Lawn Bowls

Manning Jack Attack Review: 15th February

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On a relatively mild day in Perth, the evening rolled around and it was time for Week 2 of Manning Jack Attack, the Greatest Social Bowls Competition between Manning Road and the Canning River, and there’s been a bit of upheaval to sift through:

– Team McDonald’s name change to Ebowla Bad, Ibowla Good has come into effect, although when they lose it’ll be more like Ibowla Bad, Ebowla Good

– After 3 seasons in Manning Jack Attack, Rock N Bowl have formally withdrawn from the Summer 2023 competition, along with Team Pamba, who it turns out were entered for this season, due to an error on my part…

– However, any fears about an uneven number of teams were avoided when Manning Mixed Pairs champion Matty Hoskin, who had already recruited The Shah’s into Jack Attack last week, came through and got a second team entered, and you’d expect a rival team to The Shah’s to be called The Ayatollahs, but we’re not willing to have Manning Memorial turned into a new Maralinga, so the new team has been christened Dynamics, taking the place of the floating Hybrid team.

And finally, not for the first time on a Wednesday night, Half Price was unavailable, as he drove down to Albany to visit his eldest son Toby (That’s Toby spelled with an MD) working down in the windswept Great Southern, and Half Price last contacted yours truly from a stopover in Busselton, where he most likely paid a visit to former Manning Primary headmaster Rob Searle and may or may not have gone fishing…

Thankfully, with Kim Burke and Mark Ellis on hand to assist yours truly, it was smooth sailing throughout the night.

Corner to Corner Challenge

After months of waiting, the night began with the first edition of the Corner to Corner in 2023, and following last season’s experiment where all 24 teams played on the Synthetic green, Half Price decided we had enough teams to return to the old format of two separate Corner to Corners for the Grass teams and the Synthetic teams.

Starting with the Grass, and the winner was Helen from the CD’s, and the runner-up was Sue from the Salter Point Spinners

Meanwhile, the Synthetic edition was a thrill a minute, as John from Manning Up dragged the jack with his shot, but it left a big fat sitting target that would end up being lucky to get 3rd shot when several players charged into the head and clobbered him out:

In the wash-up, the Synthetic winner was Dave from Ebowla Bad, Ibowla Good (on the right), with Steve from the Jack Hunters taking the runner-up spot:

Well done to all four players.

The Overall Night

Starting off the top, the winners for Week 2 were Shapes, who demolished the Jackstreet Boys in straight sets by 18 shots on Synthetic Rink 7, set up by a 16-0 drubbing in the 2nd Set, and the Shapes crew made two great changes from last Wednesday’s defeat, bringing back their beloved Arnotts Shapes after having to eat that inferior Smiths Salt & Vinegar, and it was the big debut for their new team shirts:

And keeping to the Shapes theme, they’ve added a hidden detail on the sleeves, with one side being what I assumed was meant to be a Pizza Shape:

And the right sleeve being a BBQ Shape:

Another top-notch edition to the Manning Jack Attack team shirt collection, alongside the likes of the Bowling Stones, Stop Drop & Bowl, Macatac, the Buffed Helmets, and the former CD’s shirts that shrunk in the wash.

Moving on, 2nd overall went to Manning Up with their 15 shot straight sets victory against the Jack Hunters on Synthetic Rink 5, and it was a game that almost over as soon as it started, as Manning Up played the powerplay on the opening end and held 3 to instantly lead 6-0, and by the 4th End they led 15-0, ultimately winning the set 15-2, and closing the game out with a 5-3 win in the 2nd Set.

No, that does not make a bowl stop

3rd place overall went to the Bowling Stones, appearing in the Top 4 once again thanks to their 10 shot straight sets victory against Crawshaw CC on Synthetic Rink 6, vaulting into 3rd on the night thanks to their 10-2 win in the 2nd Set, set up by bowls like this from Tiff… or at least I think it was Tiff:

Hopefully Crawshaw can have a surprise appearance from Disorderly Decca this season, because they desperately need him to lift the team’s spirits.

And 4th overall, completing a Synthetic sweep of the money, was Buffed Helmets 1, who won the heated Derby against Buffed Helmets 2 in straight sets by 9 shots on Synthetic Rink 3, although it is the Buffed Helmets, so most of them probably forgot what team they were supposed to be playing for and just put a bowl down.

Still, it led to us getting this photo of Carmo bowling like a ballerina, which started as a joke but turned out to be quite accurate as he wound up drawing shot within a foot of the jack.

“He bowls like a ballerina… arms out either side” – Scratch

There has been an official dispute regarding the result of the game, although it is currently $1.01 with the bookies to be thrown out by the Jack Attack tribunal tonight.

