YORKSHIRE REGION FESTIVAL OF PETANQUE

Following our club Memorial Day/Yorkshire Day celebration on Saturday we were all back in action early Sunday morning to re-create the Yorkshire theme for a team event for clubs who are members of the newly constituted Yorkshire Region.

Seven clubs fielded teams in the three competitions running along side one another. There was a Mixed Pairs, an Open Pairs and a Mixed Triples competition.

The day started with rain drizzling down but once play began the weather improved and eventually finished in pleasant sunshine.

All results can be seen in the results section on the Yorkshire Region web page. While we didn’t feature in the trophy handout there were some very impressive performances from members playing their first ever serious competition. They gave some prominent, experienced players a real jolt. Well done and something to build on for the future.

Warm-up in the rain

Things warmed up with the help of hot bacon butties provided by Gordon. His team changed during the day as demands switched from cooking to playing but Carol & Clive McC, Mary and Roger L all chipped in fabulous support. When they weren’t cooking they were selling raffle tickets and keeping the refreshments going.

Chef on the run

The terrains looked brilliant with our Yorkshire Flag and bunting adding to the gazebos.

Our fine terrains.

It was great to see our longtime supporter and kit provider, TOG24, present and with samples of their superb clothing and also DC Petanque offering first class petanque equipment.

It was a Herculean task over the weekend putting up and taking down twice all of the flags, bunting, gazebos and putting out chairs etc. A massive thank you to all of the members that made this all possible and some who not only put in a shift helping but did it as well as trying to play in matches. A special thank you to Gordon W, Carol & Clive McC, Mary & Roger L who teamed up on the bacon butties, selling raffle tickets, keeping team and coffee supplies available and to Roger J who was there at the crack of dawn both days as well as late evening to get us ready in time.

WELL DONE HECKMONDWIKE MEMBERS.

MEMORIAL MELEE CELEBRATING YORKSHIRE DAY

We held our Memorial Melee today. After Covid prevented us celebrating the event in 2020 it was a pleasing moment to let members come together and take a minute to remember those members no longer playing with us. The event is usually held on the Saturday closest to August 1st Yorkshire day and we made the most of the day by displaying our new Yorkshire flags and bunting.

As we drew towards the end of the three round melee our super chef, Gordon, came to the fore and with Carol McC working closely alongside him the burgers began to roll off the hotplate. A brilliant feast followed. Thankyou so much Gordon and Carol.

The brilliant surroundings and decoration would not have been possible without the sterling efforts of numerous members. Roger J was there at the crack of dawn and was still toiling long after most folk had gone home. Numerous other helpers, including Tony McD, David W, Colin C, Roger L, Eamon E worked really hard helping with gazebos, bunting etc. Carol and Clive McC even cleaned the clubhouse as we played. Thank you to all involved.

As with all melees results are always affected by the draw and whether you play well with three different partners against numerous different opponents. However, at the end of the three rounds we had 6 players who had achieved the ultimate 3 wins. In sixth place with 3 wins plus 11 points was Bob Taylor. Three points separated the next three players. Ian Fitton was 5th with 3 wins plus 17, Kevin Hepworth 3 wins plus 18 and Trevor May taking 3rd place with 3 wins plus 19. Christine Appleyard had a very good day to take second place with 3 wins plus 21. However, ladies took gold and silver positions as Janet Spencer became our 2021 Memorial Day Champion with 3 wins plus 23 points.

Our 2021 Champion Janet Spencer

Congratulations to everyone on a really enjoyable day of petanque and food.

Full results of the melee can be seen on the RESULTS PAGE of the blog.

Just a reminder that we are due to start fixtures for this year’s West Yorkshire League on 10th August, so if you would like to be part of the squad get your name on the list in the clubhouse. Gordon will be organising our team for matches.

We now have a playing date for our Club Championship MIXED PAIRS. Please get your team entered ASAP as the competition date is Saturday 14th August. The format is likely to be leagues followed by knockout semi-final and final.

WEST YORKSHIRE LEAGUE

I have just been advised that the WEST YORKSHIRE League is going to run this year and is due to commence around 10th August with the final match to take place on 12th October.

