held at: Eastern Suburbs Pétanque Club 12 February, 2017
State Triples Champions: Rada Pierre, Dominique Pierre & Tomas Heredia
Runners-Up: Lionel Chazal, Raja Jamaleddine & Nick Armstrong
Semi-Finalists: Alexi Alexi, George Lainas & Arwed Turon
Alain Rousse, Antonio Stojsic & Adrian Clements
Consolante Winners: Sukrit Vaswani, Craig Stewart & Ray Drummond
Consolante Runner-Up: Martin Verdonk, Richard Voskamp & Garry Karklins
Conviviale Winners: Allan Sanderson, Brett Williams & Ray Beaumont
After two cancelled League days due to unfortunately-timed hot weather, we finally got lucky. The State Triples Championship was held in ideal conditions.
The day ran smoothly and it was little surprise that it came down to a final involving the form team of recent times, Rada & Dominique Pierre and Tomas Heredia on the one hand, versus the young guns and proven performers, Lionel Chazal, Raja Jamaleddine and Nick Armstrong on the other.
Ultimately, it was the former who took home the title, in a case of experience triumphing over youthful exuberance. Or perhaps the latter ‘spent too many petrol-tickets’ in a very tense semi-final, when they were forced to claw their way back from a 2-10 deficit against Alexi, Arwed and George, who appeared to be peaking at the right time. Or perhaps their unpopular choice of piste for the final backfired on them. Or perhaps you just can’t beat current form.
The historical significance of this result cannot be overstated…
Several players have achieved a ‘career grand slam’ of winning SA Open Championships in Triples, Doubles and Singles. Greg Anderson was the first to complete the task, followed by Alexi, Lionel and Raja. In fact, the only person to have won an Open Singles title who was not on this list was Dominique, as the Triples crown had always eluded him. That has now been rectified.
What makes Dom’s achievement unique is that this is the first time that all three titles have been held concurrently. Furthermore, the bar has been set higher since the introduction, this season, of a Mixed Doubles championship. As the inaugural winner, he’s ticked that one off as well. So, with four state titles now on offer, Dom has scooped the pool at the first opportunity — an astounding feat that we might never see the likes of again!
Of course, as Dom is quick to acknowledge, petanque is primarily a team game and we should not overlook the contributions of his team-mates. Not only did they both perform admirably on this day, Rada also played her part in winning the Mixed Doubles and Tomas likewise in the Open Doubles. It was fitting, therefore, that the three of them came together for this tournament. It has been very much a team effort. Well done to all three.
Footnote. The next challenge for Dom is to go for the ‘calendar grand slam’, i.e., to win all four titles in a single season. To achieve this, he merely needs to double up in this season’s Singles, scheduled for June. That will be interesting. A few others might rather see at least one record remain up for grabs.