SPA Masters 2012

The 2012 Masters was hosted this year by Inverleith Petanque Club which will also be the venue for the 2013 Home Nations.  Inverleith’s variety of surfaces meant that the teams would experience playing competitively under a range of conditions; smooth pistes with small stones, bumpy pistes with larger stones and ‘The Hill’.

The top ranked Men’s players would be given the right to form a team to represent Scotland at the 2013 Men’s European Championships.  The top four teams will be invited to represent Scotland at the 2013 Celtic Challenge in Wales. The top eights teams will be invited to represent Scotland at the 2013 Home Nations.

The 12 teams which qualified from the Grand Prix Series earlier in the year arrived at 9am on Saturday, a bright but very breezy morning.  The order of play and playing areas were predetermined, with each team being allocated a random number which would determine the order of play.

At the close of play on the first day it was clear that The Sex Pisteols were in the mood to retain their title (which they had won in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011), with a perfect 6 wins.  Importantly this included wins against other fancied teams including Pretty Vacant and a convincing win against Grand Prix Series winners Deuchars IPA.  With a number of teams ending Saturday on 4 wins, they would all hope that The Pisteols would slip up on Sunday.

Play resumed on Sunday morning with the Pisteols continuing their fine form in games 7 and 8, but had a blip when they lost game 9 to the steely Acorns 13-12.  Their winning ways were restored swiftly after however and they won games 10 and 11 to finish the competition on 10 wins and retain the title.  Deuchars IPA were 2nd with 8 wins and Pretty Vacant and Champignons were 3rd and 4th respectively with 7 wins each.

Inverleith proved to be wonderful hosts, with delicious morning rolls on both days and chilli and a cold buffet for lunches.  Many thanks go to the volunteers behind the scenes for all their hard work, led by Christine Thomson and Mari Snell.

Congratulations to all who qualified for the International Squad for 2013.  Many thanks to the SPA Competition Committee (Shirley, John and Douglas) for their efficient management of the competition.


Team Name


Points Diff

Men’s European Squad

Celtic Challenge Squad

Home Nations Squad


Sex Pisteols







Deuchars IPA






Pretty Vacant

















Nord Ecosse















3 Bears








3 P’s







SPA Masters 2011

SPA MASTERS 2011 was hosted by Fochabers Petanque Club on their piste next to the Cricket Club in Fochabers over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of September.

The twelve teams and 41 players (five teams have 4 players) represented clubs from Fochabers (3), Inverleith (2), Inverness (1), Perth (2), Stirling (2), and Troon (2).

A ‘round robin’ format, 6 games were played on Saturday and 5 games on Sunday.

With an unfavourable weather report for the weekend players assembled at the piste on overcast but happily dry Saturday morning and play commenced promptly at 10:00.

Lunch from 1:00 to 2:00 and a sumptuous feast of soup, sausage rolls, sandwiches, scones, cakes, you name it, was provided by Mrs Stronach. And similar fare was repeated on Sunday! Much appreciated Robbie’s mum!

With no official umpire for the weekend teams were asked to solve, as far as possible, their measure situations and this was achieved with very few ‘third party’ requests.

The lure of a place at the World Championships for the winners and only four places at the Celtic Challenge table a dog eat dog competition was anticipated.

The day ended with four teams, Pretty Vacant, Nord Ecosse, Maboules and the Pisteols on 5 wins, followed by Triaxle and Just Us on 4 and 3 wins respectively and the other six teams fighting for the remaining 9 wins.

Sunday morning, overcast and threatening rain, progressed with little change in the overall standings. The afternoon brought rain, but no break in play, with the top five teams from Saturday still in the lead and at the end of the day the Pisteols took first place with 9 wins followed by Nord Ecosse with 8 wins and a 1 point difference over Pretty Vacant also on 8 wins. Triaxle – the new boys on the block, well Robin G is hardly a new boy but Paul and Kevin are – with 6 wins pipped Maboules – old boys and girls! – also on 6 wins by 7 points to claim 4th place.