As there are only 5 clubs taking part there will be 8 matches to play over the 10 week period with each club getting two free weeks. Unfortunately, Mirfield decided not to take part.

The fixtures can be seen on the Yorkshire Region web page and a copy displayed on our club noticeboard. First match is Friday 13th August away at Harrogate.

If you’re interested in taking part please let me know or enter your name on the team list, again on the club noticeboard. When you enter your names please, if you can, enter dates when you have holidays booked or would be unavailable for selection. I appreciate that having been shut indoors for many months this may be the time you’re looking to get a holiday in so the more folk interested the better the chances of being able to complete our fixtures.

FREEDOM LUNCH ENJOYED TODAY

The sun shone on Heckmondwike today as members arrived around 12 noon to enjoy a beautiful buffet lunch. We sat in the shade of our three gazebos or the trees and and chatted while we ate. Quite a rare treat for us as we’re usually straight into playing petanque where conversations are often short and not always completed.

It was a day that typified the brilliant spirit and attitude amongst our membership. We had a fabulous crew of ladies preparing and serving food and while we were waiting a group were erecting gazebos, putting out chairs and tables, while others followed with sanitising wipes to make sure everyone sat on clean seats. Just about every touchable surface from door handles to toilet flushes, handrails bag racks etc were sanitised. Another green fingered group took to doing a spot of weed removal. We all sat and enjoyed a lovely buffet and as if our members hadn’t done enough we received numerous fabulous raffle prizes and then proceeded to buy up all of our raffle tickets.

There were so many raffle prizes donated we’ve split them into two groups so that we can run a further raffle on our Yorkshire Day event. Today’s raffle raised a fantastic £155 towards our chosen charity The Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity. Thankyou to everyone for your wonderful support for this very worthy cause.

We played our usual three games and then everyone helped to take the whole show to pieces and return chairs and equipment to the clubhouse.

It was both humbling and heartwarming to know I am a very lucky member of such a wonderful group of petanque players and friends. Thankyou to everyone for a brilliant day. As you might have guessed dopey me forgot to take some photos, but I know I can still see it all.

FREEDOM or AT LEAST A BIT CLOSER DAY

Well Boris didn’t completely back track on releasing us all from controls and restrictions. I suppose it would have been unrealistic to think you can just switch off a bug like Covid. We will still have a degree of safe distancing in place and sanitising wipes and hand gels will be provided.

However, we are still going ahead this coming Wednesday with our Freedom buffet lunch before we play petanque.

To add a little more detail we will have food ready for around 12.00 noon and serving until around 1pm so you don’t have to rush to turn up at 12 noon. We will eat outside and have gazebos up to help shield from the sun, which I’m assured will be shining. We will serve food by asking folk to enter the pavilion in small groups of up to six maximum. Any seventh member trying to creep in will be strung up and used as a target for the shooting competition. Don’t worry too much about that, I guess you’ll be as safe as houses.

Raffle tickets will be on sale and hopefully there will be prizes to win. Thankyou to those who have already brought a raffle prize and to those bringing one on the day. Hopefully we can raise some funds for our chosen charity, Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity.

If anyone is free to get there for around 11-11.30 to erect gazebos and prepare food etc it would be much appreciated.

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There will be more food provided, again a buffet lunch, on Saturday 31st July for our Yorkshire/ Memorial Day when we take a moment to remember members no longer playing with us. We will play our customary Memorial Melee which will double as a Month End Melee also. The winner will need a wheelbarrow to take home their trophy haul.

FREEDOM DAY COMING SOON

Hope I’m not speaking too soon but I sense that Boris is going to let us out of lockdown restrictions, or at least most of them, as planned on 19th July.

So we’re planning a celebration, socially distanced of course, for Wednesday 21st July. It’s our plan to provide a buffet lunch before we play petanque. We also intend to hold a raffle to raise some funds for our chosen charity, The Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity. To this end it would be helpful for catering purposes if members intending to attend and have the lunch could ensure their name is on the list that will be on our balcony table each play day for the next couple of weeks. Alternatively let me know and I’ll add your names.

Also, if members could donate a raffle prize that would be very kind. As we intend to hold a raffle on Yorkshire Memorial Day as well we can spread prizes across both events.

