Southsea hosted a group of 13 from Portchester Petanque Club on Saturday 21 July for a day of friendly play. The initial idea was to play 2 rounds of Southsea vs Portchester friendly competition in the morning before lunch, then a 3 round ‘pound in the pot’ melee in the afternoon. In the end the extreme heat shelved the afternoon melee as a ‘competition’ to allow people to sit out, but the morning rounds went ahead as planned and the afternoon went ahead as social play.
Due to injuries/illness Southsea were 2 players short of Portchester’s 13, so 4 doubles and a triple from Southsea faced off against 2 doubles and 3 triples from Portchester.
The prize for the morning competition was a very carefully chosen Portchester Castle coloured in Southsea pink.
The first round of play went Southsea’s way ending 4-1. Then, in the second round Portchester couldn’t turn it around, and Southsea took 4 matches again to run out 8-2 winners overall. A good achievement since 4 of Southsea’s 11 were newcomers. Ron and Anne only started playing a month ago, Bruce, a couple of months, and David around 4 months. Probably home advantage helped a lot as the Southsea terrain surface plays very differently to Portchester.
Southsea chairman Peter presents the pink castle to Dawn.
Following the ‘match’ the two teams settled down for an hour lunch, a few nipping into Nelsons Bar for refreshments. After lunch it was ‘toe the line’ and 24 boules towards the jack to sort out teams for a couple of rounds of friendly play.
Everyone who took part seemed to enjoy themselves, well done Dawn for organising.
Southsea hosted Handcross for a Div 3 (East) match on Thursday 12 July.
Southsea’s triples were Peter/Andy/Colin who faced Jane/Nigel/Mike, and Matt/Trevor/David who faced Maria/Gerard/Bill. Pete/Andy/Col raced into an 8-0 lead with some great shooting and pointing. They then edged up to twelve however during that section allowed Handcross a ‘big end’ to come back into the game. In the end it was a Handcross win to 12 as Southsea couldn’t quite close it out. Over on the other terrain though Matt/Trevor/David had a much easier time of it, winning quickly to 2. Well done David on his first league victory.
So although it could easily have been 2-0 going into the doubles it was 1-1 and all to play for………..
Doubles were Peter/Andy vs Mike/Bill, Matt/Dawn vs Maria/Gerard, and Trev/Brian vs Nigel/Jane. Peter/Andy stayed ahead most of their game with Mike/Bill finding it difficult to adjust to the terrain, ending up 13-7 winners. Matt/Dawn struggled in a game they could have won and lost 13-7. That left the full weight on the shoulders of Trevor/Brian playing the Handcross top pairing. Trev/Bri had took an early lead, and although Nigel/Jane came back at them a bit, the Southsea pairing kept their nose in front and closed the game out for a 13-9 victory.
In the end a great finish, but overall slightly disappointing as I think with a little luck we could have utilised our home advantage to give a 5-0 win. However a win is a win (and a bonus point), especially given it was a tussle for the top. Well done Southsea, especially Trevor/Brian for a fine doubles win.
Southsea 3 – Handcross 2
Southsea now top of the Div 3 (East) league table.
Andy and Peter entered the SCPA regional singles and shooting competitions held at Fareham on 8th July.
The singles consisted of leagues of 6 with 5 games to try and make it through into the main knockout in the afternoon.
Peter started well, beating England ladies Team regular and European Espoirs shooting champion Sammy Thatcher 13-12 after being 4-11 down. (EDIT-Sammy T chosen for European champs singles today-Great singles win) Andy also started with a win against Hassi Leverett in a close fought encounter on the stony terrain just sneaking it 13-11.
Peter also managed a second win against Nick Corner, but at 2 wins 2 losses his hopes of making the main knockout were dashed by Paul Leverett in a 13-12 thriller giving 2 wins, 3 losses.
Andy comfortably qualified, managing a 4-1 win record including wins against Bernie Miles and Dave Lucas, and a nice (albeit flattering due to luck) 13-2 win against Mark Robertshaw who made EPA singles semi final last year.
In afternoon play Andy went out in the first knockout round of the main against last years winner Richard Greeves, hopes dashed by a Greeves carreaux with score at 11-11. Peter however favoured much better in the plate, making his way via a bye then wins against Bernie Miles and Tony Giordano into the final before being overcome against Paula Fauvel. Well done Peter fighting his way into a singles final.
