The 2014 Celtic Challenge will be hosted by Fochabers Petanque Club on 3rd and 4th May.
Perth Petanque Club hosted Grand Prix 3 on Sunday 23rd June. Players from the same 14 teams who contested Grand Prix 2 were welcomed to bacon rolls in the morning and ‘picnic baskets’ of cold meats, cheese, bread, pickles and salad for lunch. The SPA would like to thank all the volunteers from Perth for all their hard work.
With a number of teams in the hunt for the SPA Grand Prix Series it was sure to be an interesting day’s play. And so it turned out with the top 3 ranked teams after Grand Prix 2 seeming to struggle this time around.
In the end Grand Prix 3 was won by Pretty Vacant with a perfect 6 wins, the Champignons were second and the Sex Pisteols were third, both with 4 wins.
The Grand Prix Series was won by the Champignons with Pretty Vacant climbing into second place and third place went to Les Cremants. Congratulations to all.
3 SPA coaches (Mags, Monty and Colin S) travelled to Stow to help them run a Petanque competition as part of their annual ‘Stow Sports’ week. The comprises a number of events including the opportunity for residents of the village to try out traditional games and this is the second year they have chosen to showcase petanque.
Sadly with poor weather the chip van was far more popular than the petanque although those who did brave it to the end seemed to have had fun.
The SPA would like to thank the organisers, Stow Parish Archive for the invitation to attend and in particular their very kind donation.
We hope Stow will continue to embrace petanque in the years to come.
12 Teams from across Scotland competed for the Fenton Quaich in Perth on 16th June and it was nice to see a good mix of players taking part. An enjoyable day was had by all and after 5 rounds 5 teams had 4 wins so the top places were decided on points difference: Winners Bob and Zandra Boyle (Birds and Bees), Runners up – last years winners – Lynn Jenkins and Shirley Legge (Fochabers).
Penicuik hosted their latest open, this time a triples, at their new piste in Penicuik Park on Sunday 9th June. With only 5 triples teams registered the decision was made to split up the 2 Penicuik triples teams into 3 pairs to create a round robin of 6 teams.
3 games were completed before before lunch and most of the players went over to the Craigiebield Hotel for soup and sandwiches. At lunch Stephane and Martyn were the clear leaders having won all their games in the morning. And nothing much changed in the afternoon, they won all their games in the round robin. The Montys placed second after the round robin, Moray and Keith were 3rd and Bob and John were 4th.
So on to the final and 3rd/4th playoff. John & Bob reversed their morning result to win and secure 3rd place against Moray and Keith. And similarly the final also showed a reversal of fortune with the Montys coming out on top against Stephane and Martyn.
Winners: Mags, Emma & Colin Montgomery (Inverleith)
Runners Up: Stephane Maurage & Martyn Lovatt (Penicuik)
3rd: Bob Macdonald & John McAllister (Penicuik)
4th: Moray & Keith McHattie (Penicuik)
SPA President Colin Stewart attended Monymusk Boules Masters competition on 8th June having accepted an invitation to act as time keeper and arbitrator. 30 teams of 4 players pre-registered to play in the charity event. 12 pistes were erected in the village square (and dismantled within minutes of the end of the event) by a squad of burly volunteers.
With musical entertainment (accordion player and a jazz band), bunting, French food and wine, an enormous raffle and cake stall the event was a roaring success. The boules became more competitive as the day went on, timed qualifiers in the morning and knock-outs in the afternoon. Many players were new to the game, with a sprinkling of the odd team with a bit more experience. And the fancy dress! Where else would you find matadors, Musketeers, Napoleon Bonaparte and extras from Les Mis in the same place at once, not to mention the countless berets, striped mariner t-shirts and strings of garlic!
Well done to all involved for their meticulous planning, organisation and enthusiasm. The event raised cash for local charities and the talk was soon about doing it ‘bigger and better’ next year. We hope so.
You can see the results and more details here: Monymusk Boules Masters website
Paul Fletcher and Kevin Johnstone won the Margaret Burden Pairs at Inverleith on 2nd June. Colin and Mags Montgomery were runners up.
