Before we begin, a big thanks to the following people for their work throughout the season: My running mate Richard ‘Half’ Price, Duncan, Kristy and the Krankin Cafe team for running the kitchen, Amber, Smiley and the bar staff for the emotional turmoil we’ve subjected you to, Dangerous David Nester for getting the greens ready for us, and to Mark Ellis and Adam Mac, who unfortunately both came down with COVID this week and couldn’t appear on Wednesday.
Now for the story.
After 3 weeks of pre-season and 6 weeks of fun and frivolity, we had reached the summit of the Spring 2022 Manning Jack Attack season, bringing a close to what has been yet another ripsnorting edition of the Greatest Social Bowls Competition Between Manning Road and the Canning River, and if there’s a better Jack Attack competition in Australia, then I haven’t bothered looking at it.
In case you’re unaware of the format, Finals Week is very simple – The major prize money finals are 1st vs 2nd (Macatac 1 vs Jack Hunters), 3rd vs 4th (Jack To The Drawing Board vs Macatac 2), and 5th vs 6th (Paul’s Heroes vs Bowled Guys), with the team in last and 2nd last playing off to get their names drawn onto the Wooden Spoon trophy, while the winners would win a roll of toilet paper, because if you finish last, then you’re crap, and if you finish second-last you’re close to crap, and what’s close to crap?
So once the ATO had done a raid on our prize pool, this season’s Champions took home $250, with $150 for 2nd, a Don Bradman ($100) for 3rd, 4th got $75, 5th got $50, and 6th was $25.
On one final note, I was going to give the aforementioned Mark Ellis a gift as a thank you for helping us out, but just like Harry Kane, he bottled it at the last moment after testing positive on Tuesday, denying me the chance to set up a great joke that we’d got him something he’d really enjoy after the events of the World Cup Quarter Final….
Some lovely French champagne.
Rather than leave it sitting there, we improvised and gave the bottle to our resident Scotsman in Duncan from Krankin Cafe, as a thank you for running the kitchen this season, given he must love anything French right now.
Corner To Corner Challenge
On a beautiful summer’s evening, we had one last Corner to Corner Challenge to end 2022, although it was a bigger challenge for the people trying to watch it, because we were facing directly into the sunset while one player from every team sent down their bowl:
Eventually we got through it, at the cost of our vision, and following a couple of hits on opposition bowls, the holder/winner was Jared from The Lenny’s to take the $30, 2nd prize ($20) went to Sue from the SPCG Spinners, and 3rd ($20 voucher) went to Kelly from the CD’s, and that’s the second time this season that Kelly has landed in the money for the Corner To Corner, so it appears that she tends to bowl better chucking it from one end of the green to the other, rather than bowling from one end of the rink to the other.
Well done to all the winners on the night, and across the 3 editions of the Corner To Corner for this season, and we’ll be seeing the pre-game challenge back in Jack Attack around about Week 2 of the upcoming Summer 2023 season.
The Overall Night
On what was a perfect night for bowling, starting with the important result of the night, the WINNERS of the Grand Final on TV Rinkside, earning the title of Champions of Challenger Avenue….
Yes, No.1 by name and No.1 by performance, as Macatac 1 backed up last year’s Spring title and got themselves engraved onto the trophy once more, and with the World Cup Final coming up, I would say their 1st Set performance against the Jack Hunters was on a par with Lionel Messi against Croatia, storming to a 12-2 set win, before Fleur, Helen and Steve (plus Brett) made it a real contest in the 2nd Set to get it to 3-3 with an end to play, which turned out to be a double powerplay as both teams waited a bit too long to pull the trigger, but the Maccers would hold shot to secure the title once more.
Commiserations to the Jack Hunters, whose pre-season name change from Beginner’s Luck turned out to be a pretty good omen, as they rose from 18th in the Summer 2022 completion to make the Grand Final this season!
And I should extend my congratulations to the Jack Hunters, because Fleur was named as this season’s Mitchell Trophy winner as the Best & Fairest player!
There was nothing in among a number of worthy candidates, be it Ellen Mac from Macatac 1, Alex from Jack To The Drawing Board and Rede from the Bowled Guys, but Fleur got the gong because I felt it was a great effort from Fleur stepping up and leading the team after Helen was unable to play for a couple of weeks, and the end result was the Jack Hunters played the hand they were dealt with quite superbly and got all the way to the Grand Final.
That entire paragraph could be disputed by the other Jack Hunters, and that’s all I have to say about that.
Moving on to the 3rd vs 4th game on Synthetic Rink 5 and there was quite literally nothing in it after the 1st Set as Jack to the Drawing Board and Macatac 2 drew 4 shots apiece, setting up a 1 set shootout, and coming down to the last end it was 5-4 the way of Macatac 2, and long story short, Alex had a shot to win the game or even send it to a tiebreak with 2 drawn sets if he got shot, but in his own words he pulled and missed narrowly, so Macatac 2 picked up 2 on the last end to take 3rd place for this season!
Number 2 by name, Number 3 by position.