In the shooting Peter was unlucky to be a bit rushed having to do both rounds after having played lots of singles games, but Andy was able to take a bit more time, and did reasonably well, being tied 4th on 34 with Sammy Thatcher for a long time, hoping for a play-off to reach the final until the last possible moment, when Malcolm McKenzie shot a 10m jack for 5 points to lift his score into 4th with 38.
(Hopes though that Southsea’s new shooting mat should help in this department for next year.)
Eventual overall winners were Jamie Brooks in the main singles beating Malcolm McKenzie in the final, and Lee Jamieson in the shooting beating Mark Robertshaw, Tony Kidd and Malcolm McKenzie in a four-way final.
Dawn and Andy from Southsea (along with Obut-Wan-Kenobi) recently travelled to watch ‘La Mondial Marseillaise a Petanque’, the largest Petanque competition in the world featuring over thirteen thousand players. In fact, after responding to a facebook request, Andy actually managed to take part in the competition. Dawn, Andy and Obut-Wan arrived a few days before the comp. So there was time for a bit of holidaying first.
Obut in holiday mode….
Before the competition all three visited La Ciotat where the sport of Petanque was invented. The local boulodrome had a contingent from the USA visiting, and Dawn/Andy played a doublette with a couple of Yanks, one who whom turned out to have represented the States in the World Championships.
Obut reading sign at Jules Lenoir Boulodrome..
Jules Lenoir Boulodrome…
Federation Petanque USA at La Ciotat..
A couple of days later it was onto the competition. Lee Herring the team organiser had sorted out the terrain to be played on. As the early stages of the tournament can be all over the city luckily it was in the local Park Borely where all later rounds are played. The team visited for a ‘nosey’ and practice. It turned out the terrain was a road surface complete with camber over which there was a smattering of white grit stones. Surprisingly on the surface it was easier to soft lob rather than merely roll, but the camber meant being very precise in aiming taking slope into account.
In the morning the first thing the opposition made sure of was not rules of the game, but instead rules of who would buy the drinks (It was winners). The game was pretty easy and ended 13-2. So we retired to the bar for Pastis at the grand old time of 11am in the morning.
Team Grande Bretage first round win.. Andy Walker (Southsea Petanque Club) Chris Kitson (Trafford Petanque Club) Lee Herring (City of Bath Petanque Club)
The second game was to start between 2pm-3pm. The terrain was an open piece of ground (grit on road surface again) in the blazing heat. We turned up at 2, with the other team ambling on at 5 minutes to 3. They had one fantastic player, probably equal to top ten Petanque England, but in his triple there was also one poor player. In the end, petanque triples being a team game, our three adequate players triumphed over a team with a weak link even if it did include a very good player. 13-7 and back to the bar for more Pastis.
The third game was adjacent to Parc Borely in the ‘Hippodrome’ on a baked hard clay surface. Our opponents were nowhere to be seen in the end turning up very late. This meant us ending as pretty much the last game (of about 300) in the Hippodrome with two large black and white striped arbitres looming over us. The slope was vicious, requiring sometimes a two metre off aim adjustment. Our opponents were used to hard clay rolling surfaces pointing in more adeptly than us, but luckily there was a ‘kicked up’ softer area into which you could lob where we proved to be better. It ended up a game of ‘coche control’ and the soft area was just too small to consistently bring into play. In the end a 13-11 loss stopping us from playing on in the third day.
Back to the bar after the game for some drinks with our opponents. Team Grand Bretagne exiting the competition on the first day with over twelve thousand other players.
3rd round and out
In the end we were too late to pick up our losers prizes, but got them on the second day, a small bottle of pastis for each round, so three bottles. With no way of taking them home on the plane the day became one of drinking pastis to get rid of it/watching petanque stars in action/ finally playing petanque against others in the park absolutely blitzed. Obut-Wan managed to get in a few pics with petanque world champions during the day and on subsequent days.
Phillippe Suchaud multiple world champion.
Philippe Quintais multiple world champion
Marco Foyot(65) a Petanque winner since the early 1970’s
Up close at Lacroix/Rocher/Robineau vs Madagascar
Eventually we watched the semi-finals and final in the main stadium (moved to the heart of Marseille) before coming home.
Obut watching the first semi-final with the Madagascar team who would lose in the second semi.
All in all a great experience, to be recommended to anyone with an interest in Petanque.