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On the first day of Autumn, it was Country Week eve at Manning, the biggest annual event at the club in what is a spectacular showcase of country bowlers from all 3 corners of WA, and it was all hands on deck getting set up for the time-honoured Welcome Fours the following day, which featured 190+ bowlers using all 4 greens of the club (A grand total of 26 rinks), giving the club an excuse to subject people to the torture of playing on B Green.
The running joke down at Manning is that if you’ve got WA country license plates, you’ll walk straight into our Thursday Premier League team…
To be honest, looking at our unavailable list for this week (26 players out), anyone with a Tasmanian license plate could walk straight into our Premier League team.
However, putting all that aside, it was time for Week 4 of the Greatest Social Bowls Tournament Between Manning Road and the Canning River, and on the weather front, Summer may have officially ended on Tuesday, but Wednesday night featured some of the toughest conditions we’ve faced all season in the midst of this heatwave enveloping Perth, with temperatures hovering at a muggy 32 degrees even after sundown, there was next to no breeze after 5pm, we had to turn the lights on at a rather early 5:30 (Instead of 6:30), and it even sprinkled rain at 8pm.
It makes you wonder, does Autumn even exist in Perth?
Corner to Corner Challenge
It was the week for Round 2 of the Corner to Corner Challenge, and this week’s winners picked up some $20 drinks vouchers that we received courtesy of Manning hero Peter Bowden during the week, and the winner on the Grass was Nick from The Shah’s, in only his fourth night of playing bowls, with Jonesy from the Great Bowls of Fire finishing runner-up and sticking the cash on his head:
Funnily enough, in this corresponding Corner to Corner last season, Jonesy was the winner on the Grass, so he’s near enough to consistent.
Over on the Synthetic, the winner was Jack, the super sub from Ten Pin (Filling in for Deborah this week), and the runner-up was Patsy from Crawshaw Crisis Committee, representing the first win Crawshaw have had on a Wednesday night this season:
Always good to see some different winners in the Corner to Corner.
The Overall Night
Handicapper Half Price earned his money once again, with 7 games out of the 13 going to tiebreaks for the second week running, there were also 2 games with drawn sets, and only 2 teams managed to win with a 10+ shot variance, a far cry from some weeks where +10 shots hasn’t even been enough to get in the money.
Straight off the top, the winners on the night were the Bowled Guys, who walloped Fawesome in straight sets by +19 shots (22-3) on Synthetic Rink 6, a massive win for the team full of chrome domes, who rubbed their heads for good luck and delivered in spades against Stewie’s team, picking up a full count of 6 on the 4th End (Unfortunately they didn’t use the powerplay to make it 12) and restricting Fawesome to just 3 shots overall.
Fawesome captain Stewie has said he’ll be calling in his super-sub Maureen from Thornlie next Wednesday, citing the appearances of Steve Withers for Team Tommy, and we’ll have to find out if Maureen has recovered from disorderly Decca’s borderline sledging from Week 1 of Summer 2022, which included his fabled question ‘Do you inhale or exhale when you bowl?’
2nd overall on the night on the adjacent Synthetic Rink 7 were Team Tommy, who gave Macatac 2 a lesson in not taking social bowls too seriously with a +13 shot win, the defining point being Team Tommy’s last end powerplay in the 1st Set with the score 3-2 their way, and Steve, Mick and Troy smothered the jack with 3 shots within 2 feet, and Graham from Macatac 2 couldn’t do anything about it, giving Tommy the set 9-2, which they followed up with a 7-1 win in the 2nd Set, putting them up into 5th overall despite losing their first 2 games in tiebreaks.
Funnily enough, I looked back through my notes from last year while writing this week’s report, and Wednesday was exactly 1 year since Tommy Shelby was retired, so it’s fair to say Mick & Steve marked the anniversary in style.
3rd overall went to one of the new kids on the block in The Shah’s, who recorded a straight sets +7 shot victory against fellow newcomers Ebowla Bad, Ibowla Good on Grass Rink 3, which marks the first time any team playing on the Grass has landed in the money since Week 1, and it’s good to see one of the new teams in Jack Attack getting a result like that.
4th overall also finished on +7 shots, but the countback system wasn’t even needed because the poor old Dynamics managed to lose in a tiebreak to the Salter Point Spinners on Synthetic Rink 5, adding them to the relatively short list of teams who have managed to end up in the money despite losing in a tiebreak, and that is one of the quirks of our weekly money system in Manning Jack Attack, it isn’t based on the biggest winners per se, but simply the overall variance on the night.
