Interclub Competition Round 2 Club de Pétanque d’Adelaide – 27 September 2020

The SA Interclub competition has been leading a charmed life this season, when it comes to the
weather. For Round 2, we were very fortunate to strike the one window of fine and mild weather
in the middle of an extended wet spell. Things could have got awkward with so many players to
accommodate under COVID-Safe requirements, with limited shelter available. Instead, it turned
into another near-perfect day.
Participant numbers did not quite match the high reached in July, but the notable thing on this
occasion was that 19 of the 30 triples teams had also competed in the previous round with
exactly the same line-up. Team compositions have usually been more fluid in the past. (Less
people going away this year, perhaps?) Given also that it’s just a few years ago we were
struggling to even get 19 teams or more, this is undoubtedly a record.
As in Round 1, the day’s honours went to the Eastern Suburbs club. For the second time in a row,
the gold medals went to Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz and they can now go into
Round 3 gunning for a ‘threepeat’. It is eight years since anyone has achieved a threepeat. (The
last time it happened, there were some familiar names amongst the culprits – Alexi and Arwed,
at that time playing with George Lainas). The silver medallists were Rada Pierre, Alain Rousse &
Dominique Pierre, while Tory McBride, Ray Drummond & Lionel Pujol took the bronze.

Gold
Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz
Silver
Rada Pierre, Alain Rousse & Dom Pierre,
Bronze
Tory McBride, Ray Drummond & Lionel Pujol
The Competitors

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2020/21 SA State Triples Championship – ESP 30 August

Last season’s winner was COVID-19 but, fortunately, the 2020/21 State Triples Championship was able to go ahead as planned – 14 months after the 2018/19 event. It was very well supported, with 69 players in attendance. In just a couple of years, the number of entrants for this competition has nearly doubled, with many participating this year for the first time. The conditions were cool but mostly fine and the competitive spirit was excellent.
The random draw added some spice to the morning session as a number of the early favourites were drawn to play each other in the preliminaries, in the ‘pool of death’. Only the strongest survived while others did not make the cut. Hence, it was not just the usual suspects making up the final eight. Some of the newcomers also took their opportunity to shine. However, as is so often the case, experience won out in the end.
The new champions are Deb Rodda, Selina Dally & Wendy Bensen. Their exploits are already legendary – they hold numerous records and all three have performed with distinction representing Australia on the world stage. This latest win is also historic as they are the first all-female team to win a South Australian Open championship in any format. Selina becomes the first female player with two Open Triples titles to her name. Deb and Wendy add an Open crown to accompany the Women’s Triples trophies they won in the last two years that a separate women’s event was run (before being discontinued in 2008).
The runners-up were Jean-Luc Gonnet, Bruce Lucas & Jonathan Giddings. These three are rapidly establishing themselves as a new heavyweight combination on the local pétanque scene. Having already seen off the defending champions in the quarter-final, they earned their place in the decider by virtue of a commendable return bout against the formidable trio of Alexi, Dave Lefer & Maurice Belz in the semis. (It’s uncanny how often you get two different winners when the same teams play each other twice within a tournament.)
The Consolante winners were another experienced all-female team, Rada Pierre, Jenny Key & Tina Stockley, so it was definitely a day for the girls. It looks like SA will have some strong contenders in the women’s competitions when the Easter Nationals finally come to Adelaide.
To conclude, one more team that also needs a mention was from the Adelaide Hills club, comprising Neil Maslin, Robin Austin & Rob Mawson. In their first state championship, these three had the misfortune to face a preliminary draw against three daunting teams that, between them, did not contain a single player without international experience as Australian representatives! Lesser men might have been a bit demoralised by lunchtime, but these guys took the attitude that “if it doesn’t kill you it just makes you stronger”. They performed creditably in all three of those games and then went on to win the Conviviale in the afternoon, fighting all the way to the end. One would have to say that their bottle of wine was well-earned.
Congratulations to all the winners. Thanks to those who made the day possible, especially the volunteers from host club ESP and the umpire, Terry Hall.