Completing the remainder of the results, the biggest outcome of the night was the Great Bowls of Fire knocking off Macatac 1 in straight sets on Synthetic Rink 2 in a tennis score (6-3 6-2), which marks the first time Macatac have lost a game in straight sets, in this their fourth season of Jack Attack… If my memory is correct, they’d only ever lost 2 games total prior to Wednesday night, and one of them was the Macatac Derby against the 2s last season.

That straight sets fact should tell you what an awesome performance it was from Todd, Jonesy and Paul Alphabet, and I reckon you can tell it’s the Summer edition of Jack Attack, because the Great Bowls of Fire are already playing like a team that want to earn a trip to Hilton Park for the Community Shield in late April, where they can get thoroughly sunburnt again.

No wonder Macatac couldn’t win, when you look at what Todd was sending down

It was a different story for the ladies of Macatac 2 next door on Synthetic Rink 1, winning the 1st Set against The Lenny’s 16-7, thanks to a 5 on their powerplay to explain why there were 23 shots in 5 ends, but The Lenny’s hit back and won the 2nd Set 6-2, before Macatac 2 settled down and won yet another tiebreak.

On Synthetic Rink 3, the Bowled Guys and the Unbelievabowls may have looked like a mismatch after the Bowled Guys sat last and the Unbelievabowls were 2nd after Week 1, but there was nothing in it Loose Bruce needed his bowl to fall in for shot, but the thing stayed upright, and thus the Unbelievabowls escaped with the points.

Loose Bruce, Rede and Craig… Finally the Bowled Guys are living up to their name

On Synthetic Rink 8, the Shah’s were originally set to be playing against Stop Drop & Bowl, but confirmation that Dynamics were officially in (In place of the Hybrid team) led to a last hour fixture change, primarily so that Matty Hoskin could coach both teams through the night, and thankfully Coach Hoskin did make an appearance this week, with his wife Katrina playing for Dynamics:

Dynamics won the 1st Set 8-1, but evidently Hoskin turned heel and started coaching the Shah’s, who won the 2nd Set with a 10-0 shutout, and went on to win the tiebreak to get on the board for Summer 2023.

Matty’s wife Katrina looking at that resting toucher, which was absolutely genuine and wasn’t kicked on to the jack.

Grass Rink 1 saw the return of Stewie & Fawesome for 2023, up against Stop Drop & Bowl in a re-fixtured game, and our good friend Alison helped us out in spades, because not only did she make herself available to play alongside sister Sharyn in Stop Drop & Bowl, but she brought down her daughter Aimee and Aimee’s friend Bridget (Both of whom had never played before), which worked out rather well for everyone, because Fawesome were a player short and Stewie’s second player couldn’t make it until after 7pm, so Aimee and Bridget played alongside Stewie in Fawesome, and the feedback was they played so well that Stewie wants them back next week.

As for the game, Fawesome won the opening set 8-1, Stop Drop & Bowl responded and won the 2nd Set 7-1, but the tiebreak was a fairly lopsided one for SD&B, who held 3 shots, as Stewie just couldn’t quite get his line & length right, which wasn’t really helped by a pair of strategic blockers halfway up the rink.

2 metres through Stewie, what are you doing son

Grass Rink 2 saw the return of Team Tommy against the CD’s, and as it turned out, Team Tommy coach Steve Withers would have to play alongside Mick and Troy to give them a team of 3, which may very well be the first time in recorded history that Withers has played in Manning Jack Attack, having barely played bowls at all in the last 18 months due to his greyhound commitments, and if you ask me, winning Premier League titles with Manning has got nothing compared to the thrill of calling a powerplay midway through the 1st Set on a Wednesday night.

Still, in a quality leading duel between Withers and the in-form Helen, the CD’s won the opening set 11-2 (A 3 turned into 6 on a powerplay did the trick), then Team Tommy found their stride and came back to record a 10-2 win in the 2nd Set, but Helen’s second bowl of the tiebreak proved to be enough to win the one end decider, as Mick went flying through the head twice trying to draw shot, giving the CD’s their first win of the season.

Yes, I did give Steve Withers dispensation to play right-handed
Withers giving the CD’s a few quick tips on how to improve their line

On Grass Rink 3, the renamed Ebowla Bad Ibowla Good finished up as the biggest winners of the teams on the grass, defeating the SPCG Spinners in straight sets by 8 shots (6-3 9-4), as the reshuffling of the Spinners’ lineup to Sue, Denise and Wags proved the equivalent of shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, as Lee, Dave and Xavier (Lee’s son) recorded their first win in Jack Attack, and another highlight of Lee’s night was getting chatting to Kim Burke about helping the club move the Kent Removals storage container that’s been sitting out the front of D Green since last April.

