The Interclub Round 3 match scheduled for 29 November 2020, which was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, has been re-scheduled to Sunday 27 June 2021 (the League Reserve day).
Once again, the weather was perfect for Round 4 of the SAPL Interclub competition – mild temperature, no rain, partly cloudy, partly sunny. We have indeed been very lucky this season, in that respect.
With the first three rounds having been dominated by the usual suspects, Round 4 started with an expectation that things might be a bit different this time. Some spice has been added to the mix with the introduction of a couple of experienced and very talented new recruits at the Prospect and Novar Gardens clubs, respectively, and it’s no coincidence that these were the two clubs that ended up advancing their position.
In particular, Van Nguyen has taken the local pétanque community by storm since joining the fold at Prospect earlier this year. His stellar debut at the State Singles Championship made it clear that here was a force to be reckoned with and the bar has been lifted for the rest of us.
In this round, Van was teamed with Melissa & Gavin Scott, who themselves have been in excellent form of late. Their bronze medals in the January Interclub were followed up in February with Melissa winning the State Women’s Singles title. So it should come as no surprise that the three of them together saw off allcomers and won the day as the only undefeated team. Their victory sees the gold medals heading in the Prospect direction for the first time in over three years. Having won bronze and silver in the past, this is the first time Gavin & Melissa have taken out the top honours.One suspects it won’t be the last. As for Van, his 100% record speaks for itself.
The silver medallists were Deb Rodda, Anna O’Connor & Selina Dally, from ESP, while the bronze went to Club d’Adelaide’s Ernie Palmer, Wayne Twigden & Adrian Clements.
These results have had an immediate impact on the premiership table. Rather than jostling for fourth position as they had been doing, Prospect have surged ahead to claim third and now have their sights firmly set on second-placed Adelaide. This relegates Adelaide Hills to fourth, followed by Novar Gardens who have jumped back ahead of FAB into fifth.
Thanks to the umpires and to the Eastern Suburbs club and volunteers for hosting and catering for the event.
Open Men: Craig Stewart (Eastern Suburbs Petanque Club) – 32 points
Open Women: Selina Dally (Eastern Suburbs Petanque Club) – 18 points
Men Over 60: Lionel Pujol (Eastern Suburbs Petanque Club) – 13 points
Women Over 60: Tory McBride (Eastern Suburbs Petanque Club) – 9 points
Umpires: Peter Beaumont, Raymond Beaumont & Brett Williams
Scorer: Adrian Clements
This year’s State Singles Championships were held in fine and mild conditions, continuing the remarkable trend of near-perfect weather for all our SAPL events so far this season.
The Women’s competition was hard-fought and closely contested, with only one player making it through the morning session undefeated. That was Melissa Scott, from Prospect.
Melissa continued to hold her nerve after lunch and went on to win her first state title. Her opponent in the final was Novar Gardens’ Miriam Peik, also recording her personal-best finish in a state championship. Well done to both of you.
This year’s result continues a trend of ‘sharing the love around’ in this event. Melissa is the fifth Women’s Singles Champion in five years. In fact, there have been eleven different winners from thirteen championships dating back to 2006.Continue reading
After the unfortunate cancellation of our November round due to a brief COVID-19 outbreak, we have at least struck it very lucky with the weather this season. For this round, we had mild temperatures to offset the mid-summer sun and a gentle breeze kept everyone comfortable –about as good as it gets in January. On the previous Sunday, we would have encountered temperatures over 40C and a massive smoke plume from the large bushfire raging within a few kilometres of the Stirling venue.
The competition itself was very tight. Only 4 teams won all three of their prelim games and only 5 won both of the afternoon games. Just one team managed to do both and that was the winning combination of Alexi Alexi, Craig Stewart & Maurice Belz, from Eastern Suburbs.
Last season, 2019/20, was notable as the first time in ten years that Alexi didn’t win at least one Interclub gold medal, but he’s more than made up for it this season. This makes it three wins in a row for Alexi and Maurice – a remarkable feat not seen since 2013. On that occasion, it was also a team featuring Alexi, playing with George Lainas and Arwed Turon. (Prior to that, the only others to achieve it were the awesome world-class trio of Suki, Ken and Raja, also from ESP, who many will remember.) The big question now, as we are only half-way through the season, is “how far can they take this?” History beckons.Continue reading
Message from SAPL
New SA Government COVID restrictions require all community sport fixtures to be temporarily cancelled (expected duration of 6 days).
The InterClub Round 3 at Gawler has been cancelled.
Further information will be given when the situation is clearer.
Message from Eastern Suburbs Pétanque
New SA Government COVID restrictions require all community sport fixtures to be temporarily cancelled (expected duration of two weeks).
The Dingo Cup has been cancelled.
What a shame for all of us. Stay safe everyone, and hopefully we will see each other on the piste again soon.
Eastern Suburbs Pétanque
This year’s State Doubles Championships were held at Prospect in fine and mild
conditions. For just the second time in five years, there was sufficient demand for a
separate Women’s competition and the turnout of ten teams for that event was great
At the end of the day, it was no surprise to see Deb Rodda & Selina Dally emerge as the
Women’s Champions. It doesn’t seem to matter whether there is a separate
competition or if the title is awarded to the best-placed female team in a combined
tournament, these two legends of the game (and reigning Open Triples champions)
have been keeping a firm grip on the Women’s Doubles title for some years now. It is
Deb’s fourth time in a row, while for Selina this makes six out of the past seven.
The only other team to get through the four qualifying rounds unscathed, Anna
O’Connor & Tory McBride, also continued through to the final and finished as
In the Open, there were a few upsets in the morning session, but the cream rose to the
top in the end. The new Champions are Alexi Alexi & Maurice Belz. That makes two in
a row for Maurice and it’s also the second for Alexi, although the latter had to wait for
eight years to replicate the feat. Alexi now has one State Singles trophy, two Doubles
trophies and three Triples trophies to his name.
After a steady start to the day, Alexi & Maurice made it to the final via an epic semi
against Lionel Pujol & Dominique Pierre (whose path to that point had not been quite
so straightforward). That game hung in the balance right until the end. In contrast,
the much-anticipated final against David Lefer & Lionel Chazal was all over in half an
hour and rather one-sided.
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.
Alexi Alexi, Arwed Turon & Maurice Belz
Rada Pierre, Alain Rousse & Dom Pierre,
Tory McBride, Ray Drummond & Lionel Pujol
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.