Interclub Competition Round 2 Gawler 23 September

Perfect spring weather, some serious petanque and plenty of bonhomie were the rewards for a large turnout of competitors in Round 2. As usual, the Gawler club went all out to make it an excellent day, serving breakfast as well as lunch to the hungry petanquers.

Taking home the gold medals on this occasion were the Club d’Adelaide trio of Louis Oltarczy, Wayne Twigden & Alain Rousse, carrying on the excellent form they displayed last season. They got there via a thrilling one-point win in the fourth game against the internationally acclaimed girls from ESP, Deb Rodda, Selina Dally & Wendy Bensen, who went on to claim the silver.Continue reading

2018/19 SA State Doubles Championship – ESP 19 August

The 2018/19 State Doubles Championship was held at Eastern Suburbs in cool but fine conditions. Twenty pairs took part in this open competition including male, female and mixed-gender teams.

There were plenty of strong contenders and most of the pre-tournament favourites made it to the pointy end of the day. But, with so much talent on show, it was no great surprise that nearly every team suffered at least two losses throughout the course of the day. There was just one exception, who stood head and shoulders above the rest of the pack…

The exceptional team was Raja Jamaleddine & David Lefer, undefeatedand never really threatened from beginning to end. They arrived with intent, talked the talk and then walked the walk, culminating in an awesome display in a one-sided final. Their very worthy opponents, Louis Oltarczy & Jean-Paul Bouyer, could find no way to halt the onslaught.

This is David’s first state title since his win in the inaugural State Triples Championship in 2007. After something of a mid-life hiatus in his petanque career, he is back to his best. For Raja, meanwhile, his second State Doubles title completes his second full set of singles, doubles and triples crowns. Raja becomes the first player in the history of SAPL state championships to win twice in all three formats — an outstanding achievement.

There was no separate women’s competition this year due to low numbers. However, as the highest finishing women’s team, Selina Dally & Deb Rodda retained the title they won last year. To prove that they thoroughly deserved this honour, they put on an outstanding display in the Open competition, finishing top of their pool in the morning session and going as far as the semi-finals in the afternoon. This extends Selina’s reign as women’s doubles champion into its fifth year.

Finally, it is interesting to note that the first two teams to register for this event turned out to be the two finalists. What does that tell you?

State Doubles Champions Raja Jamaleddine & David Lefer (L & R)

with Anthony Pietsch

State Women’s Doubles Champions  Deb Rodda & Selina Dally

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Interclub Competition Round 1 Prospect 29 July

The first round of the new season was well attended despite the threat of showers, which fortunately did not materialise. Conditions were cool, but pleasant enough.

Last year, in the 2017/18 championship, the pecking order was fairly well established after Round 1 and barely changed for the rest of the season. This time around, the early indications are that the season to come may be a bit more interesting than that.

The dominant club on the day was Eastern Suburbs, with their three teams all finishing in the top five. Congratulations to the gold medal winners — Alexi, Arwed & Lionel. The resultant points haul puts ESP well ahead of the rest of the pack, at this early stage.

Reigning champion Adelaide sits in second place, on the back of a silver medal performance by Dominique, Rada & Alain. However, with a depleted squad and only one team in the points, they only just got their noses in front of the next three clubs who are all tied for third ‑‑ Adelaide Hills, Gawler and Prospect. Rounding out this tight pack are FAB, who, in sixth place, are a mere 6 points shy of second!

Such a tight contest is good for the competition and leaves us eagerly anticipating the next round. Thanks to the Prospect club and all their volunteers for doing a great job as hosts.

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Interclub Competition Round 5 Gawler 29 April

Round 5 was held in ideal conditions. In the picturesque green surrounds of the Gawler Petanue Club, the weather was absolutely perfect — sunny and mild from start to finish. It’s just a shame there weren’t more players there to appreciate it.

Stars of the day were a local team comprising two seasoned veterans and a rookie: John Gejas, Glenis Head & Belinda Kopania.