Just for a change from a buffet, the food on Yorkshire Day is likely to be BBQ, providing Gordon is feeling fit.

LADIES PAIRS SUCCESSES AND UPCOMING EVENTS

On Sunday last, Heckmondwike hosted the Yorkshire Ladies Pairs which also doubled as the qualifier for the International Women’s Day finals to be hosted at Heckmondwike on Sunday August 15th.

After much coaxing and cajoling Heckmondwike fielded four pairs in the event plus another of our members, Gemma Benson, playing with Bridlington’s Chris O’Rourke. Huddersfield were also represented by Rita Schofield and Christine Appleyard, who are also members of Heckmondwike.

It was particularly pleasing to see one of our founding group of players, Pam Wallace, coming to partner Kath Westley after not having played for some year and a half.

Eight pairs took to the terrains with two leagues of four. One league featured three of our teams along with the Huddersfield pairing. The other league saw Kath and Pam come up against three strong teams with ladies from Brid, Wetherby and Leeds.

Some excellent games were played and it was great to see three Heckmondwike pairs qualify for the semi-finals along with Rosanna and Migs from Leeds. Kath and Pam topped their group while Alma and Cath won all three league games to top the other league.

Semi-finals were both epic games with fortunes swaying backwards and forwards. Poor Alma and Cath will be still be coming to terms with how they managed to let a 12-1 lead slip to a 12-13 defeat against the highly rated Rosanna and Migs. Nevertheless they played very well and can feel proud of their performance.

Bev and Pauline raced into a 10-4 lead against Kath and Pam but were gradually caught as Kath and Pam pulled back to lead 11-10. However, it was a good next end for Bev and Pauline as they scored a three to take the tie 13-11. Two excellent games showing that Heckmondwike is well blessed with good standard players.

In the Final Bev and Pauline again made a good start but eventually Rosanna and Migs fought their way back to take the title by a 13-8 margin.

In the Plate competition Janet Spencer and Jean McCulloch played some great petanque to reach the final but failed to press home their advantage. With the score on 11-9 up and holding one point on the ground they sadly moved the coche with their last boule to give the game to the opposition.

Our ladies are to be congratulated on showing that Heckmondwike PC can compete well with the best of Yorkshire and to be thanked for ensuring that this competition was an excellent day of petanque for everyone participating and watching.

A very big thank you to Gordon who slaved over a hot plate to provide a feast of bacon sarnies to players and the crowd. Thankyou also to those of our members who turned up early morning to prepare our venue and also staying over to put it all away and tidy up. It was also very pleasing to see so many of our members turn up to watch and support our ladies

Now it’s wishing good luck to Bev and Pauline who will go forward to play in the national final on August 15th. Enjoy the experience.

Memorial Day Melee Saturday 31st July.

The club will play its annual Memorial Day melee competition when we remember members no longer with us. We will provide a buffet lunch for members and celebrate our Yorkshire homeland (including a few imports).

BOB’S YOUR CHAMPION

Yet another brilliant turnout for the June Month End Melee. 36 members played the melee while another 4 did a bit of cheeky practising for tomorrow’s event at Heckmondwike.

As usual in these melees, fortunes swayed in all directions. The draw is very important and your partner having a good day and your opposition having an off day is always the key to winning the Month End Melee. Competition was keen and 12 of the 54 games ended either 13-12 or 13-11.

In the end 6 players achieved 3 wins from the 3 rounds.

In 6th place was Ralph Clegg with 3 wins and plus 12 points. Just one point better off and tied for 4th place were Andy Royston and Doreen Hunter. Just another point better off in 3rd place was David Whittington with 3 wins and plus 14.

I edged into 2nd position with 3 wins and plus 16 points but this month’s Champion was Bob Taylor with a fine 3 wins and plus 18 points.

Very well done Bob.

FULL RESULTS CAN BE SEEN ON THE RESULTS PAGE OF THE BLOG

Sunday we host the Yorkshire Ladies Pairs competition and 8 teams are entered. There a re five teams from Heckmondwike and Huddersfield competing so if your looking for entertainment get yourself to Firth Park tomorrow, grab one of Gordon’s bacon baps and enjoy some excellent petanque.