The full result of SPA MASTERS 2011 –

1st – Pisteols (7th) Paul B, Robbie S and John Wilson. – 9w +49

2nd – Nord Ecosse (10th) Christine & John M and Pat & Gordon S. – 8w +33

3rd – Pretty Vacant (5th) Richard C, Shirley L and Lynn J. – 8w +32

4th – Triaxel (9th) Robin G,


Paul J and Kevin J. – 6w +9

5th – Maboules (1st) Zandra & Bob B, Dani C and Douglas H. – 6w +2

6th – B
7th – Capercaille (12th) Jean H, Ian S and Stuart M. -5w -3ears (2nd) Gavin H, Mike W and Alex D. – 5w +2

8th – Champignons (8th) John Watson, Ben B and Colin & Mags M. – 5w -13

9th – Just Us (11th) Margaret M, Eileen M and Mabel D. – 4w -17

10th – Migetirs (3rd) Susan A, Dave P and Norma & John C. – 4w -18

11th – Acorns (4th) Malcolm McK, Brian W and Istvan P. – 3w -32

12th – I P A (6th) Laura, Emma M and Colin S. – 3w -44

(Numbers in brackets represents 2011 GP Series placing)

Team 1 – Pisteols – qualify to represent Scotland at the World Championships 2012.

Teams 1 to 4 qualify to represent Scotland at the Celtic Challenge 2012 in Ireland.

Teams 1 to 8 qualify to represent Scotland at the Home Nations 2012 in Wales.

Thanks to Johnny W and Douglas H for organising the competition and Fochabers Petanque Club members, especially Ma Stronach and her helpers, for their hospitality.

Douglas. 19/09/11

SPA Triples 2011

Congratulations to Gordon Scott, John Mudd and the Inverness club for recovering their piste from the horrendous rains they had over the previous month. We also thank the Inverness club for acquiring the sponsorship deal from the Balblair Whisky Distillers, based on the shores of the Dornoch Firth, who have been producing Single Malt Whisky since 1790. They have supplied the prizes for the 2011 SPA Triples.

In total the SPA Triples attracted a total of 11 teams, with only 4 regular teams in attendance. In an attempt to encourage more players to consider participating in the SPA events and give people the opportunity to experience playing with different people, Ed Strachan and Alison Swiffin had come up with an idea of gathering people from various clubs to create new teams. The idea was circulated by Lynn Jenkins to the SPA clubs and we gathered together 15 players (from the Inverness, Perth & Tweed Valley clubs) which were split into 5 teams with an even balance of player skills throughout the teams. Nord Ecosse also split up into two teams by inviting a couple of other Inverness players to join them.

The teams were split into three leagues (two of four and one of three). The top two from each league went through plus the next best two to form the Main event. This only left three teams for the plate competition.

Considering some of the poor weather we have been experiencing of late it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by warm sunshine which lasted for almost the full competition. Feedback from the teams that had been formulated on the day was good and hopefully it will encourage those players, who had not participated in an SPA event before, to consider forming teams for future SPA events.

The experience and skill of the Scottish representative teams was enough to get them in to the main event. The two teams created from Nord Ecosse also managed to qualify. The final two teams came from the newly formed teams. One of these teams won their first game in the main event, beating one of the top Scottish teams. This was very encouraging for the new players who had not participated in an SPA event and will hopefully encourage more people to join in.

The third place was claimed by one half of the Nord Ecosse team, much to the delight of the ladies of the team, having beaten their respective husbands in the first round of the main event.

The final was a keenly fought contest with the Sex Pisteols gaining an early lead only to be begged back by Maboule. It was then pretty even as the teams matched each other until the Sex Pisteols managed to edge ahead and claimed a 13-10 win.

The SPA expressed their thanks to Gordon and the Inverness club for getting everything prepared and for laying on the excellent weather. The prizes from Balblair were very welcome and the overall competition was run very well.