Results

Detailed Results

South Australian State Triples Championship – 30 August at ESP

The State Triples is an open competition for male, female or mixed teams of all ages.

Entry fee $10 per player. (Pay by 9:15am on the day.)

Games start at 9.30am.

All entries to be received by Wednesday 26th August 2020

Enter by sending your team details to Anthony by email (anthony.pietsch@gmail.com) or TXT (0468 431 963). All entries will be acknowledged by return message. Resend if you don’t get one.

Lunch (cost of $8), a licenced Bar (No BYO) and tea/coffee will be available.

This tournament is open to licenced players only.

The playing format will remain flexible until final entry numbers are known.

Timed games in prelims (timed game rules) and untimed finals in the afternoon.

There will be a consolante for those who do not qualify for the finals.

If unable to attend after registering  for any reason (especially if you are feeling unwell) contact Tournament Director Anthony Pietsch ASAP.

The day will be run observing all COVID regulations, covering physical distancing, hand sanitizing, equipment handling and beverage/food service.

State Triples Flyer

Interclub Competition Round 1 Novar Gardens. – 26 July 2020

The new Interclub season started much the same as the last one finished. Not only was the venue the same, but once again we had remarkably nice weather, a huge turnout (99 players – another new record), great competition and a very convivial atmosphere, despite the COVID-Safe requirements.
Once again, this was helped along by the innovative and popular new timing regulation arrangement, which maximises playing time and minimises waiting time, while providing the relaxed ambience of untimed games without the frustrating delays and late finishes that often come with an untimed format. We thank PFA for allowing this arrangement to continue despite opposition from certain quarters.
On the premiership table, after one round, things also look a lot like they did at the end of last season. The top three clubs have all taken up where they left off, the same two clubs are closely vying for fourth position and the battle for sixth is once again very tight.
In terms of the individual honours, on the other hand, the day’s results were more in keeping with previous seasons rather than the last. The winners, ESP’s Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz, had a relatively lean time of it last season — by their own lofty standards — picking up just one gold medal between them (compared to eight the year before). The silver medallists, Deb Rodda, Selina Dally & Wendy Bensen, also emulated a feat they achieved twice in the 2018/19 season. In the bronze medal position was the Adelaide Hills trio of Greg Anderson, Ross Coleman & Quentin Jones, their first appearance on the podium since 2017/18.
Finally, a big thank-you goes to the awesome Novar Gardens crew who once again kept things running like clockwork under difficult circumstances. Your friendly efficiency sets a standard the rest of us can aspire to. Well done.

Round 1 is also the time that individual awards are presented to the most successful players from the season just completed…
The ‘Best Player’ medal went to Selina Dally, who only played in four of the five rounds but never finished lower than 4th in any of them. Selina is a truly outstanding player and has been a consistent performer over many years. This award is thoroughly deserved.
For the second year in a row, the award for ‘Best Player of the Other Gender’ went to a man, this time Maurice Belz — another highly decorated player and out-and- out star. Maurice finished second overall (also from four rounds), trailing by a margin of just one point. Not too “lean” a season, then (only in terms of gold).Continue reading

Interclub Competition Round 5 Novar Gardens. – 28 June 2020

The fine and sunny weather was as good as it gets in the middle of winter, setting the scene perfectly for our return to organised pétanque after the shutdown. At times it had looked as if our season was over and we can count ourselves very fortunate to be in a position where we could squeeze in one more round to finish off the 2019/20 Interclub competition. On such a beautiful day, the COVID-Safe requirements did not dampen the mood at all.

With 28 triples teams, the attendance was only just shy of the record set in January, suggesting that the unexpected interruption has not taken the momentum out of our recent growth trend. A few of the regulars were not yet ready to emerge from their isolation bubbles, but this was offset by a very pleasing number of new players participating for the first time — representing five different clubs! (Not to mention the presence of some who would normally be sunning themselves in warmer climes at this time of year.) It would seem crowds of this magnitude are going to be our ‘new normal’.

