by my error in last week’s report.
So that meant 4th and the $10 went to the Great Bowls, who comfortably defeated the Merkins on Grass Rink 4 after Nelle’s back got sore from carrying the team, and that was the full stop on a great night for the Great Bowls, given Jonesy won the Grass Corner to Corner, and with results going their way, the Great Bowls are now on TOP of the ladder with just one game to go before the finals, and if you remember last year, the Great Bowls won the Summer Jack Attack title, so we’ll see if history does indeed repeat, contrary to the claims of Split Enz.
Outside of the money games, the crucial game of the night was the contest between 3rd placed defending champs Macatac and ladder leaders Paul’s Heroes on Grass Rink 5 (The Smiths vs The Maccers), which saw Paul’s Heroes win the 1st Set 5-4 and hold a 5-3 lead with an end to play in the 2nd Set, but the Maccers took the power play on the final end and held 2 to win the set 7-5, and with the momentum, they got the win in the tie break.
However, with the points system in Manning Jack Attack, Macatac actually fell from 3rd to 4th despite winning, due to 4th placed Manning Up winning 4 points to their 3, while Paul’s Heroes fell to 3rd, staying ahead of Macatac on shot variance.
Without a doubt, the best win of the night went to Verse 1, who sat in stone motherless last after Week 4, but against all logic, they dispatched 7th placed Beginner’s Luck in straight sets on Synthetic Rink 3, giving them their first win of the season, and them vaulting well clear of wooden spoon contention, and Peg, Ronni and Sally were nothing short of ecstatic.
Team Tommy paid tribute to their little dishlicker in fine style, defeating the CDs 7-4, 8-1 on Synthetic Rink 8 to go into 6th place, just missing the money on the night, and the CDs would’ve gone to bed with the searing image of yellow bowls landing a foot from the jack time after time, as they came second to Team Tommy for the second time on the night:
On Grass Rink 1, Rock N Bowl soared from 17th up to 8th place thanks to defeating Buffed Helmets I in straight sets, as Belinda Mac got a toucher within 15 seconds of me blowing the whistle at one stage, while Glen/Scratch had to fill and play left-handed in for a short-handed Buffed Helmets, and based on his performance this week as a molly dooker on the grass, we might just let him bowl right handed in Week 5.
Stop Drop & Bowl are also up into the Top 10, defeating Crawshaw CC on Synthetic Rink 1, with Crawshaw team having a grand total of 7 players on hand (The Not-So Magnificent Seven), as SD&P winning the 1st Set 7-3 followed by a 4-4 draw in the 2nd Set, the only drawn set of the night, and coincidentally, Sharyn’s team jumped into the Top 10 on the same night that John from Manning Up formally engraved their name onto the Wooden Spoon for their performance last season:
I think we’re seeing the leading contender for Most Improved Team on Awards Night.
After 2 tie break defeats, Jack Sabbath finally got a win on the board, defeating the Unbelievabowls in straight sets on Grass Rink 7, and the immediate result for Alex and his Princes of Darkness is that they’ve soared from 21st up to 11th on the ladder, and the key this time around is they’ve got variance on their side ahead of the final shot to get into the Top 8 next week.
Speaking of tie break defeats, Ten Pin lost in a tie break for the fourth time in as many games, as Team Pamba nudged them out in a one-end decider on Synthetic Rink 7, and Deb from Ten Pin has declared that they’re considering a name change to Ten Pin Tie Breakers, while Team Pamba’s inability to gain all 4 points is going to cost them a Top 8 finish, because their overall variance is now a healthy +16 shots.
All I’ll say is this – A name change worked wonders for Manning Up.
The Buffed Helmets II were one of the few teams to stay exactly where they were on the ladder after Week 3, maintaining 7th place with a tie break victory against The Lenny’s (Jared, Naomi and Kelsey) on Synthetic Rink 2, and it was a wild game, with The Lenny’s racing out to a 10-0 lead after 3 ends, but the Helmets (Mazey, Lee and Kip) cut the final set score back to 10-7 as they went on to hold 12 consecutive shots between the 1st and 2nd Sets, ultimately winning the 2nd 5-3, and they would win the tie break.
