held at: Club de Pétanque d’Adelaide
This year’s State Singles got off to a soggy start but, fortunately, the rain cleared after an hour or so and it was largely fine for the rest of the day. A small but high quality field of contestants took to the pistes for what would prove to be a memorable day.
The Open competition was played with a slightly different format this year. It may have been a little difficult to follow but it achieved its aims of bringing the cream to the top while keeping everybody else interested for as long as possible. Despite a few upsets along the way, there were not too many surprises in the early rounds. Similarly, in the middle stages, most games were won by the higher-ranked favourites. It was all going according to script — right up to the final…
In one corner was Lionel Chazal, arguably the best player in the country. Since appearing on the scene in 2011, Lionel has won every State Singles title (together with others in Doubles and Triples). Moreover, along the way, he’s actually won every game he’s played in every State Singles tournament, apart from one minor slip-up in 2014. This time, once again, he had swept all before him.
Others have tried and failed. This year, his opponent with the impossible task was Dominique Pierre. Drawing on his wealth of experience, Dom had beaten most of the other serious contenders along the way to earn his place in the final. Obviously, moving into the Veterans category does not mean he’s lost any of his legendary prowess.
The final was closer than most. Dom’s consistency made Lio work hard for every point. Any mistake was costly. Eventually, it got to 11-all, then 12‑all. Finally, one good placement, one missed shot, and Dominique is the new State Champion! A brilliant effort by Dom and a great game ‑‑ one for the ages. It gives the rest of us hope that Lionel may be a mere mortal after all.
The Ladies competition was also a closely-fought affair. After the first round of four prelim games, all had already registered at least one win but no-one was undefeated. Nevertheless, after a couple more games, four clear leaders emerged to contest the semi-finals.
In a change of fortune, it was the two standout qualifiers who fell at the first knock-out stage. This left Wendy Bensen to clinch the title after a close final played against proven performer, Rada Pierre. This is Wendy’s first Singles title and it fills a gap in her already impressive CV. She now joins Rada as one of only two women to have taken out the full set of state titles in Triples, Doubles and Singles.
Thanks to all who participated and to the Adelaide club for once again doing a great job of hosting