Here is the Player Ranking for the 2018-19 year,
Here is the Player Ranking for the 2018-19 year,
Due to an unforeseen clash with a large public event at Gawler on the 22nd of September, the venues for Rounds 2 and 3 of the Interclub competition have been swapped around…
In fine and mild conditions, the 2019/20 season got off to a roaring start with twenty‑four teams in attendance. This turn-out has not been matched since 2012 and the last time we’ve had more than that was in 2008. What makes it all the more remarkable is that this happened at a time of year when quite a number of regular players from various clubs are absent. Host clubs be warned — we might be in for some big crowds this year!
As is customary for the first round, the day began with the presentation of medals for the most outstanding players of the season just completed. Congratulations to Wendy Bensen for winning the Best Player award, and to Alexi Alexi (Best Male Player); Susan Krieg and Mark Reardon (Best New Players); and Tory McBride, Lionel Pujol & Dave Ward (Best Veterans). Wendy is the first woman to win the overall award, making it the first time the medal for ‘best player of the other gender’ has been for the ‘best male’.
At the end of the day, there was another set of medals to present. The gold ones went to the only undefeated team, the very experienced Adelaide trio, Jean-Paul Bouyer, Louis Oltarczy & Alain Rousse. They appear to have recaptured some of the form that saw them dominating the competition a couple of years ago.
Gold Team – Jean-Paul Bouyer, Alain Rousse & Louis Oltarczy
held at: Prospect 30 June, 2019
From one extreme to the other… This season’s State Triples Championship was postponed in February due to extreme heat. Second time around it was nearly a washout. Fortunately, the torrential downpour that fell on Saturday made way for a fine day on Sunday. It was a bit chilly and the pistes were still damp, but at least they weren’t flooded and it wasn’t raining.
The atmosphere at this competition was a little different to previous years. This was not just because of the very pleasing record turnout of twenty teams. It was also because many of the players (about half of them) were participating in the event for their first time. However, the standard of competition has remained high in this renaissance period for South Australian pétanque.
Many of the newer teams gave a very good account of themselves, making up about half of the teams that progressed beyond the preliminaries and claiming some big scalps along the way. On the other hand, those who missed the cut included a few of the more seasoned teams who initially might have been seen as some of the strongest contenders for the title.
In the end, though, it was experience that won out. In fact, the grand finalists may have felt a sense of deja vu, as five of the six players involved had also played in the final of the 2017/18 championship. On one side were the formidable defending champions, Selina Dally, Craig Stewart and Alexi Alexi, from the Eastern Suburbs club. Their opponents once again were an Adelaide Hills combo, comprising Brian Tuckfield & Anthony Pietsch, out for revenge, teamed up this time with Ralph Foster.
A very experienced player, Ralph has had an extended hiatus from competitive pétanque but was recently persuaded to return to the fold and thus reconstitute a team that has had some success in the past. It may have been some time between drinks, but the combination of Foster, Tuckfield & Pietsch already had a State Triples title to their name. Interestingly, their victory in 2009/10 came after having been runners-up the year before.
This year’s final was hotly contested and the quality of the game did not disappoint the small crowd of spectators who stayed to watch — not as much shooting as we sometimes see, but plenty of the more subtle arts of the game were on display. It started as an arm wrestle until, at 6-7 down, the ESP team made their move and forged ahead. They had their chances and, at 12-7, some may have thought the whole thing was done and dusted. However, little did they know that the Hills team were working to a cunning plan. In a masterful execution of the old ‘lull them into a false sense of security then jump them at the end’ strategy, timed to perfection, the latter prevailed to take out the honours.
On a historical note, Ralph, Brian & Anthony become the first trio to win two State Triples Championships in SA. A number of players have won multiple titles (including Alexi and Craig), but it has always been as part of different combinations.Continue reading
The final round of the 2018/19 season was held in less than ideal conditions, with more extensive periods of rain than had been forecast, accompanied by a cold wind. Nevertheless, it was not enough to deter another excellent turnout of 22 teams, at a time when quite a few of the regulars were away.
