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.
Maurice Belz State Singles Champion 2019
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 very successful teams from ESP
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.
Glorious spring weather, delicious food, some tight games, some thumpings and, most importantly, lots of fun. The third Interclub round had it all, and an excellent turn-out of twenty-three teams were at the Club d’Adelaide to make the most of it. Players were kept on their toes by subtle changes in the playing surface over the course of the day, as the moisture from some overnight rain dried out in the warm sun.
The major honours for the day went to the highly experienced trio of Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz. This was Maurice’s first appearance in the Interclub competition since relocating to Adelaide from NZ. By taking out the gold, undefeated, and demonstrating some awesome skills along the way, he certainly made his presence felt and sent a warning to the rest of the competition.
The silver medallists were Louis Oltarczy, Jean-Paul Bouyer & Tony Stojsic, who maintained the fine form they showed all last season. Through a quirk of the draw, this was one of the rare occasions where a second team gets through the day undefeated. Despite winning all three preliminary games, they only qualified third in their pool which denied them a shot at the gold, but they made the best of their situation after that.
The tournament structure we use for the Interclub has been designed to deal with anomalous situations such as we saw here, where most of the strongest contenders happen to find themselves grouped together on the same side of the draw. Players sometimes think it odd that the losers of the gold medal match in the fifth round are only awarded third place, rather than second as you would expect with most conventional formats. This set of circumstances provides a clear example of why the silver medal match is for the silver medal.Continue reading
This year’s Mixed Doubles Championship was played under ideal conditions – mild temperature, warm sun, no wind, no rain, no hail, no fog. The sort of weather one normally gets at Stirling when there isn’t a petanque tournament on.
As we’ve come to expect at this event, the atmosphere was extremely convivial and sociable – moreso than the other state championships. A bit less testosterone in the air, perhaps, because of the 50/50 gender balance.
The 2018/19 champions are the seasoned campaigners, Wendy Bensen & Alexi Alexi. In a dominant performance, they were the only team to get through the four qualifying games unscathed and went on to power their way through the finals. Wendy and Alexi were both already in the elite group to have won state titles in Singles, Triples and Open Doubles. They can now add the Mixed Doubles, in its third year, to that list.Continue reading
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
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
South Australian Doubles Championships will be held at Eastern Suburbs Pétanque Club (8 Northgate Street, Unley Park) on Sunday 19th August, 2018
For more details see the brochure here.