SPA Triples Competition Results held at Inverness on 4th September 2011

Champions: Paul Bretenoux, Robbie Stronach & John Wilson

Runners-Up: Dani Cassini, Zandra & Bob Boyle

Third Place: Stewart Thomson, Pat Scott & Chris Mudd

Plate Winners were Pam Mackenzie, Jean Hutcheson & Bob Pollock.

SPA Singles, Doubles & Shooting 2011

The SPA Singles and Shooting on Saturday 23rd and the SPA Doubles on Sunday 24th of July were held at Inverleith Petanque Club in Edinburgh.

The weather forecast for the weekend was promising and so it turned out to be with wall to wall sunshine on both days.

Twenty five players, a similar number to last year, from The Birds and Bees – 2, Fochabers – 4, Inverleith – 12, Perth – 6 and Troon – 1 turned up to do battle.

Twenty five, odd number yet again, were formed into five leagues of four, one of six and one of three.

Sixteen players qualified and played a Swiss league, the winner claiming the Trophy.

After some close games in the Robbie S of Fochabers met and defeated Derek A of Inverleith 13-4 to become Singles Champion 2011.

“How many times have you won the singles Mr Stronachy?” “Dinna ken – a few times” was the reply!

SPA Singles Trophy –

Winner – Robbie Stronach.

Runner up – Derek Adam

Third – Istvan Poka

Fourth – Lynn Jenkins.

The remaining nine players – three leagues of three, top four to a knockout resulted in an all Perth final in which Henry H beat Ed S 13-4 to win the Plate.

The other players were –

Bob B and Dave P – Birds and Bees,

Shirley L and John W – Fochabers,

Ben B, Art E, Paddy H, Stefan M, Mags & Colin M, Colin S, Billy McM, John P, Mari S and Christine T – Inverleith,

Douglas H, Jean H, Alice S and Alison S – Perth.

The Shooting Competition, set up by Istvan and Colin S, was run at the same time as the Singles. Most of the players entered in the Singles tried their hand at the Shooting Competition.

Eight ‘tireurs’ qualified for the knockout stage ending up with Derek A meeting and defeating Istvan P 24-18 in the final to regain the Trophy for a second year.

Scoring was much improved from last year the highest being Istvan P with 39 in a high scoring semi final with Lynn J – 39-28.

SPA Shooting Trophy –
Winner – Derek Adam.
Runner up – Istvan Poka.
Semi-finalists – Lynn Jenkins and Ed Strachan


With the sun shining on us once again sixteen teams, hooray an even number, made up of most of Saturdays players, from The Birds and Bees, Fochabers, Inverleith, Perth and Troon turned up to compete for the SPA Doubles Trophy.

Four leagues of four with eight teams qualifying for the Trophy and eight for the plate in two Swiss leagues in the afternoon – simples!

Reigning Champions, the Bad Boys – Dave P & Bob B, were knocked out in the first round 13-12 by FASCH – Robbie S & John W, who made their way to the to the final and a ‘red hills’ showdown with Les Francais – Paul B & Stephan M.

With four players who will be representing Scotland at the European Championships in Sweden, what promised to be a titanic struggle turned out to be a damp squib!

After three ends – 6, 4 & 3 points respectively – Les Francais had met their ABBA, sorry Waterloo, and it was thank you and good night – quel dommage!

In the Plate, following a poor morning, Deuchars IPA – Derek A & Colin S got their act together and beat Les Champignons – Mags & Colin M 13-8 to win the Plate.

SPA Doubles Trophy –
Winners – FASCH – Robbie Stronach & John Wilson – Fochabers.
Runners Up – Les Francais – Paul Bretenoux – B & B’s & Stefan Maurage – Inverleith.
Third – Acorns – Istvan Poka & Malcolm McK – Troon.
SPA Doubles Plate –
Winners – Deuchars IPA – Derek Adam & Colin Stewart- Inverleith.
Runners up – Les Champignons – Mags & Colin Montgomery – Inverleith.
Third – Les Cremants – Alison Swiffin & Ed Strachan – Perth.

