The big derby crept up on us unannounced. Completely oblivious of the opportunity for pre-match hype and sizzle, the DCBC as usual pinned up the roster list for the night for people to see as they got their first sausage. The unbeaten Shanes combinations were pitted in a classic duel.
Our regular lineup of self, Dave, Hunter and Dean were matched against respectively Robbo, Allan, Tracy and Scotty. I was quietly confident I could beat my man. Paul "Robbo" Roberts is the wrong side of 40, the typical journeyman who has tried it all: boxing, computer programming, folk music, rhythmic gymnastics, and now lawn bowls.
Unfortunately, in boxing terms, Robbo sat me on my arse in round one, and I took a long time to get up. He bowled an immaculate line and a generous length, and wore down several sticks of chalk with his accuracy. I bowled like a dog all night, with my bowls often bracketing the head, the shortest and longest of 16 attempts. It was a tricky night for bowling, with a slow green and gusty winds, but better bowlers adapt to the conditions.
Scoring was tight for a few ends, then As snuck out to 5-2. We reeled them in with 3 shots on the next end. They cheekily answered with 3 of their own. Tracy was bowling very well, Scotty was a safe pair of hands at the finish of each end. Allan was a bit wayward but we just couldn't make any inroads on the scoreboard.
With three ends to go we were down 12-5. We picked up one, then two, leaving us needing five off the last to win. I trotted down to the head to give Hunter advice. After Hunters first bowl gave the first and second shots a bit of a bingle about, I told him we were one down. I was actually wrong. After he had sent down a wayward drive, I realised were holding one shot and that his last bowl had been completely wasted. Had a shovel been to hand I would have made a mess of Rink 1 digging myself a hole.
We pulled back 2 shots there for a final score of 12-10, but that flattered us. Too little too late. Well done As - still unbeaten after 5 rounds I think. Whereas for the losers, it's a 5am rollup at the greens tomorrow to practice, practice, practice.