Now last week I mentioned that I was due to be playing for Manning in Division 2 Red at Cockburn on Saturday, but as fate would have it, we played Kardinya in midweek Premier League on Thursday, and about halfway through the game my skip (And our Chief Selector) Shane developed severe pain in his back, which told in the final score as we went from 11-7 up after 11 ends, to having every little bit of luck go against us and losing 13-23, which was something of a cruel scoreline considering we were holding 4 on the penultimate end, which coulda woulda shoulda tied the game with an end to play – Instead we dropped 2 and a 4 on the final end.
Next thing you know, Shane phones me on Friday morning and lets me know he’s withdrawn himself from the Saturday Division 1 team playing South Perth at Manning due to his physical state, and that I was straight back into 1 Blue playing as a lead for Wayne Heldt, John Andrew and Steve Lambert, and I lit up like a Christmas tree knowing I was playing in a team with that much quality, especially as I was now in Wayne’s World:
Case in point, when it came time to bowl on Saturday, we produced a superb team performance throughout the entire game, giving South Perth’s four next to nothing all day, consistently keeping the pressure on, and all told we won our rink 26-8, as Heldty’s focus on getting no worse than 2nd shot and bowls in the head meant we picked up some good holds and only dropped 2 shots on one end all day, which just happened to be the last end.
And thanks to what was my first winning rink on a Saturday this season, I can proudly say our rock solid four formed the foundation of Manning pulling out a narrow aggregate win 74-71 over our geographical rivals.
9 shots in 4 ends between the 15th and 18th, at a time when we were staring down the barrel of an aggregate defeat.
It’s at this point that I won’t mention what South Perth’s Premier League team did to ours at South Perth.
Capping off a tremendously satisfying day out, our rink managed to win one of the most coveted prizes at Manning, The Saturday Pot vouchers for getting the biggest win of any rink across Manning’s 6 pennant teams (The first time I’ve ever won the Saturday Pots), after it went to a countback against one of the Division 2 White rinks that won 29-11, but we got the gong due to conceding fewer shots.
Although, there is a hint of irony in that despite having the biggest win on the day, we were the only one of the four Manning rinks in 1 Blue that didn’t hold shot on the final end, and if you worked out the scores from the 20th end from all 4 rinks, it was dead level at 69 shots apiece…
Luckily though, that’s what a team of 16 players is for, because Graham O’Brien’s rink held 2 shots to go down 10-21, holding 3 out of the last 4 ends after giving up 13 consecutive ends, Murray Piggott’s rink held 2 shots on the last end to come back and win the rink 18-17 to give us a point from nowhere…
And the last rink to finish was Mike Carey’s rink, who knew they had to defend 2 shots on their last end, and it became a fair bit easier when Greg Hogg played an upshot to give Manning the hold after being 2 down, and South Perth skip John Carter, named after the ER character, had 2 bowls remaining to turn 1 down into 3 up, but despite getting a good look at the holder, he was wide with both, and although South Perth won the rink 25-20, Manning won the war.
It’s funny how your luck works in bowls, because against Kardinya on Thursday we bowled damn well, but just about every little drive, wick or upshot went against us, then on Saturday it just seemed like everything we did came up roses (Steve Lambert sitting on South Perth’s shot bowl twice in 1 end for example), and everything South Perth did went to crap.
It quite literally decided the aggregate, but for once, I’ll take it.
Categories: Lawn Bowls