2017 Super Challenge – Round 8

March 26, 2017

Silver Round 8 vs Algester (Away)

Round 8 for our Silver Super Challenge team saw us travel over to Algester in an attempt to win the away game to consolidate our spot near the top of the ladder. We weren’t sure what we were going to find by way of the green as our Bronze team had been over there the week before and found a lush slow paddock but this wasn’t the case for us as we were on a nice surface running somewhere around 14 to 15 – a perfect speed to play bowls. Algester had made quite a number of positional changes from the team we beat at the Hill so it was going to be an interesting challenge.

The Jet was again our singles player having had a home win against Algester and was looking to complete the double but more incredibly Jet was also looking for his first win of the season away from home. Things weren’t going to plan early losing the first few ends but there weren’t any particular worries as Jet had a lot of good bowls in the head but the opposition always managed to sneak in the spoiler. We thought things were back on track when Jet picked up a maximum count to square the match away but it wasn’t to be as Algester just kept the pressure on and eventually the Jet crashed going down 19-31.

So 0-1 down and the Manager was slightly concerned but could see a number of potential rink wins.

One of those rinks was the pairing of Tank and Haydos. While not having a totally comfortable game, they always seemed to have enough in reserve to counter anything that came their way. But when leading 8-3 it was a bit of a hiccup to drop a single and then a 4 to have the rink tied up. We then managed to sneak away again and some very accurate drives form Haydos saved our bacon on a few ends and we snuck away to what we hoped would be a match winning lead, and so it was as we eventually won the rink 21-11.

So one rink all and the Manager was a bit happier but still searching for those next 2 rinks.

Right beside the pairs we had the triples of Fillet, Marto and Roller and this combination had proven to be very solid this season taking all before them. But today it looked different as after 6 ends we had failed to score while the opposition had managed to score 11 shots. All Roller was hoping was that the luck would change and so it did as, before you knew it, the score stood at 11-12 and we were right back in it. A few swapped ends saw the score get to 20-18 to us and it was game on but again we came up with the goods. Fillet was superb up front, Marto did a lot of damage in the middle particularly always making sure we at least had 2nd shot and Roller was great at the back end, (once he stopped worrying about wicks), and we ran out winners 26-21.

So 2-1 to us but the Manager was still very worried, with very good reason.

Bwian and Macca were our other pairs combination and got off to the ideal start recording a 7 on the 3rd end – Bwian tells us it was Macca’s bowl which missed the count! The boys then played some nice steady bowls and were leading 14-7 at the halfway mark so the Manager had sharpened his pencil and put this one in the book. But then we dropped a 5 and Algester were right back in it. The last few ends saw the teams sharing ends until we got to the final end with the scores locked at 19 all. A very tight head ensued with incredibly Bwian holding shot for a long while until Macca, with his third bowl drew the absolute shot, better still, in a hard place to get to. Not to be outdone the Algester skip then played a shot with a bit of weight and pushed bowls around and came up with shot, and it was a locked in back resting toucher. After much studying of the head Macca made the decision and proceeded to play his last shot and the only shot really available, a slightly overweight shot hopefully to get the jack and spring it to our bowls. Away it went, Macca, doing the goanna liked it pretty much all the way, got jack square and it bounced forward to Bwian’s strategically placed short bowl and we got the shot!! Much celebrations from our team including a pitch invasion from Roller (Goose) as we got away with the rink 20-19.

So the Manager was happy, we were leading 3-1 and only had the fours to go, and they had been in front and looking the goods.

After having a good week last week Aka couldn’t help himself and threw down a wrong bias in just the 3rd end, and to show it wasn’t a fluke, did it again on the 7th end. Aka has an interesting theory that when he does a “wrong way” his next bowl is superb and his mates play the end better as well……..interesting theory but I think I prefer the boring 2 bowls going in the right direction method. We had got to the halfway point on this rink holding a slender lead of 12-9 but all the boys were playing well so we weren’t concerned. But that changed when we dropped a number of ends and all of a sudden it was 12-17 down. Bearing in mind this was all happening at the same time as we were desperately searching for our third winning rink. But the boys fought back and Chappy was roaring as we got the lead back and got it out to 20-17. But alas, maybe the excitement of the Macca rink beside them took it out of the boys, we went down swinging (literally) 20-21.

But most importantly it was a 3-2 win which sets us up nicely for the final couple of games. All is looking pretty good for the team – we have searched the jet crash scene and found the black box so will be right for next week, Bwian and Aka will have remedial classes on which side the little circle goes on, Tank will remain comfortable and, in due course, Roller will pay for his pitch invasion with a red wig. Off to the carpet at Manly next week.

Bronze Round 8 vs Scarborough (Home)

As we entered the penultimate round of Super Challenge, our hopes remained high but we needed to beat the undefeated Scarborough on our home track to keep the dream alive. Alas, it was not to be. All rinks were very competitive but we just couldn’t get shots when needed and went down 1-4, a scoreline that does not do the Hillies justice.

Let’s start with the winning rink – the Triples! It was Almighty up front, Leon in the middle and a determined Brettman at skip. Although we led all day, the scores were always close. Some great up front bowls from Bruce and Leon kept the pressure on but after 24 ends our lead was just 20-18. Then Jamie, The Bear, Brettman, Goose, Humphrey, played an absolute gem of a bowl to take out the opposition shot, tickle the kitty (as the Bear can do) and trail for a match winning 4! We went on to win by 30-18.

In the Singles, Pottsy backed up after a brave effort at Algester. Mick was always in the game, but always just a shot or two behind against Scarborough’s Alan Denham. It was tight all the way but Pottsy eventually went down 24-31.

Our most reliable Foursome was reunited with Les up front, followed by Keith, Denis and Wally. Our boys got out early and led 6-0 but then got ‘stuck’ on 6!! We lost the next 6 ends, including a nasty 5 and found ourselves behind by 6-11 after 10 ends.
After 16 ends all looked lost when we trailed by 11-19 but that fighting spirit kicked in. The lads picked up 6 on the next 3 ends to be down just 17-19 with 2 to play. On the penultimate end the Hillies held a close in 4 but the Scarborough skip drew the ultimate shot, taking the wind from our sails. We picked up another 2 on the last end but still went down 19-20 in a really hard fought match.

Ando and Birksy were reunited in the Pairs and faced off against Messrs Bettridge and Dransfield. The home boys got out to lead 11-4 but holding shots was difficult. The visitors clawed their way back into the game and it was 19 all after 19 ends. Whilst the good guys held 2 good shots on the 20th end, the Scarborough lead found an incredible shot to move both our bowls and leave them with a well hidden 2 themselves. Trying to remove them proved fatal and our boys dropped an untimely 4. They managed to get 2 back on the last, whilst trying to ‘kill’ that end, but it was a loss by 21-23.

Finally we had the newly formed dream team of Magilla and Jason taking on Leonard and Galvin. The boys led by 9-6 after 8 ends and were definitely on top in the early clinches, as you would expect from a gorilla. The next 4 ends were disastrous as we dropped a 3, 3, 7 (sorry Jas but it has to go in there) and another 3 and , all of a sudden, we were down by 9-22. It proved too big of a lead to peg back and we went down in this one by 17-30.

So it probably brings an end to our finals aspirations BUT that won’t stop us taking out our frustrations at Carina next Sunday!