by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Bowls In Focus : March April 2011
Bowls In Focus 47 The delicious Anna Jones was about to get a more interesting name as in five days she would be marrying Tony Rasmussen. Poor Jonesy, one of our selectors, was very apologetic but it was beyond his control. The wedding just happened to clash with our preliminary final and at least half our members were invited. We had to rearrange our team; some would forego the ceremony but would have to rush off to the reception. Others had been ‘informed’ by their wives that they had to attend the ceremony, as it was ‘just another game of bowls’ and what did it matter? Selection was difficult but we had to make do. Minty was in despair, he could see his plans crumbling before his eyes. All that pre-season training, skills work at practice, where recently he had focussed on teaching the leads to roll the jack to 21-metres and getting the rest of us to bowl to that length. Jonesy had to leave early; he had to finish making the tiered supports for the wedding cake. Milligan, who had noth- ing to do with selection, but was always there on the pretext of opening the bar, added his usual robust thoughts. “Don’t worry, we haven’t lost to this mob for two years, not about to on Sat’dy either.” The pillar of strength had spoken, so an extra round of drinks was needed to help us believe he was right. Minty’s wife Isabelle had a distant relation from Yorkshire staying with them and he wanted to watch the game. When we stopped to pick up Minty, old Merv clambered in as well and they sat in the back alongside Jack. Milligan up front didn’t bother greet- ing them when they got in the car. He was too busy eating a pie and concen- trating on not spilling the opened stubby at his feet. Merv asked in his strong Yorkshire brogue: “Wha’s tha’ you eatin’?” “Pie,” replied Milligan, pastry and gravy spread across his lips and tomato sauce down the front of his shirt. “It’s part of his five course lunch,” I added, “one pie and four beers.” “Not a’ good a’ Yorkshire Pud,” replied Merv, his accent needing a lot of translation. But Milligan is partial to his pies and went on the attack, “Didn’t want a flamin’ pudding, I wanted a pie,” he grumbled. “No, it be pastry wi’ roast beef and vegetables, better ‘an pie,” the crusty old Pom retorted. Minty stepped in and changed the subject to the game ahead, knowing first hand how cantankerous Merv could be, and he didn’t want Milligan to get upset as today he was skipping in place of Todd, who was best man at the wedding. It was going to be interesting because we had put Wal in as his third. He and Milligan were just beginning to get over their little spat after the vandal trapping shemozzle. Merv asked for a taste of Milligan’s beer, so the big man he passed over the warm remains of his stubby. “Not bad, but not as good as Black Sheep tho,” he snarled. I could see Milligan’s mind at work, formulating an unsavoury connection between Yorkshire men and sheep. Minty came to the rescue explaining that Black Sheep was the name of a brewery in Yorkshire famous for its lagers and ales. With the game underway there was plenty of support for the opposition being a town- based club, but encourag- ingly we were holding our own, even with our vastly changed side. Wal and Milligan were teaming well and held a good lead early. Merv was no slouch on the sidelines either; giving plenty of vocal support in his strong accent, which bemused and confused everyone. He also showed an understanding of the game. A dispute broke out when Milligan was on the mat ready to play but his op- ponent and third remained in deep dis- cussion in front of the head. In no mood for niceties the stand-in skip bellowed for the umpire, which got the partisan crowd involved as several told Mil- ligan to move elsewhere; but not as politely. When the umpire sided with Milligan and gave the offending players a warning, a member of the crowd took exception and heckled Milligan relentlessly. Merv moved over, telling him “You no more ‘an village idiot,” and offered to ‘arrange face like pie’. I don’t know whether the heckler was frightened or just confused, but he certainly calmed down after that. We managed to sneak across the line having played our hearts out and it was just good enough. The Yorkshire man was ecstatic, vigorously shaking our hands and slapping Milligan on the back, say- ing “ He were brilliant.” That put an extra spring in the big man’s step and left Wal, who thought he was just as responsible for the win, a little miffed. The drive home was boisterous; Milligan had found a worthy drinking companion in Merv, who was develop- ing a taste for the local bitter. They sang, laughed and often wondered what the other was on about. But there was no confusion when Merv began stirring the ‘dozy tosser’ on the sidelines for ‘bangin’ on like that’. “Aye,” replied Merv, “Clammed up like Scotsman’s wallet when I stepped in, e’ did.” We all laughed as Milligan shouted him another ale. Anyone telling Milligan ‘he were brilliant’ was a friend for life. Cupid’s arrow and a dour foreigner made a big impression on Milligan and his motley mates in this latest yarn from the pen of ‘bush bowling bard’ Doug Maconachie... “ When you lose don’t lose the lesson” Henselite, Almark, Taylor, Drakes Pride, Greenmaster, Taylor, Greenz, Hunter, Comfortpro, Greenmaster, Aledge, Holland Park, Cathead, Toressi, Domino, Fletcher Jones, City Clubs, Goodrich IllustrationbyRodMarget Crikey, we’ll all go barmy if this keeps going on!