The story this season has been one of total domination by a single club, the likes of which we have never seen before. Eastern Suburbs already had an unassailable lead, but the prospect of a dead rubber made no difference. Nor did it seem to matter that several of their key players were absent for Round 6, including their entire gold-medal-winning team from Round 5. This time around it was Selina Dally, Craig Stewart & Maurice Belz taking out the day’s honours, with Anna O’Connor, Tim Whelan and Wendy Bensen claiming silver.
All sorts of records have been broken by ESP this year. Perhaps the most remarkable is their final tally of exactly 300 championship points, which neatly equates to an average of 50 points per round. The only way for a club to get 50 points or more in one round is to have the winning team and another team finishing second or third. To do it once is quite an achievement. To maintain it over the entire season is simply staggering. Furthermore, it wasn’t achieved on the back of just one or two outstanding individuals. Sixteen ESP squad members featured in medal-winning positions during the season, with ten players taking home at least one gold. Congratulations to all.Continue reading
The State Triples which were cancelled on the 24th of February have been rescheduled for the 30th June at Prospect
held at: Club de Pétanque d’Adelaide 5 May, 2019
A near-record turnout of players for this year’s SA Singles Championships were rewarded with some fine and very pleasant autumn weather, a great atmosphere and some excellent competition.
The Open attracted a strong field of 24 entrants and the evenness of the competition was reflected in the results. Across the preliminary rounds, all but four players chalked up at least two wins out of their five games while only three individuals won more than three. Nevertheless, two remained undefeated and, to prove that it was more than just ‘luck of the draw’, these two remained that way throughout the knockout rounds and into the Final.
On one side was local hero Raja Jamaleddine, gunning for his third title in this event. His opponent was Maurice Belz. These two men both have experience representing their country at the international level — but not for the same country. This was Maurice’s first appearance in a SAPL championship since relocating here from NZ last year and he showed why he has already had such a large impact on the local pétanque scene.
The Final was a worthy contest and a demonstration of pétanque played at the very highest level by two elite players. Raja made the early running, establishing a small lead but not able to break away. The competition was fierce and every ball had the potential to turn things around. Eventually, Maurice made his move at just the right time and clinched the title with a 13-10 victory. Bravo Maurice.
There were no worries about the hot weather policy this time, as the weather for Round 5 was unseasonably cool for March. A few spots of light rain punctuated the morning session but the sun came out later, making for a very pleasant afternoon.
The competition was once again dominated by Eastern Suburbs, as has been the trend all season. In fact, this was the fourth time in five rounds that the club has scored more than fifty championship points and it has now amassed an awesome total and secured the title with one round yet to play.
On this occasion it was Nick Armstrong, Alexi Alexi & Arwed Turon taking out the day’s honours – the third gold medal for Alexi and Arwed this season. In second place were Deb Rodda, Selina Dally & Wendy Bensen, while Anna O’Connor, Marcus Marndaz & Ray Drummond finished third to complete the ESP trifecta. Surprisingly perhaps, in light of their strong record, this is the first time Eastern Suburbs have ever taken all the medals in a clean sweep.
The State Triples competition to be held at Prospect on Sunday 23rd February has been cancelled under the SAPL Heat Policy.
The competition will be rescheduled at a future date as yet to be confirmed.
For details of the Heat Policy check here.
The January round of the Interclub competition fortunately fell during a brief lull between two prolonged periods of severe hot weather. In fact, it was almost chilly in the morning at Stirling as players arrived. However, it didn’t take long for the fierce summer sun to have an impact. The air temperature was not extreme by any means (29C maximum, believe it or not), but in the sun it felt hotter than that.
Round 4 honours went to the most enduring team in the competition. Tory McBride, Lionel Pujol & Dave Ward have played together as a set combination for many years and have been consistent performers. This victory makes them the first trio to win a League gold medal in each of four consecutive seasons. The silver medallists were Grant Ashmeade, Gavin Scott & Brett Williams.