Good luck to the four triples teams representing the SPA at this weekend’s Celtic Challenge in Wales. Scotland are aiming to retain the trophy having won it in 2011 and 2012. The Scotland 1 team of Paul Bretenoux, Robbie Stronach and John Wilson have not been beaten in a Celtic Challenge since 2010.
12 teams arrived at Fochabers PC on Sunday 21st April for the first Grand Prix of 2013. Players were greeted to bacon rolls & coffee at breakfast (thank you Shirley) and a veritable feast of chilli, nachos and Mrs Stronach’s famous home baking for lunch. The SPA would like to thank Fochabers PC and all their volunteers for their hospitality over the whole weekend. We were delighted that the SPA’s founding President, Chris Pern, paid a visit to the piste during the competition.
The SPA are using the Swiss Ladder system to determine the order of play and the BHN/fBHN ranking method. In addition, timed games have been reintroduced this year. Games are limited to 60 minuted plus an additional end (with a one boule each tie breaker if necessary).
The teams seemed to adapt to the new format quite easily and, with play ceasing bang on 6 pm the timed games element worked out perfectly.
Ranking points and standings in the Grand Prix Series are therefore as follows:
Congratulations to Les Cremants, Grand Prix 1 winners:
Fochabers PC held their traditional Spring Fling on Saturday 20th April, the day before the SPA Grand Prix. 15 teams (a mixture of pairs and triples) entered and were divided into 4 leagues in the qualifier rounds. The top 8 qualified for the main competition knockout and the remainder played in the Plate. Games were limited to 9 points.
Winners in the main competition were Anne & Robin Gardiner (Troon). The winners of the plate were John McAllister (Penicuik) and Art Ager (Inverleith).
Les Cremants secure victory in Fochabers. More to follow.
The new petanque piste in Penicuik Park is now open. This project has been two years in the making and Penicuik Petanque Club are very grateful to all who have been involved in its delivery. Penicuik PC would especially like to thank the following people:
- Councillor Adam Montgomery for his enthusiasm and support for our cause in the early stages, for identifying the site and for being happy to help whenever needed.
- Penicuik Community Sport Hub for agreeing to fund the facility in full via their Sportscotland funding stream. Community Sport Hubs are a Sportscotland initiative which aims to provide a lasting sporting legacy for community sport in the wake of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The piste is only one of several projects which Penicuik Community Sport Hub have helped deliver for its member clubs in its short history.
- Councillor Derek Rosie for his offer of financial assistance (which as yet has not been needed) and for helping to ensure the project was complete in time for the beginning of the 2013 season.
- To all Midlothian Council employees who have helped plan and deliver the project.
The petanque piste is a vital part Penicuik PC’s long term plan to develop a vibrant petanque club in Penicuik. The club is open to all but they are especially keen to recruit young members. They are holding taster sessions for 200 school children in May and youth coaching sessions throughout June and July. Their aim is to unearth the Scottish Champions of the future and to provide a pool of players from Penicuik who could be selected for the Junior World and Junior European Championships.
Equally as important as meeting the needs of Penicuik’s growing club, the piste also provides a valuable community resource. It is open to the public and is free to use. Penicuik PC have donated four sets of leisure boules, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, for members of the public to use.
Troon PC will host the Bensley Freight Open Pairs on Sunday 28 April. Registration 1pm for 1.30 start.
The Scottish petanque season began in earnest on Sunday 7th April at Perth Petanque Club with the annual North v South challenge.
A total of 56 (that’s 56!) players registered – the North v South is clearly a popular format! Hopefully we will see similar numbers attend club open and SPA competitions this year. Players were divided into 10 teams for each side, with only 8 lanes available on the purpose built terrain, two games in each round would need to be played in the carpark – an unprepared surface with tiles, bricks and large stones scattered across it – a very real challenge!
Scotland’s clubs were well represented in the 10 teams on each side:
SOUTH; Troon (12 players), Inverleith (7), Penicuik (4), Birds & Bees (5)
NORTH; Birds & Bees (3) Perth (12), Inverness (9) and Fochabers (4)
The damp and cold weather meant that the planned five rounds were restricted to four. The North roared to a 7-3 lead after the first round. Honours were even in the next round meaning the North took their lead of 12-8 into lunch. The third round saw the North claim a further 8 victories, taking the match score to 20-10. This left the South needing to win all games in the final round to tie and retain the trophy.
In the end the South claimed 7 games in the final round to leave the final score North 23 v 17 South.
The SPA would like to thank Perth Petanque Club for their hospitality including the breakfast roll, hot drinks and warming lunch which were much appreciated on such a cold day.
The next SPA event is Grand Prix 1 at Fochabers on Sunday 21st April. Don’t forget that Fochabers Petanque Club are holding their ‘Spring Fling’ on Saturday 20th April (1 pm).
It is with deep sadness and regret that I have to announce that former SPA President Byron Milton passed away on Wednesday 27th March.
In a playing career which spanned well over three decades Byron achieved countless titles in Scotland and further afield, a regular place in the Scotland squad and was one of the most successful players in Scottish petanque’s history. One of petanque’s most memorable characters, he will be sorely missed by all.
On behalf of the SPA I would like to pass on our deepest sympathy to his wife Sandra and all his club mates and friends at the Birds & Bees.
Colin Stewart, President
The Competition Committee confirm that registration for the North v South on 7th April in Perth will open from 10.00 – 10.30 am with a 10.45 start.