YORKSHIRE DAY EVENT

Those of you who are Yorkshire members will be aware from reading the Region’s Newsletter that on Sunday August 1st Heckmondwike will be hosting an event for Yorkshire registered clubs. Clubs will enter teams into a competition to celebrate the first year of the Yorkshire Region. There will be three events taking place simultaneously. There will be Mixed Triples, Mixed Pairs and Open Pairs. That means each club can enter 7 players plus a sub for the triples. If any of our Yorkshire registered members would like to be considered for our teams please let me know ASAP. As we have 23 Yorkshire members in our club I’m afraid we won’t be able to offer places to everyone.

DC Petanque will be displaying their boules equipment so if you’re in need of new boules, scorers , magnets, boules bags etc this could be a chance to look at what is best for you. TOG24 are hoping to be there too so new boules clothing, including the new Yorkshire Region’s range of kit will be on view.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND A REQUEST FOR SOME ASSISTANCE

I’ll start with the request for help. As we have some competitions approaching where we play host to guests from around the region for we need to speed up the process of smartening up our terrains. Recent rain and sunshine have combined to produce lots of grass and weeds both on the terrains and around the surrounding pathways.

I’m burning a trail around the terrains at present and hope to largely complete those today but if anyone has an hour to spare and feels up for a bit of light exercise then please pull a few weeds out around the pathways and any I’ve missed on the terrains. Your help would be much appreciated.

On Sunday June 27th we are hosting the YORKSHIRE LADIES PAIRS CHAMPIONSHIP which is doubling as the Yorkshire Region Qualifier for International Women’s Day Finals which we will also be hosting on August 15th. There are several of our ladies taking part and room for more if you fancy entering, but be quick as closing date for entry is 21st June. Otherwise come along and cheer them on.

On Saturday 31st July we will hold our customary Memorial/Yorkshire Day event. We will be providing some food and we will stage our Memorial Day Melee. Winner’s name goes on our super shield.

On Sunday 1st August we will be hosting a competition for YORKSHIRE REGION to celebrate its formation and of course Yorkshire Day. There will be three competitions running at the same time and teams score points towards their club’s effort to become Yorkshire Club Champions. The competition is only open to Yorkshire affiliated clubs. Players must belong to the club they wish to represent. In future competitions team members must be Yorkshire Associate members but I understand there is some leeway this year as not all clubs have seven Yorkshire Associate members in their ranks. As we have 23 such Associate Members we will endeavour to select our squad of 7 or 8 with a substitute from our Associate Members. The three competitions are MIXED TRIPLES, MIXED PAIRS and OPEN PAIRS. Clubs can only put one team in each event.

BILL AND KEN THE 2021 CHAMPIONS

On Saturday it was the gents turn to play their pairs championship.

Ten pairs were drawn into two leagues, one of four teams and one of six teams. In each league all teams played three games in the hope of qualifying for the semi-final knockout stage. It was great to see several, relatively new members to our club enter and play some excellent petanque to make the competition very competitive as well as enjoyable.

In the league of six, two pairs were successful in winning all three games and so qualified for the semi-final stage. Myself and Steven Rathmell won three with plus 30 points and Colin Child and Graham Terry won three with plus 19 points.

The league of four saw Bill Ewart and Ken Hutchinson play excellently to win all three games with plus11 points. The other three teams each managed one win apiece but Gordon Walsworth and David Whittington were the team to go through with one win and minus 1 point just edging out Chris Hopkins and Ken Billington by two points.The semi-finals were both closely fought games with the results determined by the success or otherwise of a couple of points or shots. However, the teams going through to the final were Gordon Walsworth/ David Whittington who defeated Steven and myself by 13-9 while Ken Hutchinson/ Bill Ewart defeated Colin and Graham by 13-8. The final was an excellent match with some brilliant pointing and even better shooting. Bill and Ken eventually claimed the title by a 13-11 scoreline.

Congratulations to Ken and Bill who proved very worthy champions but also well done to everyone who took part and made it a very enjoyable, if tiring, day of petanque.

Our finalists

And our Champions.

Full results can be seen on the RESULTS PAGE of the blog.