Coaches from Penicuik Petanque Club (with help from Colin and Emma Montgomery) ran taster sessions for 220 pupils from Penicuik High School and Beeslack Community High School on 29th and 30th May. The hope is that a few of those pupils will be keen to learn more and so Penicuik PC are offering youth only coaching sessions on Wednesday nights throughout June and into the summer holidays.
If any other clubs are interested in engaging with their local schools please contact Colin Stewart on email@example.com who would be happy to provide advice.
Fourteen teams fought for Grand Prix 2 at Troon Petanque Club on Sunday 26th May. Once again the weather defied the forecast and it was warm and sunny for most of the day. Troon PC pulled out all the stops, making the competitors feel very welcome with bunting, balloons and a feast of lasagne, baked potatoes and home baking. The SPA would like to thank Troon PC for all their hard work.
For the second year running at Troon the Champignons (The Monty Clan plus John Watson) dominated the day and secured the trophy with 5 wins. They must like Troon’s piste!
The standings after 2 Rounds are as follows: After 3 rounds are complete teams 1-12 will be invited to compete in the SPA Masters in Septemer and teams 1-8 will be invited to represent the SPA at the 2014 Home Nations.
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th May brought the 25th Celtic Challenge to the Wheatsheaf Inn, Llanhennock, nr Newport, Wales.
We were welcomed at the piste on the Friday night for a practice on the challenging surface (bare, hard and sloping car-park) followed by a buffet and musical entertainment. A nice welcome after our long journey.
Saturday arrived and the customary opening ceremony was held in the morning mist. Play started a little after 9 am with Scotland facing Ireland first. Scotland took a commanding lead following 3-1, 3-1, 4-0 and 3-1 victories in the first four rounds. Indeed after the final round against Ireland teams 1,2 and 3 from Scotland were unbeaten. After 4 rounds the scores read: Scotland 13, Wales A 10, Wales B 6, Ireland 3.
During the lunch interval the presidents of all three associations decided to complete seven rounds on Saturday to give more time on Sunday for preparations for the dinner. More on that later.
Up next for Scotland were Wales B. With three rounds to be completed this was an opportunity for Scotland to put down a good lead overnight. And so it proved to be, when play finally finished (at 9pm under floodlights) Scotland went into the overnight break having secured 3-1, 4-0 and 3-1 wins against Wales B. However, Wales A also had a good 3 rounds against Ireland and therefore the scores overnight were: Scotland 23, Wales A 20, Wales B 8, Ireland 5.
Scotland took round 8 first thing in the morning on Sunday with a score of 3-1 meaning the scores with just four rounds to play the scores were Scotland 26. Wales A 24, Wales B 9, Ireland 5. It would all therefore be settled in the head to head with Scotland and Wales A in the final four rounds. It is worth noting at this point that Scotland 1 (Johnny, Robbie & Paul) and Scotland 3 (Shirley, Lynn and Richard) were both unbeaten.
Then a hammer blow as Wales A took round 9 with a score of 4-0 over Scotland and took the lead. Round 10 was not much better with Wales bagging the round 3-1. This left Scotland with only the slimmest of hopes of retaining the title. With the head to head score at Wales A 31, Scotland 27 a big come back would be required. With round 11 tied at 2-2 the contest was effectively over with Wales holding a 33-29 lead with vastly superior points difference. However, pride was at stake and, with 10 wins from 11 so far Shirley, Lynn and Richard were within touching distance of being the weekend’s top team – but they would need to beat Wales 4 in the final round.
Scotland won the final round 3-1 but sadly Shirley, Lynn and Richard didn’t manage to beat Wales 4 and lost out on the top team prize. Final score Wales A 34, Scotland 32, Wales B 17, Ireland 13.
A big thank you to the Welsh Petanque Association and the Wheatsheaf Inn for being fantastic hosts. We very much look forward to welcoming everyone back to Scotland in 2014.