MCC Kew Match Report Round 10
Round 10. Premier Division & Two’s.
Playing pennant doesn’t get any more stressful & disillusioning than this, particularly at Premier division level.
Visualise the situation; * It’s the 1st round of the 2nd half.(Round-10) * MCC-Kew has lost all 9 first round matches. * MCC-Kew had led the round-9 match all day (against Yarraville/Footscray) , but gave it away at the 82nd end when they dropped a 6 on one rink. *That was shattering enough, but on Saturday against Mentone, we led by 5 shots on the main score-board with 3 ends to play on our tiff-dwarf running beautifully.* Only one rink remained on the green. * Garry Ball’s rink had 3 ends to play & trailed 15/17, and that’s when the chips where down. The match was there to be won, but they had hit a horror patch having dropped the previous 3-ends & 6-shots, after leading 13/11.
· Their 19th end was a disasterous result, dropping 4-shots.
· MCC-Kew now led by only one shot overall with 2-ends to play.
· MCC-Kew drop another one-shot on the 20th-end.
· Now only one end to be played by the Ball rink, and the main-score-board is all tied up at 80/80. Winner of the last end (84th) takes the desperately needed ten match points. Remember too that Mentone is top of the Premier Division ladder, & MCC-Kew is stone winless last.
· MCC-Kew had already pocketed 4+points with 2 rink winners in the club-house.
Here’s how the final end unfolded. It was riveting....
MCC-Kew sequence of our last 8-bowls. (Medium length end)
· (L) Richard Marsh, in his debut match in the top side, draws his fist bowl 1m short,
- his 2nd is a better length, around 1’ short & on-line, which is the shot. MCC-Kew now 1+
· (2) Brad Chegwedden draws perfectly in tight on the jack, and MCC-Kew hold 2+shots, - his 2nd bowl is wide & long.
· The Mentone 2nd, drives gun barrel straight, and takes out both MCC-Kew shots,
so we’re now 2-down.
· (3) ‘General’ Grant Pickering draws his first too narrow, & his bowl runs inside & past the head. He uses running weight with his next, trying to run into the head & turnover the short bowls, but runs too thick & wide missing everything & finishes wide & long. We’re still 2-down.
· (S) Garry ‘Major’ Ball now wears all the pressure of trying to save this match
on his own with the 2-bowls left in his hands. You could hear the tension, - & not a sound from the now huge crowd.
· The Mentone skips first bowl doesn’t change the head, but Mentone still hold the shot.
· With his first bowl, the ‘Major’ runs with a ‘swinger’ into the head, brushing a short bowl on the way & crashes the ‘cake’ 4 metres back sideways, to about 1-metre from the left boundary. This takes the shot back for MCC-Kew, with our shot bowl approx 2-feet away. MCC-Kew now 1+up, and hold the 10-match points, subject to the outcome of the very last Mentone bowl.
· The Mentone skip, Brendan McCallum, has one bowl left to take the shot & steal the match back, - & if not, Garry Ball won’t need to play his last bowl.
· Cool as you like, McCallum softly draws to the jack, and sits on it with a resting toucher. Bugger!!! The perfect bowl, which was even more brilliant given that the jack had been pushed back & sideways.
· Now, with the last bowl of the day in his hand, Garry Ball has to try & win back the match for the 2nd time, - as we’re now one shot down at the head, with the Mentone shot & jack sitting side-by-side about 6-inches apart.
· There is only one short bowl in a straight line between ‘Major’ Ball & the Jack which he would be expected to comfortably draw around.
· ‘The Major’ plays a slightly weighted draw shot, which is heading directly in line with the jack & shot bowl, & would probably split them, but he very narrowly rubs the short bowl, (only the thickness of a coat of paint) which throws his shot off line, & another match MCC-Kew should have won, is lost, - and that was heartbreaking.
· We salvage 4 points for the 2 rink wins, but it leaves MCC-Kew now locked into last position on the ladder, and virtual certainties to be relegated back to Division-1 next season, unless the top-side squad can find a magic wand, with only 8 rounds to be played.
The Teams & rink Scores: Premier Div. Round-10 v Mentone
MCC-Kew 80 lost to Mentone 81. Points 4/14
(S) Safuan Said, (3) Brian Wintrip, (2) Tris Doolan, (L) Eng Ang
(S) Richard Kopcewicz, (3) Garry Lasky, (2) Peter Scerri, (L) Craig Anderson
(S) Ray Jansen, (3) Tom Ristic, (2) Gordon Unwin, (L) Aaron Van Haaften
(S) Garry Ball, (3) Grant Pickering, (2) Brad Chegwedden, (L) Richard Marsh
Next round # 11. v Essendon away on Friday night, (18th Dec) has been cancelled due to excessive heat conditions. The next round-12 match versus Clayton at home, will be played on Saturday 16th January.
A few selected highlights from the Mentone match.
· Richard Marsh played his debut match for the club in Saturday pennant
for the Premier side, leading for Garry Ball. He delivered an impressive first up performance.
· Ray Jansen’s winning rink scored 2 x 4’s – 1 x 3, & a 5+ in winning 11 of the 21-ends.
· The Richard Kopcdewicz rink scored 12+shots to 4 over their last 5-ends, including
2 x 5’s to put MCC-Kew in front on the main board.
· The Ray Jansen rink played their part in the fight back, winning 4 of their last 5 ends,
Including a 5+ on their 17th end.
· On his last end (21st) Ray Jansen was 2-down at the changeover, - he dead drew the shot with his first, which the Mentone skip immediately removed. Then with his last bowl Jansen dead drew another, for the 1+up shot which Mentone could not change.
2-brilliant bowls under massive scoreboard pressure.
