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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Interclub Competition Round 2 NOVAR Gdns – 22 September 2019

The renaissance of SA pétanque continued in Round 2 with a population explosion. Undeterred by the threat of showers (which fortunately stayed away for the most part), a staggering turn-out of 87 players took to the pistes at Novar Gardens. That’s 15 more than in Round 1, which in turn had the most we’d seen for over a decade.

Five different clubs were represented in the top five positions, but the winning team was the highly-credentialled and experienced trio of Selina Dally, Wendy Bensen & Maurice Belz, from ESP. No surprises there. However, also on the podium were some of the newer entrants to the field and potential stars of the future. In second place, and all taking home their first League medal, were Mike Read, Ashton Claridge & Mal Bedsonfrom the Adelaide Hills club. Bronze went to the Novar Gardens team of Jonathan Giddings, Bruce Lucas & Jean-Luc Gonnet, with Bruce also registering a personal best. Congratulations and well done to all.

Selina, Maurice, WendyMike, Ashton, MalBruce, Jonathan,
Jean-Luc

This was one of those rounds where the pattern of results did not fit what we would normally expect. In particular, we had a very unusual situation in Pool A where five of the fourteen teams won all three of their preliminary games, with only one of the others winning more than one. This created a few apparent anomalies in the final rankings, such as one team that won all five of their games but couldn’t climb up to a medal-winning position because their morning points tally was ‘only’ +19.

In terms of the championship, the lesson was that there’s safety in numbers. Despite the fact that each club can only claim the points from their two best-placed teams, it was the three clubs with five or more teams that picked up the biggest hauls ‒ Eastern Suburbs cemented their place at the top of the table, while Adelaide Hills and Novar Gardens were the big movers. The latter two have climbed up into third and fourth place, respectively, at the expense of FAB and Gawler, while Adelaide (2nd), Prospect (6th) and Port Noarlunga (8th) all maintained their first-round positions.

Thanks to the well-organised Novar Gardens crew for hosting the day.Continue reading

Interclub Competition Round 1 ESP – 29 July 2019

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

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Interclub Competition Round 4 at Adelaide Hills Pétanque Club – 20 Jan, 2019

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. 

 

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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

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

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

SAPL Mixed Doubles Championsips

The SAPL Mixed Doubles competition was held at the Club de Petanque d’Adelaide​ on the 24 September.

This year’s SAPL Mixed Doubles Championship was well-attended, attracting a strong field of 22 teams. The conditions were windy, but mostly fine and dry.

The new champions in this format are Selina Dally & Nick Armstrong. Their draw in the morning session was far from easy, but Selina & Nick got through undefeated and they went on to finish the day the same way they started — with a hard-fought win over runners-up, Deb Rodda & Lionel Chazal.

We all knew it was only a matter of time before Nick, one of the most promising young players on the scene, would take home his first state title. This breakthrough achievement was well-deserved, and having come tantalisingly close in previous Open Doubles and Open Triples championships would only have added to the sweetness of the moment.

As for Selina, she is an unstoppable force at the moment. When this event was held for the first time last year, Dominique Pierre became the first player in SAPL history to concurrently hold three state titles. With victories in Ladies Singles and Ladies Doubles already under her belt this year, Selina is now the first female player to do so. Of course, Dom went on to achieve ‘absolute legend’ status by also winning the Triples and making it a complete set. Can Selina do the same? We’ll find out in February.Continue reading