So that means Jack To The Drawing board finished in 4th overall, the red-headed stepchild of finishing positions, and a season that started in pursuit of a wooden spoon ended in the best-ever finishing position for Alex, Richard And Greg under any of their 5 previous guises, thanks to a Week 2 rev-up from Ronni and the Ring-Ins that set them straight again.
The Bowlsheviks, The Empire Strikes Jack, Jack To The Future… oh I’ve lost count.
Moving on to the last of the money games, the 5th vs 6th game between Paul’s Heroes and the Bowled Guys on Synthetic Rink 3, and there was nothing in it on the variance as the Bowled Guys won the 1st Set 4-3 after picking up 3 on the final end, but Paul’s Heroes turned it around and won the 2nd Set 5-4 to send the game to a tiebreak, and it would be Maddie and the Mukinbudin mob who won the $50 cash for finishing 5th!
So it was $25 to the Bowled Guys for 6th place, which I’d $25 more than the Great Bowls of Fire won this season.
Of course, the other important game of the night was the Wooden Spoon derby between This Is How We Roll and Stop Drop and Bowl on Synthetic Rink 2, and there would be history made as the loser would become the first team to have their name drawn onto the Wooden Spoon twice:
It was a game serious enough for Sharyn to call on sister Allison to make an appearance for Stop Drop & Bowl, after she’d had a warm-up in the Wednesday Pakkas competition, and perhaps by some coincidence Pricey described the game as being one of the better quality Wooden Spoon deciders we’d seen at Manning….
Not that it made a difference for Stop Drop & Bowl, as This Is How We Roll went on to win in straight sets, the earning them the toilet roll for being Close To Crap, meaning Stop Drop & Bowl are this season’s Wooden Spooners!
Moving on the other results, and another first from last night was that thanks to Peter Bowden and his $20 vouchers from the club, we were finally able to pay out a winner for the biggest variance win of Week 6, which we’ve never been able to do because of the prize money going to the Top 6 finalists, so this time around we purposely excluded the results of the Top 6, and the Unbelievabowls would get the nod as the overall winners of Week 6, thanks to their straight sets +12 shot victory against the Bowling Stones on Grass Rink 1:
Under normal circumstances, 1st on the night would’ve been a countback between Macatac 1 and the Unbelievabowls (Both on +12 shots), but the Unbelievabowls would still have come out on top 8-6 on ends won.
On Synthetic Rink 8, the Top Shots completed a Jack Attack first, becoming the first team in recorded history to play in 6 tiebreaks in 6 games during a season, and they were properly recognised during the presentation for their historic achievement, although it didn’t mean much on Wednesday night as the Buffed Helmets 1 held 3 shots in the tiebreak, which also gives the Top Shots a record 4 losing tiebreaks in a single season.
Still it wasn’t all bad news, as Jerry won a bottle of wine for the Best Christmas Dress-Up, and it was lovely to see several players embrace the festive spirit, but I felt Jerry was a cut above the rest with the socks, shirt and Santa beard:
The other facet to the game was that the Buffs were so short-handed (Reduced to a skeleton crew of Mazey and Carmo) that they had to pull in Dave from Salty Towers, while Carmo’s dog Pepe, who once dropped a number 2 in Cheese’s hallway, was half a chance of playing, but instead he couldn’t even be arsed watching the game:
A hairy mysterious creature wandered down to Manning last night…
There was also a dog.
The lack of available Buffed Helmets also meant Glen ‘Scratch’ O’Brien had to call in some of his team from Salt Property to play for Buffs 2 against Crawshaw in the 7th vs 8th game on Synthetic Rink 1, while their line-up was completed when Crawshaw’s stand-in captain Malcolm decided to turn heel and play for Buffs 2, a decision that left Crawshaw up in arms after Buffs 2 won the 1st Set, and the pitchforks and torches were set alight when Malcolm drew shot on the last end of the 2nd Set to force a 3-3 draw, sealing the win for Buffs 2.
We have been informed that Malcolm immediately listed his house for sale, and is currently living in witness protection… on the bright side, he did get a bottle of Pepperjack for his troubles.
On Synthetic Rink 7, the Shapes crew, having whittled themselves down to the trio of Craig, Peter and Tristan finished off their debut season by knocking off outgoing champions the Great Bowls of Fire 6-2 and 5-5, despite Paul Alphabet wielding a wrecking ball early in the game, as Kochie, Jonesy and Alphabet completed a free fall from 1st in Summer 2022 down to 16th in Spring 2022, matching the 2016 Fremantle Dockers in falling from 1st down to 16th.
Next door on Synthetic Rink 6, The Lenny’s recorded a narrow 4-3 win in the 1st Set against Manning Up, but the 2nd Set was an absolute landslide, as Jared in his Riddler costume started dropping riddles in the form of bowls that John and the team simply had no answer for, as The Lenny’s won the 2nd Set 12-2, only just missing the overall win on the night.
In fact, the Riddler’s riddles were so potent that Manning Up mentally disintegrated and resorted to openly sledging each other.
