If there is one thing you learn from playing Petanque it’s that if something could happen in a game then it almost certainly will. Our West Yorkshire League match today was our last of the season while Leeds still have one more to play next week. For us the maths was simple. If we could win 4-1 then our lead at the top of the league would be too great for Leeds to overhaul in their last fixture. If we won 3-2 then Leeds could overhaul us by winning 4-1 in their last game. Bearing in mind we lost 1-4 away at Leeds either winning scoreline was going to be tough to achieve. We started the triples full of hope and it seemed just a matter of minutes before the first shock occurred. Roger F, Clive McC and Colin C were sat watching us. Playing a formidable Leeds trio of Sam, Steve and Nestor it took just three ends to record a magnificent 13-0 victory. No disrespect lads but you would have got very goods odds for predicting that brilliant result. Well done indeed. Alma J, Ian F and Clive W took part in a relatively less exciting match but it was full of good shooting and pointing and we eventually ran out 13-9 winners. So far so good but then in the pairs Roger and Colin obviously hadn’t warmed up in their triples and had fired Sam into action. Leeds hit back with a 13-4 victory to turn up the pressure on our team. Alma and I played pretty well to reach a 12-4 lead and yes you’ve guessed it. The last point became incredibly difficult to get. At 12-10 we finally managed to edge home. The lead was now 3-1 and the final match was still nowhere near crunch time. Ian Fitton and Clive McCulloch were holding there own against Nestor and Steve at 7 across. Every end was close and only ones or twos being scored. First one pair edged ahead then the other. Inevitably 12-12 was reached with Leeds holding the coche. After four boules we had a boule nestling against the coche. Nestor shot out the coche with a brilliant shot. Dead end. The final end was one of the most dramatic ends ever seen. Both teams had boules close and were nudged out as “game on the ground” passed from one team to the other. One boule each and Leeds held the point but Clive McCulloch pointed in brilliantly to nudge them out and hold the point. Poor Nestor attempted to point in and push a Leeds boule in but fortunately for us he failed by a couple of inches. The release of tension around the watching crowd was amazing. Leeds are to be thanked for such a great game full of good sportsmanship as well as excellent play but at the end of a nerve racking match we had the result we desperately hoped for. A 4-1 win. A big thank you and congratulations to all of the 12 Heckmondwike members who have contributed to a successful season.
A great big thankyou to the two fine artistes who turned out today to rub down and paint the four remaining benches at our terrain. Well done Roger and Clive. They are so skilful that they put more paint on the benches than on themselves. A skill I have yet to perfect. Thanks also to the six strong lads in the park who were on hand to lift our two artists up from the ground and back on their feet after they’d finished the underside of the last bench.
Just a coincidence perhaps but our best turnout of members this year was again for the Ladies versus Gents fixture. Today 44 members arrived wearing war paint for our second such game of 2018. Conveniently there were 22 ladies and 22 gents. Had we (me) counted correctly to start with we could have played 11 pairs of each sex but because we had already drawn teams believing there to be only 21 men we had 10 teams each of which there were two triples teams in each camp. I guess I was the man who was unsure of whether I was there or not. Despite the final result suggesting otherwise a vast majority of the 30 games were very closely fought with the loser in a third of them scoring 11 or 12 points. However, I soften the blow no longer. The gents won for the third time in a row. The score was 21 games (plus 84 points) to the gents and 9 wins (minus 84 points) to the ladies. Of course our modesty forbids photos of the gents parading the trophy through the streets of Heckmondwike. Special mention for Ladies pair Doreen Hutchinson and Doreen Hunter who recorded three wins out of three games. Well done to you both. Three gents teams recorded three from three. Roy Henstock with Stuart Bolton, Ian Fitton with Alan Norfolk and by some weird twist of fate Kevin Hepworth, Trevor May and myself were our heroes in chief. An excellent day of Petanque played in great spirit and favoured by dry, if a little cool, weather. To be certain the Ladies will be looking for revenge next time.
Guess who this is practising ready for Saturday’s Ladies v Gents. That is, of course, thunderstorms permitting.
If you need a clue, think who has recently been yellow carded for wearing open toed shoes. Got em? Well done.
Coming up we have Bastille Day on the 15th July. As is usual we hope to have a BBQ, providing our head chef has returned from his mammoth holiday. Please put your names on the list on club notice board if you are coming so that we can gauge food requirements. We will have some petanque skill shot competitions as well as social play. Remember that wearing French related dress is encouraged.
A week later is our “La British Open” competition. If you haven’t yet put your name to either the list of team entries or the list of helpers at the event there is still time. As some folk have removed their names from the helpers’ list to go onto the competitors’ list there is room for a few more helpers if you have time. Either Saturday or Sunday would be great if you’re free.