· MCC-Kew were 6-shots behind at the half-way mark. 38/44, and took a one shot lead on the main board after the 50th end. 48/47.
· On the critical 83rd end, & 20th for the Garry Ball rink, (MCC-Kew leading 80/79)
Grant Pickering (3rd) dead draws tight to hold 2+ shots at the changeover, but
Mentone’s Brendan McCallum plays an even tighter draw to take the shot back.
· The Ball rink lost 7 of their last 9-ends, dropping 16-shots to 3, & up until the 13th end, they had led Mentone 12/7, but scored only 3 more shots, going down 15/23.
· The Safuan Said rink went down by 7-shots, after winning only 7 of the 21-ends,
made up of 5 x 2’s, 8 x 1’s & 1 x 3, but no big wounding multiples. 7 of Saf’s 14 winning shots were taken in 2 x ends.
· Our tiff-dwarf green was in perfect condition, and a delight to play on in the warm sunny conditions, running at about 15-16 seconds.
“The MCC-Kew top side now stands at 10-rounds for 10-losses,...so what now?”
Coach ‘Major’ Garry Ball has emailed all club pennant players during last week, to confirm his selection strategy that the Premier Division top-side would continue to be selected on merit, and that the BEST 16 players on the club list will be selected to represent the club. He believes the Premier side still has a chance of avoiding relegation back to Division-1 next season, with 8-rounds still to be played. (Now only 7 rounds, with Round-11 having been cancelled.) The teams performance against Mentone on Saturday (12/12) is proof of that confidence & possibility, where MCC-Kew (last on the 10-team ladder) should have beaten the top of the ladder Mentone!
And, it’s true we should have beaten Yarraville/Footscray in round-9, & won at least 3 other matches where MCC-Kew were leading, but just ran out of puff over the closing ends, - where games are won or lost.
If the Premier team reaches the point of where there is no chance of avoiding relegation, then it would be a reasonable strategy to select top side players in the two’s, to ensure the seconds retain their spot in Division-3, because at present they are struggling, having won only 4 of their 10 outings.
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The TWO’s in the BLUES!
4 wins from 10 outings is not the result the club was expecting from our second side. Promoted this season from Division-4, the Two’s have struggled to build winning rink scores, & when we have, there’s usually been one rink that has been smashed, which pulls the main score board down into deficit regardless of the other rink winners.
The critical factor for the remaining 8 matches (now only 7, with Round11 being cancelled) is to ensure we win at least 4 of the 8, to hold our status in Division-3 next season, or for the more optimistic, - to win at least 6 of these matches, and sneak into a finals spot.
After round-10, MCC-Kew (two’s) is now in equal 7th position on the ladder, and scheduled to play 9th placed Kingsbury on their grass, (19/12) to close out 2015.
Make no mistake, Division-3 is tough. It’s no walk in the park, like Round 10 on Saturday against Fairfield on our plastic. We had a serious battle on our hands from the first end, and went to the tea-break down-14 shots. (31/45) The rink scores after 42 ends were;
· Richard Gale 7/13
· Graeme Spry 5/12
· Simon Collett 10/8
· Ron Scerri 9/12 MCC-Kew 31/45
The second half of the match didn’t change the rink results, with only Simon Collett’s rink continuing their winning momentum, - but the other 3-rinks could not change their fortune, with all 3 going down, and MCC-Kew lost the match 66/79. We’d improved by only ONE shot on the main scoreboard over the 2nd half to a team that was about even with us on the ladder.
Graeme Spry’s rink got away to an ugly start dropping their first 10-ends to be trailing 0/12, but then miraculously snatched a 5+ on the 11th, but from there they could only manage to score another x 4 singles over the next 10-ends & went down by 10-shots.
The Ron Scerri rink too was in early trouble when they dropped their first 5-ends, to be down 0/10, but then got their game under control, & won 5 of the next 6-ends to be trailing 9/12, but they couldn’t hold Fairfield who out-scored them 12/8 in the run home, and they lost 17/24.
Simon Collett skipped his first match with the ‘Two’s’ this season & showed his class throughout his rink’s 7+shot win, although he did get one-behind on the 12th after dropping 7-shots over 3-ends. They recovered to win the next 6 of 7-ends and earn our only 2-points for the match, winning 21/14.
Richard Gales rink took on a new look for this round, introducing 2 young (Under 21) touring Malaysian’s. Nur Nabilah played as the lead, and delivered probably one of the best lead’s games I’ve seen playing with or against. She was simply brilliant. Hanif Syafi played as the 3rd, & clearly showed his class with his stylishly silky delivery.
However, in spite of all in the Gale rink playing great bowls, the Fairfield skip tore our good work apart, and kept stealing ends from us. For instance, on the 4th, we held 5+ shots & he drew shot. On the 5th we held 3+ and he drew a toucher with his last. We held 4+ on 13 which he killed. We held 3+ on 20, which he killed. He single handedly stole around 20+ shots off us, & was the difference between us taking the 2-rink points.
The teams & Rink Scores v Fairfield. Div-3 Sec-3 Round 10.
MCC-Kew lost to Fairfield 66/79
(S) Simon Collett, (3) Colin Waddell, (2) Rod Donaldson, (L) Chris Fraser
(S) Richard Gale, (3) Hanif Syafi, (2) Geoff Mathers, (L) Nufr Nabilah
(S) Graeme Spry, (3) John Joyce, (2) Charles Xerri, (L) Jennifer Craig
(S) Ron Scerri, (3) Paul Wintrip, (2) Virginia Crean, (L) Peter Lambert
Next round - 11. v Kingsbury, away on Sat 19th Dec, has been cancelled due to the 41 degree heat forecast, so the next round for the ‘Two’s’ will be at home on Sat 16th Jan versus Hurstbridge.