There are several great achievements that a team/rink can acquire in National/State/Club bowls.
The first is a 50 Badge, which as the name suggests is given to players on a rink that scores 50 shots in a game.
The second, which can vary from club to club depending on number of pennant teams, is getting the ‘pots vouchers’ (Free beer) for having the biggest victory of any rink in any division.
Speaking of which, I reckon I’m still owed one December 15, when we won our rink 35-13 against South Perth.
And finally, you have the coveted 8 Badge, given to players on a rink that manages to hold a full count of 8 shots on any end in a competitive game of four-bowl pairs and/or fours.
This where my story begins.
Playing for Manning against Kardinya today in Division 1 Blue South at Manning (On the dreaded ditch rink) to kick off the resumption of bowls season, with my usual foursome of Steve Lambert, John Andrew and Wayne Heldt, we were down 2-10 after 7 ends, although it wasn’t due to playing poorly, it was the fact that Kardinya’s skip Tony had been dropping dimes on us through the first third of the game and had cut out at least 8 shots of ours (Including 4 down on the 6th End) to produce some decent swings the way of the Cats.
On the 8th End we picked up a shot to get to 3-10, and at this stage my thinking was that if we could keep the margin within 5 shots, and the other rinks (Who were all winning or were level) didn’t drop off, then the aggregate wouldn’t be a concern…
Next thing I know, in a shrewd tactical ploy to get us into the game, Heldty (With input from JA) told me to move the mat back to the tee, and set the jack about 2-3 metres through on the other end.
I pulled that off, then I had 2 bowls that were no closer than 3 feet, which I thought was average but was actually great compared to Kardy’s lead dropping his bowls well short, Steve whacked out Kardinya’s closest bowl, and through 6 bowls each our foursome were somehow holding 6 shots, the Cats didn’t have one bowl within 1.5 metres, and at least 4 of their bowls were well short and forming a blockade.
Heldty got his first bowl a metre back, Tony hit the short bowls, Heldty’s second bowl nestled alongside his first bowl to potentially add another shot, and trying to draw shot on the narrow hand where there was ample room to play, Tony was about 2 inches too narrow, and he once again contacted a short bowl.
Steve was sure we had 4, but John went around the head with the tape…
We had 5…
Then we had 6…
Then we had 7…
AND WHEN THE TAPE CAME AROUND, IT TURNED OUT WE HAD A FULL COUNT OF 8.
From 3-10 down to 11-10 up, and I’d like to point out, when it comes to quality of opposition, this wasn’t Jason Gillespie leisurely carving out a double century against Bangladesh, Division 1 Blue is akin to the meeting point between Sheffield Shield and Club Cricketers….
In other words, the Big Bash League.
To further put this into perspective, my previous best end in a pennant game was a hold of 7 last year in Thursday 5th Division against Dalkeith-Nedlands, which was the only time I’ve ever come close to being involved in a hold of at least 7 shots, while Heldty mentioned it was only the second time he’s picked up an 8 Badge in 26 years of pennants, and Tony mentioned in all his decades of experience, he’d never given away an 8 Badge…
He has now.
Still, I suppose an 8 Badge is like a lightning strike, you never know where or when it’s going to happen.
Finishing off the story, after delivering that ungodly hammer blow to Kardy, our rink picked up 15 shots in a 6-end span and went on to storm to a 27-17 win, to make it 5 wins in a row for our rink:
And Manning’s 1 Blue Wrecking Crew, who were lucky enough to get a cameo from WA State player Shane Knott as he can’t play Premier League tomorrow due to family commitments, comfortably won all 4 rinks by at least 10 shots to pick up all 8 points against the team who were only a point ahead of us in 3rd, and we’re now into 2nd place on the ladder behind runaway leaders Leeming after former leaders Victoria Park got thumped 8-0 by Fremantle, who had a few handy recruits return over Christmas.
So yep, another great day out on a Saturday to start 2023.
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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