Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 8th February

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Alastair/Cheese from the Buffed Helmets proving a study in concentration

With the New Years break done, the Summer 2023 Jack Attack season ignited in a blazing inferno at Manning Memorial, and let me tell you, Richard ‘Half’ Price’s phone has once again melted due to the record levels of demand for the Greatest Social Bowls Competition between Manning Road and the Canning River, with an equal record 26 teams entered for this season, 22 of them backing up from Spring 2022, with a plethora of team changes:

The only ‘new’ team in the sense of the word are Team McDonald, entered by Lee, husband of Amanda from the Unbelievabowls, although the name Team McDonald will be updated to ‘Ebowla Bad, Ibowla Good‘.

After missing the Spring 2022 edition, three old Manning Jack Attack faces are back:

The crew from Team Tommy have returned, and funnily enough, team coach Steve Withers was called in to make a cameo appearance for Manning’s Premier League team last Saturday…. simply because the 1 Blue team didn’t want to change their line-up.

Team Pamba have returned after a season away, although based on Week 1 I think Graeme and the team may not have realised that Jack Attack is back on again…

And, after missing last season due to Mick’s back injury, Verse 1 (with Peggy, Ronni and Sally) are back and drinking on Wednesday nights, once again giving the Manning Darts team 2 teams in Jack Attack.

In other news, Jack to the Drawing Board have undergone their customary name change thanks to Alex, becoming the Jackstreet Boys, and now when Alex mentions where he wants a bowl to be played, he can say “I want it that way!”

And the departing teams from last season:

Maddie and the crew from Paul’s Heroes have better things to do in life and just didn’t have the time to play this season, but we may very well see the Mukka mob back one day.

Secondly, This Is How We Roll have bowed out, leaving Stop Drop & Bowl as Sharyn’s sole team, and the former players from This Is How We Roll (Who were going to play with SD&B) would prove very useful in helping solve a player shortage in Week 1.

So that all set up the opening night, which I completely forgot was this week until Monday night:

Overall Night

The weather was deadset perfect on Wednesday night, but there was a fair bit of chaos in the lead-up, with 3 teams unable to play in Week 1; Team Tommy’s return had to wait a week due to some kind of greyhound-related matters, Fawesome were caught in a player shortage, and Rock N Bowl couldn’t play due to Belinda and the family (Including our trusty helper Adam Mac) being in Bali on a holiday.

As it turned out, we did avoid a major fixture reshuffle, because Fawesome, who were going to be represented by our old mate Dymo and several ring-ins, were due to play Team Pamba, who apparently forgot Jack Attack started this week and never showed up, so the decision was made to give both teams a point, and Dymo wound up playing for The Lenny’s.

Continuing with the ring-ins, Team Tommy were represented by our good friend Allison (Mother of Alex), Alex’s friend Jacob, and Lisa from Stop Drop & Bowl, and coming in for this week to fill Rock N Bowl’s spot were The Shah’s, the neighbours of Manning Mixed Pairs champ Matty Hoskin, who were roped into coming down by Matty during Chase The Ace on Friday night, having never put down a bowl in their life until this week…

But, typical Matty, he didn’t even turn up to help them out on Wednesday night, so they were given a 10 minute crash course by Half Price, so it’s a wonder they even got a bowl within 2 metres, let alone score 5 shots.

Moving on to the Top 4 on the night, and we didn’t waste any time putting the countback system to good use, because Macatac 1 and the Unbelievabowls both won in straight sets by +18 shots, they both won 9 ends out of 10, meaning it came down to total shots held…

And it would be Macatac 1 who got the nod 20-19, picking up where they left off after the title win last season (Despite Duncan being out injured) in a blowout win against the Bowled Guys on Grass Rink 3, and summing up the win, the biggest hold on an end during the night was only 3 shots, but the Bowled Guys could only snag the last end of the 1st Set, as the Maccers gave Bruce, Craig and Rede absolutely nothing.