As for the game, Dynamics won the 1st Set by a convincing 10-2, which set up the +7 difference, then they had the game and a bit more cash in their hands when they led 3-2 with an end to play, but Sue, Denise and Helen managed to hold 2 on the last end to win the 2nd Set 4-3, and Sue delivered the knockout punch in the tiebreak by holding shot.
So fancy that, the two teams entered by Matty Hoskin wound up in the money, and he wasn’t there to coach them, which may be telling us something…
Finishing off the remainder of the results, and the feature game of the night was the Summer 2022 Grand Final rematch between the Great Bowls of Fire and Manning Up on Grass Rink 4, and it ended exactly the same way as last season, with the Great Bowls of Fire winning in a tiebreak, this time thanks to a bowl from Todd, and that was probably the tale of the game, as the Great Bowls landed a couple of crucial bowls when they had to, such as the 1 turned into 2 on a last end powerplay to win the 1st Set 4-3, while Manning Up were left to rue what could’ve been, as they had that 1st Set lead, then won the 2nd Set 7-2 thanks to a big 4 on the 4th End, which could very nearly have gone the other way had Todd trailed the jack out the back rather than slightly wick it to the left, and they also had shot in the tiebreak before Todd did his thing.
And I didn’t even mention the fact that after last week’s super drive to almost win the game, John landed yet another drive to spot the jack back on the T in the 1st Set, which temporarily sent Manning Up from 3 down to 3 up, then drew shot with his 2nd bowl in a great display of skip’s bowls.
So that result leaves Manning Up in 6th, while the Great Bowls a clear point ahead in top spot on the ladder, while close behind the Buffed Helmets 1 are up into 2nd overall thanks to their 3-point win over Shapes on Grass Rink 1, quite an impressive display from the Buffs (Scotty, Mazey and Kip) considering the form Shapes displayed against Manning Up last week, and were it not for Shapes pinching a draw in the 2nd Set (0-5 down to a 5-5 draw), Buffs 1 would be top of the ladder on shot variance right now.
As Mazey informed us, the key difference in the game was that pints shall triumph over handles.
On Grass Rink 2, the Bowling Stones managed to find themselves back on the same rink after prevailing in a tiebreak last week, and they kept up their winning form with yet another tiebreak win against the Jack Hunters, despite the 6-2 2nd Set seeing the Jack Hunters finish up +3 on the variance in defeat, but nevertheless, the Stones are in 3rd overall and making the most of their draw, and you have to wonder if Tiff and the ladies are starting to suffer altitude sickness as they ascend to heights they haven’t reached before.
Moving on, the Unbelievabowls now find themselves in 4th place after getting over Salty Towers in a tiebreak on Challenger Avenue/Synthetic Rink 8, and there was nothing in it on the scoreboard after the 2 Sets, with the Unbelievabowls winning the 1st Set with an old-fashioned tennis scoreline 6-4 thanks to a late break of serve, but the Salties won the 2nd Set 5-3 to force the tiebreak, which ultimately went the way of the Unbelievabowls, with that extra point getting them up into the Top 4 over Team Tommy & Manning Up.
Working through the other results, Ten Pin made their customary tiebreak appearance this week, this time against Verse 1 on Synthetic Rink 3, and despite a 6-0 1st Set shutout in favour of Peter, Coral and Jack, the drinking power of Verse 1 (Peg, Mick, Ronni and Sally) hit straight back and won the 2nd Set 7-1 to even up the variance, and the Manning Darts stalwarts would go on to win the tiebreak, with the split sets helping get both teams into the Top 10, with Ten Pin in 7th and Verse 1 in 9th.
Next door to Rink 3 saw The Lenny’s (With Jared back in the team to join Kelsey) taking on the other Manning Darts team in the Top Shots under the MV Wholesale sign on Synthetic Rink 4, and that game would also finish as one of the night’s 7 tiebreaks, with The Lenny’s winning the 1st Set, but the Top Shots, who were on a run of 8 consecutive tiebreaks until their straight sets defeat last week, proved themselves keen to reignite the streak by winning the 2nd Set 6-2, but a resting toucher from Jared was more than enough for The Lenny’s to claim the extra point, keeping them in 8th place on the ladder and within range of a potential Top 6 spot and a Money Game.
