2017 Super Challenge – Round 10

March 26, 2017

Silver Round 10 vs Musgrave Hill (Home)

The final game of the home and away season saw Red Hill at home against Musgrave Hill. This battle of the hills was high stakes as the winners would advance directly to the finals while the loser would have to take on either Toombul or Cleveland in a knockout game.

Our singles game saw Jet again take on Des Duller where we hoped for revenge on our home track after Des had won 31-29 in an enthralling first encounter. Des was quick out of the blocks and picked up a 3 on the first end and looked to add more big numbers on the 2nd end before Jet came in and cut him down to a single. Jet seemed a bit out of sorts but managed to get a few ends together and led 7-6 before disaster struck dropping a 4 and then a 3 in consecutive ends. No problem, we thought, as Jet started to fight back again but another dropped 4 looked to have sealed his fate. But a further fightback saw Jet again close the margin. The problem of course was that Des was sitting on 28 and Jet didn’t have much margin for error and despite closing to within 4 shots we eventually went down 24-31.

So down 1-0 and the Manager was looking around trying to find some scoreboards that were in our favour, and it was a fruitless search for a long time.

Our best hope looked to be the triples rink of FIllett, Marto and Roller who, as a combination, had been on a 7 game winning streak – and we so badly needed them to continue that streak this week. The boys got off to a good start on the scoreboard pretty much due to some great bowls by Roller but by the halfway mark the scoreboard only stood to our advantage by a single shot. But the Fillett and Marto found a bit more consistency in their games and we strung together a series of ends to establish a good 22-14 lead and we maintained this gap right through to the finish to run out winners 31-21.

So one all overall and still looking for 2 more rinks. At this time I had sent a phone message saying “Kitch down by 1 with 6 to play, Haydos 1 up with 6 to play and fours all square with 5 to play” Needless to say this was anyone’s game!!

The first team to give us some hope was the Haydos/Tank combination. And who would have thought that after they were down 3-11 after just 6 ends and being anything but comfortable. But the fightback began and we clawed our way back into the game to be up 16-15 with 6 to go. We exchanged shots over the next few ends but the important thing is we only dropped singles while we picked up a couple of 2s so we were leading 20-16 and the sideline had hope. But as usual with this rink the comfort levels vanished and we dropped a few shots a led 20-19 playing the last. We were holding shot until a moved jack threw the game wide open but then a magic bowl by Haydos saw him draw close and we snuck home 21-19.

Down at the other end of the park Bwain and Kitch were also in a tight tussle. This had been a rink that looked to be going in our favour in the early ends when we strung together a series of ends to establish a 12-6 lead. But it was proving extremely difficult to maintain as Musgrave kept coming back at us so, at the 18th end the score sat at 16 all then after the 20th end the score sat at 17 all. So coming into the last end both leads were, by their standards, a tad loose and shot was still available but then Musgrave dropped one right on top of jack and we were chasing. Bwian played a couple of crackers and managed to touch the jack but couldn’t dislodge it. Kitch then barely missed with his first attempt but his second one held wide on the wind and we went down 17-18 in a top class game.

So now the scoreboard sat at 2 all and the winner of the Fours was to be the decider.

Our fours team of Aka, Ned, Axe and Chappy had proven to be one very tough group only dropping one game in the last 6 and that was only by 1 shot. So we had faith that in a tight finish we may prevail. The way the game started it was looking to be anything but tight with all the hillbillies contributing well to establish a 14-5 lead just after halfway. But then something happened, and it was all bad for us as we dropped a series of ends and all of a sudden our comfortable lead had gone and we were down 14-15. And this could have been an irretrievable lead if Chappy had not drawn to the ditch with his last bowl when Musgrave were holding big numbers. From this point on the boys absolutely knuckled down and got the lead back out to 3 shots playing the last end. They then played that end superbly with Aka keeping them going the right way all day and put one close, Ned added 2 beauties and then Axe played the important covering bowls so there was nowhere for Musgrave to pick up a multiple count. It was so good this end that Chappy didn’t even have to play his last bowl and we snuck home 19-15.

So much jubilation at the Hill (Red not necessarily Musgrave) as we recorded a 3-2 victory and took top spot. At the halfway point of the season we had won 3 from 5 but we came home well winning all 5 of the return matches. We were undefeated at home, but just as importantly, we won on the road 3 times so we proved we can do it. We are now loo king forward to the final game in 2 weeks time.