If you could move that eyesore, that’d be great, because we need the extra parking spot.

On Grass Rink 4, it seemed like fate that Ten Pin and the Top Shots would go to a tiebreak, given Ten Pin have the record for the most tiebreak appearances in Manning Jack Attack, and the Top Shots had played in 7 consecutive tiebreaks prior to Wendesday night, a streak that became 8 as the Top Shots recovered from Ten Pin’s 7-3 win in the 1st Set by squeaking over the line 4-3 in the 2nd Set, sending it to the one-end decider, and Gordon, Jerry, Irene and Leslie would overcome their recent cases of the Tiebreak Turkeys to win the tiebreak, leaving them just outside the Top 10, despite losing the variance in both games:

Coral from Ten Pin about to land one on the jack

And finally, out on the lightless reaches of Grass Rink 5, Salty Towers would get the win in a tight tough game against Verse 1, with the Salties winning the 1st Set 5-3, and they came from 0-4 down in the 2nd Set to finish the job with a 4-4 draw, although even in defeat, I can say Verse 1 produced one of the best shots of the night, as Peg stepped up to the mat on the 3rd End with Verse 1 facing 2 shots down within a foot of the jack….

And against all logic, Peggy slid her bowl under the short bowls, sat on the holder, got a toucher and the shot all in one.

Deadset, I’ve seen Division One bowlers that can’t pull that off, and I should know, because I’m one of them.

So all up, 6 games went to tiebreaks, and after 7 teams won in straight sets in Week 1, just 3 teams have taken all 8 points through 2 games…

We’re on to Week 3.


Grass 1: Stop Drop & Bowl (3pts -1) defeated Fawesome (2pts +1), 1-8 7-1 3-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 2: CD’s (3pts +1) defeated Team Tommy (2pts -1), 11-2, 2-10, 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 3: Ebowla Bad Ibowla Good (4pts +8) defeated SPCG Spinners, 6-3 9-4

Grass 4: Top Shots (3pts -3) defeated Ten Pin (2pts +3), 3-7 4-3 1-0 in the tiebreak

Grass 5: Salty Towers (3pts +2) defeated Verse 1 (1pt -2), 5-3 4-4

Synthetic 1: Macatac 2 (3pts +5) defeated The Lenny’s (2pts -5), 16-7 2-6 2-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 2: Great Bowls of Fire (4pts +7) defeated Macatac 1, 6-3 6-2

Synthetic 3: Buffed Helmets 1 (4pts +9) defeated Buffed Helmets 2, 4-3 11-3

Synthetic 4: Unbelievabowls (3pts -2) defeated Bowled Guys (2pts +2), 6-5 2-5 1-0 in the tiebreak

Synthetic 5: Manning Up (4pts +15) defeated Jack Hunters, 15-2 5-3

Synthetic 6: Bowling Stones (4pts +10) defeated Crawshaw CC, 5-3 10-2

Synthetic 7: Shapes (4pts +18) defeated Jackstreet Boys, 5-3 16-0

Synthetic 8: The Shah’s (3pts +3) defeated Dynamics (2pts -3), 1-8 10-0 1-0 in the tiebreak


Captain’s Comments

Alex, Jackstreet Boys: “I think we’re going to be needing Ronni’s services again, we’re heading back down to Busselton for some team building – We’ll have a new Powerplay strategy that I have hope for, but not much else to say, that was a humbling experience.”

M.Hoskin, Dynamics/Shah’s coach: “I just want to say the Shah’s had a great turnaround, they listened this week, they took a bit of notice and I think they’ve come ahead in leaps and bounds.”

Tim, The Shah’s: “At least the coach turned up this week… and he was coaching the other team!”

Todd, Great Bowls of Fire: “Great team effort, the ‘Greek Freak’ Paul Alphabet played superbly, Jonesy put some crackers in, it was a top all-round performance against a quality team.”

John, Manning Up: “I hit it the jack on the corner to corner, and as soon as I hit it, I knew I’d given the others an even bigger target.”

“During the game, we bowled less badly than the Jack Hunters did, but you can’t deny that if you have a good start, it helps immensely.”

Scratch, Buffed Helmets: “Probably the best bowls I’ve seen the Buffed Helmets collectively play , the tightest heads on record, Brendan played very well, and Cheese brought his own set of bowls (Taylor SVs, he had to drive to Mandurah to get them), gripped for his pleasure.”

Carmo, Buffed Helmets: “The incumbent captain (Scotty) and his two protégés (Kip and Carry) were on a captaincy Cert 3 course, dogging the team on a Derby night.”

“Anyway, the result of the Derby has been officially disputed, the tribunal hearing will be Thursday night”

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