Pirates spare Blackjack’s blushes

Blackjack Blake Signal is relieved, after he quite literally put his butt on the line in the inaugural Bowls3Five televised league.

The Stokes Valley Vipers rep had a wager with Gore Rams youngster Caleb Hope that if either of their clubs won the title, the loser would have to get a tattoo of the winning team’s emblem on their backside.

Hope was safe ahead of the final week of competition, with the Vipers finishing outside the top three, but the Rams were in the playoffs for the Bowls3Five trophy.

When Gore then beat the Stoke Thunder in the grand final qualifier to progress to the title decider against the Point Chevalier Pirates, Signal began to get nervous.

The New Zealand rep became Pt Chev’s number one fan for a day and switched his Stokes Valley colours for a Pirates jersey.

It was not looking good for Signal in the grand final, when the Rams won the first set 8-0 and were seemingly in control of the second.

But Aiden Takarua and Alex Reed then came to the rescue for Pt Chev and Signal, winning the second set and the tie-breaker end.

“I was looking at getting a ram on my behind, but thank goodness for Alex Reed putting the kitty in the ditch to save my a** and probably save my life because my wife wouldn’t have been too happy,” he said.

Blake Signal lives in Australia but that did not stop him from being part of the inaugural competition and he has declared he will “definitely” be back next year.

“We’re getting bowls on TV which we haven’t had for a long, long time,” Signal said.

“I’m a Stokes Valley boy through and through…and my heart is still in the Valley and I love coming over and playing for them.”