After a COVID cancellation in July, the new Interclub season finally got underway in September. The weather was nigh on perfect – a far cry from the raging storms which hit on the day that Round 1 was originally scheduled. A large and eager crowd of 93 players took part, ten of whom were playing in this competition for the first time.
The preliminary rounds were a bit of a mixed bag. There were some very tight games, and one or two upsets, but also a larger than usual share of rather one-sided games. By lunch time, this led to some rather spectacular points margins, in both directions. However, things tightened up in the afternoon session as all teams were pitted against others at their own level.
When all was done and dusted, it was Eastern Suburbs who finished in their accustomed position at the top of the table. The gold medals went to the familiar trio of Alexi Alexi, Craig Stewart & Maurice Belz. This was Maurice’s last SAPL outing as he prepares to move with his family to England. A player of great skill and character, Maurice has had quite an impact on the local petanque scene during his years here in Adelaide (he’ll need an extra container to transport such a large collection of trophies and medals) and he’ll no doubt have a similar impact in the UK. It was fitting that he finish on top. We all wish him well on his new venture.
In second place were Melissa Scott, Gavin Scott & Van Nguyen, from Prospect, starting the new season the same way that they finished the last. Remarkably, the bronze medallists were also nearly the same as the last round except that, on this occasion, Ryan Vitner & Jean-Luc Gonnet were teamed with Judy Whiteaker. Having recently relocated from Hobart, Judy is one of several experienced recruits who have come in to further strengthen the ever-improving Novar Gardens squad.
Not surprisingly, the top three clubs on the premiership ladder after Round 1 correspond to the top three teams on the day. With Prospect and Novar Gardens tied for second, the scene is set for an exceptionally competitive season.
Thanks to Club d’Adelaide for hosting the event and, as usual, putting on a first rate lunch.
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