The history of League competition at Stirling is littered with tales of bitter cold and ‘fog so thick you couldn’t see the other end of the piste’, with a common perception that it always rains. Not so this year. After being greeted by a crisp morning chill (just to remind them where they were), the players soon warmed up in the summer sun en route to a very clement maximum of 24 degrees. Lovely.
Symbolic perhaps, but, more important than the weather, this day was particularly significant for the Adelaide Hills club and its relationship with the League. Last season we didn’t get to play there at all due to issues within the club. Then, when the club’s committee subsequently decided not to reaffiliate with the Federation, any members who wanted to participate in League events had no choice but to join another club, which meant there was no longer an AHP team in the interclub competition. It was a very sad state of affairs and there were fears that this loss to the petanque community might become permanent.
Fortunately, however, enough people cared enough to bring about a change in leadership and a subsequent change of direction. The emphasis is now on unity within and engagement without, just as it should be. This was most evident on the 26th, where it was clear that many enthusiastic members had gone to great lengths to ensure the occasion was a success. Their efforts were appreciated by all and everything ran smoothly throughout the day. Many visiting players commented how pleased they were to be back at this wonderful venue.
Even more heartening was the club’s participation in the actual competition, which hadn’t seemed likely just a few months earlier. Eager to re-engage as soon as possible, they managed to assemble a group of keen new (PFA licenced) participants — more than enough to field two teams immediately, even without the services of most of their former, experienced league players.This will provide a welcome boost to the interclub numbers and is a most encouraging sign of things to come for the club.
In terms of the competition itself, the day belonged to Eastern Suburbs — first place on the day (well done Alexi, George and Arwed), together with second and fourth (some more good contributions from the hills ‘players-in-exile’). This served to increase ESP’s championship lead over Club d’Adelaide, who in turn moved further ahead of third-placed Prospect.
The lower half of the table was more interesting. In their first outing, Adelaide Hills won a few games and managed to get a team into a point-scoring position, thus moving into sixth place ahead of Gawler. Meanwhile. Port Noarlunga continue to accrue points and have climbed to equal fourth, alongside FAB (absent for this round).
Thanks to those who participated, and to all who contributed to making it such a great day.