The other teams were –

Champions of Gordon – Brian, long time no see M & Richard C and Trashy Blonds – Shirley L & Lynn J – Fochabers,

Bad Boys – Dave P & Bob B – Birds & Bees,

BenA – Ben B & Art E, Cronies – John P & Alan, Flying Finns – Mari S & Isobel and Panache – Christine T & Paddy H – Inverleith.

Campers – Jean & Henry H and Eido – Eileen M & Douglas H – Perth,

Triaxle – Kevin J & Paul J – Troon,

Thanks to John W, Douglas H and friends for organising play, to Inverleith members, especially the galley crew, for hospitality and with fair weather and a good turn out a long weekend was enjoyed by all!

Next Event

7th August – FRANK MALCOLM MEMORIAL MELEE – at the North Inch Perth.

Douglas 25/07/11

SPA Grand Prix 3 2011

SPA Grand Prix 3 was hosted by Inverness Petanque Club on their piste at Fair Ways in Inverness on the 5th of June.

Thirteen of the fifteen teams that played in GP2 (Triaxle and Firing Black were missing) turned up on a pleasant, sunny and bright morning for the third and final Grand Prix of 2011 with the 3 Bears and Maboules 11 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

With 13 teams 4 leagues – 3 of three teams and 1 of four – was the morning format with the top 1 from each league and the next best 4 playing a modified knockout of 3 rounds, to determine the GP3 and GP Series winner. The remaining 5 teams played a round robin,meaning 5 rounds so games were restricted to 7 points.

First round in the knockout produced tight, close games – Pretty Vacant edged out Champignons 13-12, Migetirs beat Acorns 13-9, Maboules overcame Capercallie 13-6 and with the 3 Bears 11-6 up against Deuchars IPA it looked very much on the cards that there would be a ‘shoot out’ in round 2 between the Bears and Maboules for the GP Series title but it was not to be – IPA rallied and won 13-11 to meet Maboules for a place in the final.

Maboules – Grand Prix Series 2011 Winners

This also meant that Maboules, even if they were 4th, would accumulate enough points to win the SPA 2011 GP Series, however in a game of numerous ‘burnt coches’ Maboules won 13-9 to meet GP1 winners Migetirs, winners over Pretty Vacant by 13-10.

The final was a ding dong affair, the lead changing hands several times, until John C rolled in his two boules for a 13-11 to win GP3.

Nord Ecosse won their four games in the afternoon to claim the Plate.

Thanks to John W, Brian W and Douglas H for organising the competition, Derek A for doing the honours at the presentation and to Inverness Petanque Club members and Fair Ways for their hospitality.

Migetirs – Grand Prix 3 Winners

The full result of SPA GP3 –
1st – Migetirs Susan Allen, and John & Norma Cameron.
2nd – Maboules Zandra & Bob Boyle, Dani Cassini and Douglas Hamilton.
3rd – Deuchars IPA Derek Adam, Colin Stewart and Emma Montgomery.
4th – Pretty Vacant Lynn Jenkins, Richard Carter and Shirley Legge
5th – The 3 Bears Gavin Hilson, Mike Watt and Alex Davie.
6th – Acorns Malcolm Mc, Istvan Poka and Brian Ward.
7th – Champignons John Watson, Ben Burnhill and Mags & Colin Montgomery.
8th – Capercaille Jean Hutcheson, Ian Smith and Stuart Malcolm.
9th – Nord Ecosse Pat & Gordon Scott and John & Christine Mudd.
10th – Sex Pisteols Paul Bretenoux, Robbie Stronach and John Wilson.
11th – Just Us Eileen Moonie, Mabel Danraj and Margaret Mauchlin.
12th – Les Folles Christine Thomson, Alison Swiffen and Laura A.
13th – Pointiers Alice Sheach, Henry Hutcheson, Don MacIntyre and Ed Strachan.

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