make a fist of

make a good/bad/etc. fist of (something)

To do or complete something to a degree of satisfaction that is specified by an adjective immediately preceding "fist." Primarily heard in UK. Wow, you and the lads made a good fist of painting the house! For an amateur, she didn't make a bad fist of performing on stage.
See also: bad, fist, good, make, of

make a — fist of

do something to a specified degree of success. informal
1998 Times An opening stand of 99 by Hancock and Hewson helped Gloucestershire to make a decent fist of it yesterday.
See also: fist, make, of