Undefeated, they finished with a classic victory over this season’s dominant team, Messieurs Bouyer, Rousse & Oltarczy. The latter had to be content with third place on this occasion. Congratulations in particular to Belinda, taking home a gold medal in just her second outing, and to Glenis for her first Interclub gold. Well done also to Adrian Clements, Wayne Twigden & Ernie Palmer, in the silver medal position.Continue reading

State Singles Championship

This year’s State Singles Championships were held in unseasonably warm conditions which proved quite taxing in the morning session, but an afternoon wind shift offered some relief later in the day.
The most notable thing about this year’s Open was the evenness of the competition. It was a strong and larger than average field, but a few players who have dominated proceedings in the past were absent this time around. The result was a day full of epic battles and close results. The stats tell the story…
Of the fifty games played in the morning session, half of them went to a score of 13|9 or higher. Across all games after lunch, this ratio was again exactly 50%. Historically, we would normally expect it to be more like 25-30%. Breaking it down further, about a quarter of all games had scores of 13|12 or 13|11 — three times the number of games less than 13|3.
Unfortunately, one consequence of so many close games was that the competition proceeded more slowly than expected. It made for a long day, with the final played under lights and finishing more than two hours later than other occasions where the same format has been used.
The new State Open Singles Champion is Lionel Pujol, who peaked at the right time and lasted the distance when others around him were flagging. In particular, his victory over Alexi Alexi in the final bucked the day’s trend towards close games.Continue reading

Interclub Results Round 4 – Adelaide Hills 25 February

It just wouldn’t be League at Stirling without some precipitation, no matter what time of year it’s scheduled. Fortunately, this year the misty rain was so light that it was easily ignored and soon cleared to make way for a lovely sunny and mild afternoon. The varying condition of the playing surface as the pistes dried throughout the day presented an extra challenge to players.

After three rounds dominated by Club d’Adelaide, Round 4 was Prospect’s time to shine. Emulating Adelaide’s efforts in Round 2, Prospect has now become the second club to have ever achieved a clean sweep of the gold, silver and bronze medals. Congratulations to Dave Ward, Lionel Pujol & Tory McBride, winners on the day, and to Brett Williams, Martin Verdonk & Richard Voskamp and Heike & John Whitehorn & Alan Matthews respectively.Continue reading

2017/18 SA State Triples Championship

This year’s State Triples Championship was held in fine and dry conditions, with the fierce February sun tempered by mild air temperatures.

In the preliminary rounds, reigning champions Dom and Rada Pierre (this time playing with Wayne Twigden) looked on track to repeat their heroics of the previous year. In fact, it took until the fourth round before any opponent managed to score a point against them! However, their run came to an end in an epic semi-final against the Adelaide Hills trio of Greg Anderson, Brian Tuckfield & Anthony Pietsch, in which the score was tied five times and the lead changed on each of the last three ends.

The other finalists were Selina Dally, Craig Stewart and Alexi Alexi, from the Eastern Suburbs club. This team, playing together for the first time, had reached the final with comfortable wins in all but one of their earlier games. The exception was one prelim round in which they had to claw their way back from a 0-6 deficit to win 8-7. That game was against the same team they were now facing in the final. But the result second time around was more decisive and the ESP team finished the day undefeated and holding the trophy. This is Alexi’s third State Triples title, the second for Craig and a first for Selina.Continue reading

SA Interclub Comp – Round 3 – Gawler – 3 December

Round 3 came at a time of year when people have many other demands on their time (e.g., test cricket at Adelaide Oval), resulting in a rather disappointing turnout of just fifteen teams. The weather was variable, with players repeatedly exchanging sunglasses for raincoats. But, fortunately, by the end of the day, the former were required far more than the latter.
In terms of the competition, Club d’Adelaide were vulnerable here because they were only fielding one and two-thirds of a team. However, it’s all about quality, not quantity, and they still managed to score more championship points than any of the other clubs and increase their huge lead at the top of the table. In fact, the rewards reaped by all the clubs were fairly reflective of where they stood on the ladder already after the first two rounds. The only change is that Prospect gained a few points on ESP and have now caught up to be equal second.
Stars of the day were Louis Oltarczy, Jean-Paul Bouyer & Adrian Clements, three veterans of the game who have been consistent performers throughout the history of the competition. For Louis and J-P, this was their second gold medal and third top-two finish in the three rounds so far this season — a very impressive effort.
Also on the podium were a few newer players and potential stars of the future. In the second-placed team from Prospect, Melissa Scott collected her first league medal while her partner Gavin backed up his silver from Round 1 with another. In third, Ross Coleman from Adelaide Hills also picked up his first medal.
Thanks to the Gawler club for doing a great job of hosting and to all who participated.Continue reading