On the day, it was Penny Lyons, Steve Hambour & Terry Hall from FAB who finished unbeaten and took the top honours. Congratulations to them. This notable achievement is the first time the gold medals have gone to a FAB team since 2009 (Erica, Craig & Anders) and it brought great joy to the growing FAB contingent. It came on the back of an epic fifth round tussle against ESP’s Arwed Turon, Nick Armstrong & Maurice Belz.

Gold medalists Penny Lyons, Steve Hambour & Terry Hall (FAB)
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2019/20 SAPL Singles Championships – Novar Gdns

This year’s SA State Singles Championships were held in ideal fine and mild conditions. A total of 45 players (another attendance record) took to the expansive Novar Gardens pistes to battle it out in the most demanding form of the game.
The Open attracted a very strong field and every win had to be earned. By lunch time, only 4 of the 32 players had managed to get through their preliminary games unscathed. However, morning form is not always a good predictor of afternoon form and it is the latter that matters most. On this occasion, three of those front-runners fell by the wayside in the qualifying rounds — quite spectactularly in some cases.
Ultimately, the cream rises to the top and it came down to a Final between two of the grand masters of SA pétanque. On one side was Lionel Pujol, the 2018 Champion and the only player to have gone all day undefeated. His opponent was Dominique Pierre, the 2016 Champion, whose one point victory in the semi-final against last year’s winner (Maurice Belz) was possibly the match of the day.
The Final was not the cliff-hanger that some may have hoped for. Dominique, the man who “hates singles”, once again reinforced his reputation as The Dominator. The other time Dom won the SA Singles it was a sign of things to come as he went on to claim concurrent State titles in Open Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Triples — a historic achievement that has never been matched. Is this victory another sign?

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Interclub Competition Round 4 Adelaide Hills – 19 January 2020

Attendance records continue to tumble for the SAPL Interclub competition, with thirtyteams competing in Round 4. This is not the highest number ever, but the last time we had this many the scores were being written with a quill dipped in ink.

The conditions were unseasonably cool for January and Stirling’s reputation for always raining on a League day was reinforced once again. However, this time it was just right — the precipitation was so light and so sporadic that it was barely felt, yet it was enough to dampen down the dust from the previously parched dolomite. The timing was also perfect, as it was only an hour or two after the proceedings ended that steady rain set in, bringing (a very welcome) 30mm or so to the area overnight.

The competition was once again unpredictable and very tight, as it has been all season, and this is illustrated by the following observation: Only two teams were able to win both of their games after lunch and only two teams lost them both. This is quite remarkable considering that the system used dictates there is always at least one of each (the team finishing first must win them both while the last-placed team must have two losses). Of the other twenty-eight teams, twenty-six of them registered one win and one loss!

Taking out the honours for the day was the in-form Adelaide Hills trio of Brian Tuckfield, Ralph Foster & Anthony Pietsch, proving in the most emphatic way that their Round 3 victory was no fluke. They are starting to get a reputation for clawing their way over the line when it matters most. In the silver medal position was the Prospect team of Janet Jenkin, Michael Frodyma & Martin Verdonk. This maintains Marty’s average at better than one League medal per season over a long periood of time whereas, surprisingly perhaps, it’s a first for Janet and Michael. Congratulations. The bronze medallists were Selina Dally, Ray Drummond & Craig Stewart, from Eastern Suburbs.

In terms of the championship, it was largely a case of steady-as-you-go on this occasion. There were no changes in ladder position, merely some adjustments to the respective margins. The biggest points haul went to Adelaide Hills, bringing them within 6 points of the League leaders and hot favourites, ESP. Adelaide maintained their buffer ahead of fourth-placed Prospect, while Prospect put some breathing space between themselves and Novar Gardens, who in turn did enough to keep in touch with the main pack and move clear of those below them.