Heath against Loose Bruce

So 2nd overall went to the Unbelievabowls thanks to their 19-1 win against Team McDonald on Synthetic Rink 1, in what was a lopsided McDonald Derby between Lee and Amanda, with Amanda prevailing:

In 3rd place overall on +16 shots were Ten Pin, who defeated the debuting Shah’s on Synthetic Rink 7, while simultaneously teaching them the fundamentals of lawn bowls, I suppose there’s something beautiful about the longest-tenured team in Manning Jack Attack teaching the newest team in Manning Jack Attack how to play.

The Shah’s actually did land a toucher, displeasing the Ayatollahs

Plus, you know it’s a rare night when Ten Pin don’t feature in a tiebreak.

And in the last of the money spots for Week 1 were The Lenny’s, featuring Jared, Kelsey and super sub Dymo, who defeated Crawshaw CC in straight sets by +14 shots on Grass Rink 1, set up by a 3 on their 1st Set powerplay to power them from 2-5 down to win the set 8-5, and I think Crawshaw will be an interesting watch this season, as Monsieur Wilko has returned from his European holiday, but Malcolm is off playing Super Rules, or ‘Super Fools’ as Wilko described it, and Decca is working as an orderly at an undisclosed hospital…

Although Pricey had to note that having seen Decca in action for several years, he’s more disorderly than orderly.

Peter, arms crossed, thinking up the email to fire through to Half price

Moving on to the other results, the Great Bowls of Fire were an unlucky 5th place on the night, defeating the Shapes in straight sets a high-octane game on Synthetic Rink 5 that featured Craig and Todd both going for drives by the 3rd end of the night, and somehow Todd managed to land a beauty when the Shapes were up 2 or 3, sending the jack back to the T where one of Jonesy’s long bowls became the holder.

Tristan keenly watching on as Craig eventually manages to pass through the holder and the jack

The Great Bowls won the 1st Set 8-4 thanks to a 2 turned into 4 on their last end powerplay, and promptly won the 2nd Set in a 9-0 shutout, and as I’ve said many times before, a +13 score is often good enough to score 1st overall… It didn’t even get 4th on Wednesday night.

On Grass Rink 4, Manning Up bounced back after a disappointing Spring by defeating the Jackstreet Boys (Alex, Richard and Greg), who are not AJ, Howie, Nick, Kevin and Brian, and the Jackstreet Boys were aggressive out of the gate with a 1st End powerplay, which went on to backfire as Manning Up stifled them early and won the set 8-1, then closed it out by winning the 2nd Set 6-3, set up by stifling yet another 1st End powerplay by Alex.

On Synthetic Rink 3, the Bowling Stones defeated the Salter Point Spinners in straight sets by +9 shots, although the margin doesn’t tell the whole story, because the Stones trailed the Spinners on the scoreboard for 8 ends out of 10, but somehow they jagged 4 shots on their final end powerplay not once, but twice – 0-6 down in the 1st Set to 8-6 ahead, and 4-5 down to 12-5 in the 2nd Set.

An unfortunate scoreline for the Spinners (Mum/Helen, Wendy and Denise), who were getting some good results with the wide old Henselites, but were obviously enticed into a long conversation by the Stones on the final end… twice.

Yes, the Spinners actually won this end

Proving the community element of Jack Attack, my neighbour Denise, who plays for the Spinners, has taught the kids of the Stones at Manning Primary… among millions of others.

On Synthetic Rink 4, the other Derby on the night was the Darts Derby between Verse 1 and the Top Shots, and Verse 1 didn’t miss a beat in the 1st Set, winning the set 11-1, but the Top Shots (Gordon, Jerry, Leslie and Irene) snuck in the 2nd Set 5-4 to force yet another tiebreak, their seventh consecutive tiebreak dating back to last season, but the Top Shots’ mixed run in tiebreaks continued, as Mick, Peg, Ronni and Sally held 2 on the deciding end to return as winners.

And you know who bowled that resting toucher? Ronni.