Before that we have a bit more preparation to do. Volunteers from MacDonalds have been to the park and stained/painted several benches. There are four left to do along side the terrains. If anyone is feeling up to a bit of rubbing down, wire brushing and either painting or staining your services will be very welcome. We have tools, stain and paint but just need some muscle. Please let me know if you’re up for it.
Over the last few weeks our team of four players, Roger & Jane Farrar along with Kath and myself, have been competing in the Northern Qualifiers. This is a series of matches where you play every other team over the three Sunday rounds. The aim is to earn qualification to represent Northern Region in the National Inter – Regional Competition played over a long weekend in September. Of the fifteen teams entered we managed to come seventh thus qualifying for the Championship representative team comprising the top eight teams. Team positions 9th – 12th represent Northern Region in the Challenge Inter Regional Event. Needless to say we feel quite pleased to have achieved this and it will be a great chance to proudly take the Heckmondwike Petanque Club name “down south”.
Coming up this week our team will play its next West Yorkshire League game against Mirfield.
If you’re feeling you’d like to have a go at playing some top quality players, and you’re a Northern associate registered player why not get a triples team together and enter our La British Open competition planned for 21st July/22nd July. It should be a very good competition.
On Sunday Heckmondwike PC hosted a Northern Petanque Summer League Silver ranked pairs competition. We eventually got started with 14 pairs after no-shows from one couple and one guy’s partner. It was played on a league basis followed by a Modified Rolling Knockout and a Plate Snake system. If that sounds like gobbledegook you need to try running it. However, we got through it with the final game to decide the winners being completed at just before 7pm when everyone except yours truly and Kath had hit the road home. Nevertheless, Mike and Ralph were very happy with being crowned Champions by beating Colin and Ted in the final game. Both pairs played some excellent petanque during the day and fully deserved their success. Several pairs from our club took part and all competed very well gaining some notable wins. Pam and Alan Wallace recovered from a slow start to qualify for the Knockout and eventually finish in third place. Meanwhile, Janet Spencer and Jean McCulloch carried on from where they left off in our month end melee by winning their league and then securing 5th place overall in the Knockout. The vagaries of the Modified Rolling Knockout were very frustrating for them as they won 4 of their 6 games to finish fifth while third place was taken with just3 wins from 6. Georgie and Ian Fitton turned in some excellent performances to qualify for the knockout stages as did Kevin Hepworth and Christine Appleyard. Playing under the Huddersfield banner Roy Henstock and Brendan Callaghan, also Hecky members, just missed out on the Knockout stages and joined Kath and I in the Plate competition. Having missed qualification for the knockout by just one point Kath and I finished strongly with three wins to take the Plate trophy. Meanwhile Alma Johnson played a major role towards securing a good Brexit deal by partnering French import, Thierry Condette, from Brandsburton and they too enjoyed some good wins as well as some of Thierry’s finest cakes. A good day of petanque but very tiring after getting to the terrain at 9am and finally locking up at 8.30pm.
As if a two day weekend of petanque wasn’t enough we had a day of rest on Monday before travelling to Greenhead Park for our scheduled West Yorkshire League fixture against Huddersfield today (Tuesday). Our team of Stuart Bolton, Jane & Roger Farrar, Alma Johnson and Kath and myself turned in an excellent performance to gain a 4-1 victory and keep alive our hopes of finishing high in the league table. Stuart Bolton pointed excellently and with Roger and Jane playing well they took their triples game with an emphatic 13-2 win. Meanwhile our triples team of Alma Johnson, Kath and myself started quite slowly but we snatched a 13-12 victory after trailing 8-12 at one point. Alma and Stuart continued their fine form with a 13-6 victory in the pairs round. Kath and I secured a good 13-3 victory but unfortunately Roger and Jane, perhaps still dreaming of their sea and sun holiday, went down 8-13 in a very good game. An enjoyable match played in very good spirit with our close friends from Greenhead Park.
35 Members took part in the May Month End Melee and as usual hopes were high of gaining much needed points. For many hopes faded as the dreaded loss signalled dropping down the leader board.
It seems the cunning plan by the gents was to give the ladies false hopes of success in the next round of the Ladies v Gents saga which takes place in a couple of weeks time. Just hope it’s a good plan guys.
Only four members were successful in winning all three games. All four were ladies. Of course they still are ladies he adds quickly.
The points were awarded as follows. Geraldine McGlone earned her first point of the season with two wins and plus 15. Sharing fifth place to take 3 points each were Ian Fitton and Peter Firth on two wins and plus 17 points. In joint third place were Jean McCulloch and Ann Bolton with 3 wins and plus 19 points. Cath Clegg took second spot with 3 wins and plus 23 points but in top spot for the second time this year was Janet Spencer with 3 wins and plus 26 points. Well done ladies. Enjoy your moment of success because it seems the gents have a master plan for our success in a couple of weeks time.
Full results are on the RESULTS PAGE of the blog.
Will all members please remember that the Kirklees Chief Executive will be dropping by to visit us next Wednesday 30th May so do your best to be there.