Finally, the Zebras made their debut against the Bowled Guys on Grass Rink 2, but they were a player short, so Jane (One of the Crawshaw Seven) loaned herself out for the night, and funnily enough, Jane comes from Dongara, a part of the world very familiar to myself, Dymo and Pricey, because it’s where our good friends Carolyn and Chocco/Clint Walker of No Hope Avenue spend much of their time.
The Bowled Guys won the 1st Set 11-1, after which I gave Dymo a drive-by asking why he couldn’t bowl this crap on Tuesdays, but the next time I ventured back to Rink 2, the Zebras had completed a near-perfect form reversal and won the 2nd Set 11-2, featuring Barry hitting the jack in consecutive bowls either side of the Toucher whistle, and when they got down to the tie break, it was pretty black and white for the Zebras, as Dymo and Jane shut the Bowled Guys out and made it a winning debut for the Zebras.
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: Rock N Bowl (4pts +5) defeated Buffed Helmets I, 8-4, 6-5
Grass 2: Zebras (3pts -1) defeated Bowled Guys (2pts +1), 1-11, 11-2, 2-0 in the tie break
Grass 3: Manning Up (4pts +12) defeated Team Epic, 8-1, 7-2
Grass 4: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +11) defeated Merkins, 7-4, 10-2
Grass 5: Macatac (3pts +1) defeated Paul’s Heroes (2pts -1), 4-5, 7-5, 1-0 in the tie break
Synthetic 1: Stop Drop & Bowl (3pts +4) defeated Crawshaw CC (1pt -4), 7-3, 4-4
Synthetic 2: Buffed Helmets II (3pts -1) defeated The Lenny’s (2pts +1), 7-10, 5-3, 1-0 in the tie break
Synthetic 3: Verse 1 (4pts +7) defeated Beginner’s Luck, 5-1, 8-5
Synthetic 4: Out On Parole -Here To Bowl (4pts +11) defeated Bowling Stones, 6-4, 11-2
Synthetic 5: Top Shots (4pts +13) defeated This Is How We Roll, 10-0, 6-3
Synthetic 6: Team Pamba (3pts +2) defeated Ten Pin (2pts -2), 9-6, 4-5, 2-0 in the tie break
Synthetic 7: Jack Sabbath (4pts +7) defeated Unbelievabowls, 7-5, 7-2
Synthetic 8: Team Tommy (4pts +10) defeated CD’s, 7-4, 8-1
Kel & Nelle, Merkins: “Nelle was carrying the the other Merkins, ’til they failed to come up to play, and as a consequence we got lit up by the Great Bowls of Fire”
Dymo, Zebras: “We’ve gotta go to the swab box, big reversal of form between the 1st and 2nd Sets!”
Peg, Verse 1: “Ronni saved the day for Verse 1… we’re much better on the synthetic than the grass.”
Deb, Ten Pin: “We’re changing our name next year to Ten Pin Tie Breakers!”
John, Manning Up: “I take it all back on Phil, we took him back reluctantly after yet another attempt to pass him off to another shorthanded team, and lucky for us we came 2nd overall.”
Kochie, Great Bowls of Fire: “Great night for us with the trifecta – Another straights win to go top, Jonesy won the corner to corner, and we got in the money again!”
Helen, CDs: “Thanks to Nat’s corner to corner runner-up and Marg’s toucher voucher, we won more as a team this week than we did last week, and this time around we lost the game!”
Kip, Buffed Helmets: “Mazey owes me a new water bottle… that’s all I’ll say about that”
Dave & Stewy, Team Epic: “We’ve had a team selection meeting and none of us are getting picked next week.”
Photos from the Night
Just before the Corner To Corner – You can see the concrete resurfacing to the left:
With Country Week in town, and this being the last day to have proper spectators in community sport in WA for at least a month, it was great to see Manning Jack Attack co-founder Matty Mitchell in attendance, all the way from Emu Point:
Adam looking after the Grass Corner to Corner:
Mick (Team Tommy, the orange) vs Nat (CDs, the black) in the Corner To Corner on the Synthetic:
Adam and the Mayor of Manning Grahame Maples watching on Grass Rink 1:
Barry from the Zebras dancing to Echo Beach, far away in time, Echo Beach, far away in time
A toucher from Belinda of Rock N Bowl:
Another angle of Team Tommy vs The CDs… Naturally Team Tommy had another one on the jack
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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