On Synthetic Rink 2, last season’s runners-up the Jack Hunters took on the Buffed Helmets 2 in an entertaining contest, as the Jack Hunters made a fast start to win the 1st Set 9-1, followed by the Buffs (Carry, Fuzzy and Cheese) landing some big shots to win the set 6-5 after only giving away 4 on the last end, but the Jack Hunters would win the tiebreak in a close one, after Fleur negated Carry’s toucher and dragged the jack back to get shot, and despite Fuzzy’s best efforts, the dream was over.

Fuzzy only just misses with his last bowl

On another unrelated note to bowls, Fuzzy, aka Anthony, deserves some major congratulations, because he’s off to South Africa in a few weeks to play for Australia in the Over 50s Cricket World Cup!

On to Synthetic Rink 6, Sharyn’s decision to only enter Stop Drop & Bowl and ditch This Is How We Roll was an apparent success, as last season’s wooden spooners managed to defeat Salty Towers in straight sets, sending them up to the lofty heights of 8th on the ladder:

Out on Challenger Avenue, aka Synthetic Rink 8, it was an all-ladies affair between the CDs and Macatac 2, and it turned out to be a funny game because both teams made one of the great errors of Manning Jack Attack, becoming so engrossed in the 1st Set that they both completely forgot to play their power plays.

A team forgetting to play their tiebreak is one thing, but both teams forgetting makes me question how much they had to drink before the game.

Blue bowls within a foot… must be Helen’s.

Ultimately that error didn’t cost the CDs the set, which they won 7-1, but Macatac 2 came back and won the 2nd Set 7-3, then got the win in the tiebreak.

And finally, the last result of Week 1 was the game between Buffed Helmets 1 and the crew impersonating Team Tommy, and despite playing as a skip on Tuesdays, Allison was made to play lead and pass the skip’s baton on to Jacob against Buffed Helmets Captain Scotty, and it worked for a set as Team Tommy won the opener 8-1, but the Helmets hit back and led 10-1 after 3 ends of the 2nd, going on to win it 10-6, and they carried that momentum into the tiebreak to win the game.

It can’t be a coincidence that the Helmets perform better when Carmo is dragged away for a night out on Wednesday night.

So, that was the opener to the 2023 season…. the Corner to Corner awaits next week.


Synthetic 1: Unbelievabowls (4pts +18) defeated Team McDonald, 8-1 11-0

Synthetic 2: Jack Hunters (3pts +4) defeated Buffed Helmets 2 (2pts -4), 7-2 5-6 1-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 3: Bowling Stones (4pts +9) defeated SPCG Spinners, 8-6 12-5

Synthetic 4: Verse 1 (3pts +9) defeated Top Shots (2pts -9) 11-1 4-5 2-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 5: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +13) defeated Shapes, 8-4 9-0

Synthetic 6: Stop Drop & Bowl (4pts +5) defeated Salty Towers, 4-3 7-3

Synthetic 7: Ten Pin (4pts +16) defeated Shah’s, 9-3 12-2

Synthetic 8: Macatac 2 (3pts -2) defeated CD’s (2pts +2), 1-7 7-3 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 1: The Lenny’s (4pts +14) defeated Crawshaw CC, 8-5 11-0

Grass 2: Buffed Helmets 1 (3pts -3) defeated Team Tommy (2pts +3), 1-8 10-6 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 3: Macatac 1 (4pts +18) defeated Bowled Guys, 6-2 14-0

Grass 4: Manning Up (4pts +10) defeated Jackstreet Boys, 8-1 6-3

Grass 5: Fawesome vs Team Pamba (No result, points shared)


Captain’s Comments

John Manning Up: “Great to see a real positive vibe around the place, looks like it’ll be a real good season!”

Todd, Great Bowls of Fire: “It was great start to the season, I knew the shapes were in trouble when I saw them eating Smiths chips.”

Mazey, Buffed Helmets 1: “Great to see Cheese as fit as he is, he’s half a Carmo lighter”

Cheese, Buffed Helmets 2: “Fuzzy’s displaying some early Over 50s World Cup form… only problem is he’s playing the wrong sport.”

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