In response to this year’s disastrous fire season, the host club decided to support the CFS Foundation, helping SA firefighters who suffer injury or loss as a result of their service. The raffle takings and other donations were matched by the club, raising a total of over $1400. Thanks to all who gave so generously.

Thanks also to the umpires, officials, and to all the enthusiastic volunteers from the Adelaide Hills club who once again turned on a first-rate show.

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Interclub Competition Round 3 Gawler – 24 November 2019

Round 3 was hosted by the Gawler club in fine conditions. The November sun was blazing, so the ample provision of shelters was most appreciated, but the air temperature was not too uncomfortable. Twenty-three teams participated, which was the best attendance at Gawler since 2008.

This season is shaping up to be one of the most competitive we have seen for some time. On this occasion, for the second time in a row, five different clubs were represented in the top five finishing positions.

Taking out the bronze medals were Dave Ward, Tory McBride & Lionel Pujol, from Eastern Suburbs. Having won a League round in each of the last four seasons, this team was perfectly poised to extend that remarkable record into a fifth year, but, at the end of the day, weren’t quite able to seal the deal. (Three rounds down and three to go). In the silver medal position was the local team of Dave McKinnon, Glenis Head & Stan Wilson. It’s the second medal for Glenis so far this season, but for Dave it was the first of his pétanquing career. Congratulations. Nevertheless, there was only one undefeated team on the day and that was the reigning state champion combination of Ralph Foster, Brian Tuckfield & Anthony Pietsch, taking some Interclub gold up to ‘them thar Hills’ for the first time in over five years.

These results have given the premiership table quite a shake-up. Gawler doubled their points tally for the season and moved up to sixth place, with a healthy advantage over FAB. Prospect also scored well and climbed two places to fourth, leaving Novar Gardens squeezed in between with a very slender margin on both sides. At the top of the table, a severely depleted ESP squad did enough to maintain their prime position, but they lost ground against their three nearest rivals. Of these, the biggest winner of Round 3 was Adelaide Hills, who have stormed into second place ahead of Club d’Adelaide and are now positioned closer to first than to third. All in all, the remainder of this season promises to be most intriguing.

Thanks to all who attended, to the umpires, and to the small but dedicated Gawler crew who took good care of us on the day.

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2019/20 SAPL Mixed Doubles Championship – ESP

This year’s SAPL Mixed Doubles Championship was played in ideal fine and mild conditions. Twenty-four teams participated ‒ the biggest turnout we’ve seen in the four years that this event has been running. While very competitive, the atmosphere was also quite convivial and sociable, as it usually tends to be with a mixed doubles format.
At the end of the day, there were only two undefeated teams left to fight it out in the final. The defending title-holders, Wendy Bensen & Alexi Alexi, had seen off allcomers to this pont in resounding fashion, but on this occasion had to settle for the runners-up trophy. They were no match for the new undisputed champions,

Selina Dally & Maurice Belz – Mixed Doubles Champ

Wendy Bensen & Alexi Alexi – Runners Up

In taking this title for the second time, Selina can add “first multiple winner in Mixed Doubles” to her already impressive list of SAPL records. As for Maurice, already the reigning State Champion in Singles and Open Doubles, this is another box ticked. It caps off a remarkable twelve month period which has also included four Interclub appearances yielding three gold medals and a silver. Maurice’s arrival in Adelaide has possibly set the bar higher for the rest of us than it’s ever been before.
A special mention must also go to Evie Beresford, the youngest player in the field by a considerable margin. Teamed with coach Tim Whelan, Evie showed that she has already become a very accomplished pétanque player in a short space of time, holding her own against others that have been playing since since before she was born. Evie & Tim not only made it all the way to the the semi-finals, their score of eight points against Selina & Maurice in that game was the best that any team could manage on the day.
Thanks to all who participated and to all the helpers from the Eastern Suburbs club who ensured everything ran smoothly.

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