On 29th and 30th April, the Scottish Petanque Association welcomed our friends from Ireland and Wales to the 29th Celtic Challenge at Inverleith PC in Edinburgh. Scotland fielded the top 8 teams from the 2016 Masters competition in 2 squads, A (the top 4) and B (teams 5 to 8). Ireland and Wales each fielded 4 teams.
The first round of matches were Scotland A v Scotland B while Ireland took on Wales. Scotland A set down an early marker taking the match 14 wins to 2, while Ireland won 9 to Wales’s 7.
The next series of games finished Scotland A 13-3 Wales and Scotland B 4-12 Ireland. With Scotland A on 27 wins going into the final round of matches, it was looking like a thumping was on the cards, but Ireland’s tails were up and the final matches would prove to be crucial.
Scotland A took the final round of matches 11-5 against Ireland, while Wales beat Scotland B 12-4.
So Scotland retained the trophy for the fourth consecutive year, matching the record previously set by Wales, and have amassed 6 wins in the last 7 years. We’ll certainly be looking to make history with 5 wins on the trot next year.
The final scores were Scotland A 38, Ireland 26, Wales 22, Scotland B 10.
The competition’s top team was taken by Scotland 1 – Emma Montgomery, Paul Fletcher and Kevin Johnstone with 11 wins from 12. Ireland 1 – Jack Di Pizzo, Alain Robert and Stephane Voinot – were closely behind with 10 wins.
Once play had finished, the teams retreated to the Waverley Castle Hotel for the traditional prize giving. The celebrations went on until the wee hours before we all departed for home on Monday.
The Scottish Petanque Association would like to thank all of the volunteers that helped to make the weekend such a success. Particular thanks must go to our Vice President Shirley Legge, who took on the bulk of the behind the scenes organisation.
We look forward to seeing everyone again at the 30th Celtic Challenge in Ireland next spring.