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Bowls In Focus : December 2011
Bowls In Focus 43 important or they would get foot and mouth disease. Pete sniggered loudly as Mary threw in a sweetener, she would bring along an extra large serve of tomato sandwiches for him if he played. He was in! With Milligan and Wal committed there was nowhere for me to go, I couldn’t leave them one short, so we had a date. Mary left with a very satisfied look on her face, while Wal looked bewildered and Milligan shook his head saying, ‘playing with the sheilas, what’s the world coming to? ’ From a safe distance Pete suggested Milligan would have to shave his legs if he was going to be playing in a skirt. The reply was unprintable. Starting play early caught us by surprise with a dew making the green sticky and the cool morning air was not what we were used to, while Milligan was having a lot of difficulty accepting that he had to take notice of a woman skip. And to upset him even more his opponent Ruby Dunlop, who was 75, had the wood on him, and to make matters worse he hadn’t been able to open the bar before play either. I’m afraid we weren’t making much of a contribution to the game, and although it was our club playing pennant it was difficult to stoke the fire in the belly. Wal wandered over from the rink he was playing on and suggested, ‘it just doesn’t feel right, need peppin’ up a bit’. Milligan gruffly agreed, ruing the restriction on the bar’s liquor licence, while Ruby insisted he be quiet while she was on the mat, which ruffled his feathers even more. This gal was stickler for the finer details of the laws. At the lunch break we were 15-shots down and still having trouble finding any rhythm as we retired to refresh ourselves and enjoy some speeches. Milligan wasted no time in opening the bar and his first stubby barely touched the sides. There were glares from some quarters about having the bar open during the game, but Milligan just gave them a hearty salute with his stubby, before Ruby piped up and asked ‘Mr Milligan’ if he might have some dry sherry on hand. Reaching into the dark recesses of a cupboard he unearthed an ancient flagon covered in dust and cobwebs. Dusting it off he poured Ruby a healthy sized snifter, eager to try anything to put her off her game. She enjoyed it so much she had another. Milligan tucked into the large plate of tomato sandwiches Mary had brought just for him and it wasn’t long before the front of his shirt was a tomato-stained quagmire. He then started on an old trick of his that he pulled out when he was having trouble beating an opponent. It included a rather detailed account of his preferred method for gutting and skinning rabbits, designed to make the hardiest stomach churn. Ruby listened intently and when he had finished told him that was how her husband Arnold used to do it and how she would put them in a pot to stew. Apparently Arnold - god rest his sole, ‘just loved bunny’. The conversation ended with Ruby promising to give Milligan her bunny stew recipe and agreeing that ‘yes’ she wouldn’t mind just another little sherry. The refreshed Milligan was primed and ready to go, and began to find his range. Ruby even congratulated him on several occasions, but whatever Milligan did, Ruby did better, the sherry hadn’t affected her steadiness, quite the opposite. It became a show in itself watching as they battled for the upper hand. Ruby was giving as good as she got from the fiercely competitive, tomato-stained, rabbit-skinning oaf. And just to keep things interesting she kept pointing out his indiscretions on laws and etiquette. Our team staged a gallant fight back but went down by five shots overall. In the Milligan and Ruby battle, Wal and I gave it to Ruby on a points decision, with her superior knowledge of the laws of the game being a telling factor. At the bar Ruby wrote down her stew recipe while enjoying a final sherry before leaving with her team. After they had departed, Wal and I loudly agreed that Milligan had been beaten by a better woman. ‘Mongrels...’ was about all I could decipher as we hastily made for the door. 529 High St, Echuca Vic 3564 p. 03 5482 1388 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.riverinabowls.com.au New coloured Dreamlines (Old series) all sizes $449 New coloured Redline SR size3&4 Lease your New Bowls for $250 per annum Lease them for 3 years and they are yours or exchange them annually New coloured Dreamlines email@example.com or visit www.riverinabowls.com.au Lease them for 3 years and they are yours or exchange them annually Now Available in Geelong Premiership colours Price $595 IllustrationbyRodMarget