Going over to the Grass, and one of the games of the night, even though neither team had nothing besides pride to play for, was the game between Fawesome and Rock N Bowl on Grass Rink 1, as Fawesome won the 1st Set 8-1, then Rock N Bowl won the 2nd Set 8-6 as Luke of RNB and Steve from Fawesome traded hammer blows, but it would be the Fawesome threesome who got the win in the tiebreak, their first win since way back in Week 2.
On Grass Rink 3, Salty Towers took on the CDs, who once again had to make do without Helen as she had to go up to Port Hedland, meaning Marg’s husband Dave made another cameo appearance, but it would be Basil Fawlty’s favourite team who ended the year with a victory, winning the 1st Set 6-3 then taking the tiebreak out of the equation by drawing the 2nd Set 6-6, after being 6-2 with 2 ends to play – The Salties held 2 on the 4th End, then 1 on their last end powerplay.
And the lucky last game to finish for the Spring 2022 season was the game between Ten Pin and the SPCG Spinners out on Grass Rink 4, and while the Top Shots played in 6 tiebreaks this season, Ten Pin were a good 2nd with 5 tiebreaks out of 6, the last coming after they won the 1st Set 9-2, but the Spinners (Sue, Denise and Wendy) came back and won the 2nd Set 6-3, then my fellow Mexicans from Salter Point ended their rookie season by winning the tiebreak as Wendy and Sue landed a bowl one a metre either side of the jack, and Deb only just went through the head with her last bowl.
The Top Shots may have played in 6/6 tiebreaks, but they’ve still got a ways to getting close to Ten Pin’s record of most tiebreaks played in, which as a conservative estimate is north of 50, considering they’re the longest tenured team in Manning Jack Attack.
Scoring = 2 points for a set win, 1 point for a drawn set and/or tiebreak win, tiebreaks are not counted in score variance
Grass 1: Fawesome (3pts +5) defeated Rock N Bowl (2pts -5), 8-1 6-8 1-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 2: Unbelievabowls (4pts +12) defeated Bowling Stones, 11-2 5-2
Grass 3: Salty Towers (3pts +3) defeated CD’s (1pt -3), 6-3 6-6
Grass 4: SPCG Spinners (3pts -4) defeated Ten Pin (2pts +4), 2-9 6-3 2-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 1: Buffed Helmets 2 (3pts +2) defeated Crawshaw CC (1pt -2), 4-2 3-3
Synthetic 2 (Wooden Spoon Game): This Is How We Roll (4pts +8) defeated Stop Drop & Bowl, 7-4 8-3
Synthetic 3 (5th vs 6th): Paul’s Heroes (3pts 0) defeated Bowled Guys (2pts 0), 3-4 5-4 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 4 (Grand Final): Macatac 1 (4pts +12) defeated Jack Hunters, 12-2 5-3
Synthetic 5 (3rd vs 4th): Macatac 2 (3pts +3) defeated Jack To The Drawing Board (1pt -3), 4-4 7-4
Synthetic 6: The Lenny’s (4pts +11) defeated Manning Up, 4-3 11-2
Synthetic 7: Shapes (3pts +4) defeated Great Bowls of Fire (1pt -4), 6-2 5-5
Synthetic 8: Buffed Helmets 1 (3pts -1) defeated Top Shots (2pts +1), 7-3 1-6 3-0 in the tiebreak
Jared/The Riddler, The Lenny’s: “I can be cracked. I can be made. I can be told. I can be played. What am I?”
Alex, JTTDB: “Going for the win on the last end and I pulled it big time.. would’ve been the ballgame if I’d gone an inch further!”
Malcolm, Crawshaw CC: “We had a surplus of numbers so I was allocated to Buffed Hemets 2… last bowl of the night I managed to win the game for them – The FOR SALE sign will be up out the front of 37A tomorrow.”
Reply from Wilko via Europe: “Nobody will buy it anyway!”
Stewie, Fawesome: “I want a request for next season, I want an esky at each end so I can put my beers in them at each end!”
Carmo, Buffed Helmets: “The Helmets were so decimated that they resorted to bringing a four legged anchor (Pepe), with Kip missing once again and plahinf himself into the 2023 Buffed Helmets captaincy, while Cheese was a notable absentee, although his bowling this season ended up like his hall after Pepe paid a visit… crap everywhere!”
Di, Macatac 2: “We’ve had a fantastic time, every game we’ve played, and I’d point out Macatac 2 beat Macatac 1… Duncan may have won the title tonight but he’s still in the spare room!”
Penny, Macatac 2: “It’s been great fun, every night, and we’ll be back next year to climb over Macatac 1, don’t you worry about that!”
John, Manning Up: “There was a fair bit of abuse tonight, it was a little bit off putting that it came from our own team… but we’ll be back.”
Unofficial Final Ladder
And that was the Spring 2022 edition of Manning Jack Attack, we shall be back in early February for the Summer 2022 edition, and until then, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Categories: Lawn Bowls