The final round of the 2020-2021 SA Interclub competition was held at Gawler – rescheduled to June because of a COVID shutdown last November.
Prior to this day, we had a perfect record of ideal weather for all nine SAPL events for the season (Interclub and State Champs). However, the tenth and final event came in the middle of what has been a rather wet winter this year and the forecast was for more showers. Those showers did fall across most of greater Adelaide, and there was heavy rain and fog in the nearby hills, but they all steered clear of the Gawler Petanque Club for the entire day. It may have been slightly less than perfect conditions, but, under the circumstances, it was surely good enough to justify a rating of 10/10, weather-wise, for the season.
Twenty-four teams were in attendance – a new record for the Gawler venue – capping off an excellent season that has seen a number of attendance records broken. South Australian petanque is certainly thriving at the moment and long may that continue!
Coming into this round, the title had already been all but decided, so congratulations must firstly go to the Eastern Suburbs club for winning the Interclub championship. With a comprehensive 50 point margin, it was yet another strong, year-round performance from ESP’s impressive array of elite players. They scored at least 33 points in every round of the competition.
The other clubs may have just been playing for pride, but there were still ladder positions to be potentially gained or lost. For example, Club d’Adelaide were looking somewhat vulnerable in second place with a 17 point lead ahead of Adelaide Hills and only one team to represent them on this occasion. However, that team was a good one. Leaving nothing to chance, Rada Pierre, Alain Rousse & Dominique Pierre single-handedly secured their position by taking out the top honours for the day and earning maximum points for the club.
At the same time, the challenge mounted by Adelaide Hills fell well short of their strong showing in Round 5. In fact, despite a 30 point buffer, they only just did enough to stave off a late charge by a resurgent Prospect and hold on to third place on the ladder.
Prospect came away with the biggest points haul for the day, thanks to outstanding performances by Melissa Scott, Gavin Scott & Van Nguyen, the silver medallists, and also by Janet Jenkin, Michael Frodyma & Martin Verdonk who finished fourth. The former could count themselves unlucky, having come out on the wrong side of a countback to resolve a tie after the preliminary rounds. The other party involved went on to win the day, while the Prospect team had to settle for second despite also winning all five games. Looking at the bigger picture, and the results from the latter half of the series, Prospect will no doubt have high hopes for the year to come.
Throughout this season, the most hotly contested position has been fifth spot on the ladder. In a battle between Novar Gardens and FAB, the lead changed after every round (apart from one occasion when they were tied). Coming into Round 6, FAB had a 6 point advantage. However, the fluctuating trend continued and it was the SuperNovars who finally gained the ascendancy. In the end, the outcome was quite comprehensive as Novar Gardens had their best result of the season while FAB’s was at the other end of the spectrum, to put it politely. The Novar cause was helped by a third-place finish from Jonathan Giddings, Ryan Vitner & Jean-Luc Gonnet. Special congratulations to Ryan for earning a medal in just his second League appearance.
Well done to the Gawler club, too, for also achieving your best result for the season. Many thanks for doing such a great job of hosting the event and putting on a first-rate lunch.
So, that wraps up another Interclub season. Ultimately, the pecking order was much the same as we have become accustomed to over recent years. Nevertheless, the way things have been shaping up lately, the new season promises to be one of our most competitive ever.
Thank you to those who have helped make it such a successful competition, including all who have participated.
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