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







Penicuik Open Pairs


The 2012 Penicuik Open Pairs competition was held at Beeslack High School, Penicuik on Sunday 19th August. 13 pairs from across the country joined us, with teams from Inverness, Fochabers, Perth, Peebles and Edinburgh. But the furthest travelled award went to Brian and Zena Forbes who joined us all the way from Nottingham. We are very grateful to all who travelled so far to make our event a success. It was good to new faces and old (some were very old!) join in.

The morning’s play (qualifiers for the afternoon’s main competition) was a ‘league’ format with a leagues of 4,6 (3 games only) and 3 teams respectively. The best 8 teams from the leagues would fight it out for the title in the afternoon, with the other 5 teams going into the plate competition.

The weather was hot to begin with, but gradually cooled as the day went on and the inevitable downpour commenced at around 3 pm. At least we were able to provide shelter for the players this year in the form of our new yellow gazebo which was kindly part funded by Penicuik & District Community Council.

The afternoon’s plate (a 5 team round robin with games restricted to 9 points) resulted in two teams being level at the top of the table – Ernie Burden / John Porter and Christine Thompson / Douglas Hamilton both had 3wins +18 points. A count back revealed that Ernie and John had won the ‘head to head’ game and therefore were crowned the plate winners.
In the main competition, the first round saw Robbie Stronach and John Wilson drawn against their international team mates Paul Bretenoux and Stephane Maurage (all four will be competing together for Scotland at the World Championships in Marseille in November). A close game ensued and Robbie and John emerged with the win and went through to the semi final to keep their hopes of defending their title alive.

The other semi finalists were Colin & Mags Montgomery, Zena & Brian Forbes and Ed Strachan and Alison Swiffin.
Robbie & John beat Colin & Mags while Ed & Alison won against Brian & Zena in the semis.

In the 3rd/4th playoff, Colin & Mags won against Brian & Zena to take 3rd place.

The final was a close affair, but Ed and Alison managed to get over the line first to wrestle the trophy from 2011 winners Robbie & John.

Congratulations to all. Win or lose we hope you enjoyed the day and we hope to see you again at our next open competition in 2013. We are very grateful for all the support we receive from our pétanque friends across Scotland and, now, Nottingham (we will have to make a reciprocal visit next year, plans will be made!).

Colin Stewart
Penicuik Petanque

Inverleith Cash Pairs


The Inverleith Cash Pairs was held at Inverleith Petanque Club, Edinburgh.

So much for the Indian summer, Indian monsoon more like! However money talks so 26 players from Ayr (3), Edinburgh (8), Fochabers (4), Haddington (2), Perth (8) and Stirling (1) splashed their way to this year year’s competition making up thirteen teams – yes the dreaded odd number again!

Four leagues – three of three and one of four – were played before lunch and in the afternoon a Swiss for the top eight – top two from each league – for the main dosh and a league of five for the plate – less dosh.

Fasch – Robbie and John – dominated the afternoon play, as they did in the morning, playing most of their games on ’the hill’ a piste on which they are masters. They beat Chips – Shirley and Lynn – to 7, Champignons – Colin and Mags – to 1, and the Foreigners – Stephane and Istvan – to 4 to lift the top prize.

Giggly Girls – Dani and Susan – and Chips – Shirley and Lynn – fought it out for third place with the GG’s coming from behind to win 13-12

Christine C and John P came out on top of the league of five to win the Plate.

The Inverleith Cash Pairs –

Winners – Fasch – Robbie S and John W – Fochabers.

Runners up – Foreigners – Stephane M and Istvan P – Inverleith/Troon.

Third – Giggly Girls – Dani C and Susan A – Inverleith/B&Bs

Fourth – Chips – Shirley L and Lynn J – Fochabers

The Inverleith Less Cash Pairs –

Winners – Christine T and Allan M – Inverleith.

A fine if somewhat wet day out, bacon rolls for breakfast and mince and tatties with apple crumble to follow at lunch time, was enjoyed by all.


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

Birds & Bees Charity Pairs


An Autumn Pairs competition was hosted by the Birds and Bees Petanque Club at the Birds and Bees in Causewayhead, Stirling.

A 10:30 start attracted 18 players regardless of the indifferent weather which persisted throughout the day – until we finished, of course, and the sun came out!

18 players, 9 teams, 4 pistes – how was Bob going to fiddle that? – easy peasy – three leagues of 3 but no – Bob had a senior moment – thinking he needed 6 pistes for that format made up one league of 4 and one of 5 – daa!

So with this odd format the morning’s play commenced.

The teams were – Jimmy W & Carol, Margaret W & Nick, Paul & Pierre B, Judy C & Carol B, Judy’s grandsons Thibault & Matthieu and John & Norma C from the Birds and Bees, Jean & Henry H, Eileen M & Marcus from Switzerland and Alice S & Douglas H from Perth.

After an excellent lunch of soup and sandwiches the top 4 teams from the morning leagues played for the honour of being ‘top team’ of the day.

The remaining 5 teams fought it out for the non existent plate with Bob playing his ’fiddle’ again!

The above resulted in Paul & Pierre coming from behind beating Eileen & Marcus 13-12 to meet Alice & Douglas who overcame John & Norma 13- 8 for a ‘final showdown’.

Alice & Douglas romped ahead to lead 12-4 when the Paul & Pierre comeback started but at 12-10 came to a halt and they accepted defeat 13-10.

John & Norma squeezed home 13-12 against Eileen & Marcus for third place.

Jean & Henry won both their afternoon games to win the ‘plate’.

Another sociable open competition – no ‘fannies’ – was as usual with B & B competitions immaculately run by Bob and enjoyed by one and all.


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.

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