On Synthetic Rink 1, Macatac 1 finally found themselves in the winner’s circle after a barren fortnight, defeating the CD’s in a tiebreak after exchanging an eye for an eye in both sets (CD’s 6-1 in the 1st Set, Macatac 11-1 in the 2nd), and that now means the CD’s have lost to both Macatac teams in tiebreaks this season.
On Synthetic Rink 2, the Buffed Helmets 2 defeated Crawshaw CC in straight sets, which still wasn’t enough to get the Buffs in the money as they won both sets by 3 shots (7-4 9-6), although it was enough to send them out of the Bottom 3, leaving Crawshaw anchored to 26th spot, and there was a mild moment of controversy in the 1st Set, when the Buffs managed to drive the jack into the ditch (Carmo being the primary suspect), but both team captains (Cheese & Peter) had conflicting ideas about what the rule was regarding the jack staying in the ditch (Pennant rules) or being placed back on the T…
Our official clarification, in accordance with Bowls Australia’s Jack Attack rules, is that the jack goes back on the T if it goes in the ditch, or out of bounds.
The primary purpose of that T rule is to dissuade players from driving the jack into the ditch in Jack Attack, given it is a social game, although sometimes going for the re-spot is the preferred option for a team staring down the barrel.
And the lucky last result for Week 4, The Jackstreet Boys have finally recorded a victory this season, with Alex and the team defeating the Sharyn-less Stop Drop & Bowl in what turned into a 1 set shootout after the 1st Set ended in a 4-4 draw, with the Jackstreet Boys becoming larger than life and winning the 2nd Set 6-1 to get the points, putting them just out of reach of the wooden spoon game (For now), with 1 more set win in Week 5 potentially being enough to ensure they avoid a shot at the toilet paper for being close to crap in Week 6.
Grass 1: Buffed Helmets 1 (3pts +3) defeated Shapes (1pt -3), 6-3 5-5
Grass 2: Bowling Stones (3pts -3) defeated Jack Hunters (2pts +3), 4-3 2-6 1-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 3: The Shah’s (4pts +7) defeated Ebowla Bad, Ibowla Good, 8-3 6-4
Grass 4: Great Bowls of Fire (3pts -4) defeated Manning Up (2pts +4), 4-3 2-7 1-0 in the tiebreak
Grass 5: Jackstreet Boys (3pts +5) defeated Stop Drop & Bowl (1pt -5), 4-4 6-1
Synthetic 1: Macatac 1 (3pts +5) defeated CD’s (2pts -5), 1-6 11-1 2-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 2: Buffed Helmets 2 (4pts +6) defeated Crawshaw CC, 7-4 9-6
Synthetic 3: Verse 1 (3pts 0) defeated Ten Pin (2pts 0), 0-6 7-1 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 4: The Lenny’s (3pts +1) defeated Top Shots (2pts -1), 7-1 2-6 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 5: SPCG Spinners (3pts -7) defeated Dynamics (2pts +7), 2-10 4-3 1-0 in the tiebreak
Synthetic 6: Bowled Guys (4pts +19) defeated Fawesome, 13-2 9-1
Synthetic 7: Team Tommy (4pts +13) defeated Macatac 2, 9-2 7-1
Synthetic 8: Unbelievabowls (3pts 0) defeated Salty Towers (2pts 0), 6-4 3-5 1-0 in the tiebreak
Todd, Great Bowls of Fire: “We gave away a 4, but we’ll take the 3.”
Rede, Bowled Guys: “I’d like to thank Mum, Dad and Jesus.”
Scotty, Buffed Helmets 1: “What a turnaround this year, the boys all wanted to be part of the BH2 side, but I stuck with the BH1 knowing we’d come back, now they’re flocking here early so they can be a part of it… except Carmo.”
Carmo, Buffed Helmets: “Kippy’s going to Adelaide… he’s going to come back with a couple of rings on his finger.”
John, Manning Up: “Tough conditions, the humidity didn’t help, Phil made the bad decision to wear jeans and could barely bend down he was sweating that much, it was a sight to behold.”
Mazey, Buffed Helmets 1: “The difference in the game was simple… they had handles, we had pints.”
One final photo for this week… All is in readiness at 9:30pm for the beginning of the Welcome Fours on Thursday morning…
While in the other corner, the Buffed Helmets’ debrief rages on, long after everyone had gone home.
Categories: Lawn Bowls
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