THE ASHES

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The sun eventually shone on an excellent day for petanque in Greenhead Park as Hecky played Huddersfield PC for the right to turn the coveted ASHES trophy to display their club colour for another year. This was the second time the ASHES have been played for. We started last year at Heckmondwike and we edged home on points difference only. This year the match went pretty much the to same theme with each of the first three rounds being drawn at 3 games all. We had our noses in front on points difference. In the final round however we managed to edge into a winning 4-2 position after a brilliant comeback in the final game by Alma, Jean and Stuart to score three and take the game 13-10.

All games were played in an excellent sporting but competitive atmosphere as is the usual theme for our two clubs. Huddersfield are to be thanked for their brilliant hospitality and in particular Elizabeth for masterminding an excellent lunch. A big Thankyou to all players at both clubs for making it a really enjoyable day.

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Huddersfield very Kindly put up prizes for the team with the best performance figures of the day and it was great to see one of our Hecky teams take the honours with four wins and plus 27 points. Our team consisted of several players who were getting their first experience of competitive team play and all turned in excellent performances. Tony McDonald was one of those debutants and was also in the champion trio with Georgie Fitton and Walter Bottrill. Well done everyone.

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GENTS EXTEND WINNING RUN AGAINST LADIES

The latest round of the LADIES V GENTS series saw a good contest between 9 teams from each camp. The ladies had 18 members and the gents 21. As usual for these matches competition was very keen. Both sides were missing some of their more experienced players but it seemed to have a greater effect for the ladies. It was noted as well that we have been fortunate to have recruited an appreciable number of new lady members who might still be finding their feet on our terrains and getting into highly competitive mode.

Anyway, enough of the analysis. The end result was probably the most resounding victory for the gents in the history of the series. Many of the games were close affairs but the gents gained the upper hand in most of them to run out winners by 23 games to 4. They also knew the score from previous victories and didn’t hang around for a team photo. They were off on the road for a long walk home to prepare their own tea. A rather quaint tradition but a little irksome as it had started raining while the results were being scrutinised. Perhaps one day we’ll learn its  better to lose graciously and get a lift home. A quick mention for five gents teams who scored three wins out of three.Ken Hutchinson and Stuart Bolton scored 3 wins plus 31 points, while Ian Fitton and Kevin Wild scored 3 with plus 26 points. Both the Roger Farrar and Roy Henstock pairing and Alan Norfolk with myself scored three wins plus 20 points. Finally the triple team of Chris Hopkins, Trevor May and Peter Wharton scored three wins plus 9 points. Well done guys. The ray of sunshine for the ladies was a fine performance by Jane Farrar and Ann Howell in getting 2 wins from their three games. Full results are in the RESULTS PAGE.

Next item on our calendar is the ASHES MATCH at HUDDERSFIELD on TUESDAY 11th SEPTEMBER where we are fielding six triples teams to match the same from Huddersfield in what promises to be a good day of petanque.

I will update our calendar shortly as we don’t have much planned for October but hopefully we can fit in a pairs or even singles competition before Xmas.

JUST A REMINDER

Just to remind everyone that it’s LADIES v GENTS this coming Saturday so please arrive in good time to get teams sorted.

Next TUESDAY 11th SEPTEMBER we hope to take a squad of 18 members, to form 6 triples teams to play HUDDERSFIELD for the HPC ASHES. Our hosts have now confirmed the arrangements as :- Play starts at 11.00am with three rounds of triples in a SNAKE FORMAT. We will then hopefully break for a spot of lunch while the scorers review results so far. Each clubs teams will be ranked based on the three earlier rounds and then the fourth round will be Huddersfield 1st rank team versus Hecky 1st rank team and so on. We still need a few more players to reach our 18 requirement so if you’re interested in taking part in a great day of petanque see me on Wednesday to get a place in the team.

Holiday weather for very enjoyable visit from Great Yarmouth PC

Very surprising for a Bank Holiday but the sun shone all day for a brilliant session of petanque to celebrate the first ever visit to Heckmondwike by Great Yarmouth Petanque Club.

The morning session saw five pairs from each of our clubs play three rounds, each timed for an hour. Quite fittingly the break for lunch saw each team claiming seven wins with one game tied.

At this point Great Yarmouth lost Jessica as she went to watch Huddersfield Town play. She is a local girl and one of the positive reasons David Giles brought his team to visit us. Heckmondwike lost a few players for a variety of reasons but mainly they were short of stamina with another three games of triples ahead after lunch.

A special mention here to our two heroes, Ann & Stuart Bolton, who made tremendous efforts to play both morning and afternoon sessions. I just hope they have now had a good rest and are fully recovered. I guess it will take even longer for them to forgive me for having to play six games but very well played and thank you. Walt Bottrill, one of our up and coming youngsters, also showed great effort to play in both sessions and only succumbed to an armchair for the final game. Thanks also to all of our members who took part and help make the day a great success.

For the record Gt Yarmouth took the honours in the afternoon triples games but it was still an excellent day and I’m sure we’ll meet again in the not too distant future to share some more enjoyable games.

 

 

AUGUST MONTH END MELEE.

Perhaps for a change the end of the month arrived before the money ran out but really it was because the last weekend of the month will be complicated by a Bank Holiday and the fact that we will be welcoming some players from Great Yarmouth petanque club. This month 36 members turned out to battle for points.

Competition, as usual was keen with fortunes switching and changing by the minute. Even though going into the final round there were 13 players with two wins and high hopes of taking the trophy the usual petanque voodoo was guaranteed to strike. So for 7 of the 13 hopefuls  defeat at the last hurdle struck again. Both Cath and Ralph Clegg collected points. Cath had 2 wins and plus 15 to take 7th place and a point. Ralph, meanwhile scored 3 wins and plus 14 points to take 6th place and 2 points. 3 wins and plus 18 points lifted Patricia Child into 5th place and a 3 point haul. Just a single point better off was Clive McCulloch in 4th place and edging into 3rd place with 3 wins and plus 21 was Roger Locker. Trevor May took second place with 3 wins and plus 23 points but all were surpassed by Walt Bottrill. Walt scored his first points of the year and his 3 wins plus 27 gained him the August Melee trophy and 9 points to lift him well up in the table.

This coming Saturday we are expecting around 10 members of Great Yarmouth PC to visit and play some games. We are hoping to give games to members looking for a chance to play players from other clubs and areas.

We will be providing some lunch for our guests but please could our members still bring their own lunch as usual.

OUR EURO-CUP ADVENTURE AND AN EXCELLENT DAY OF PETANQUE

Over the past few weeks some of our members have been living a petanque dream.

First they are playing in the “La British Open” petanque championship against leading players in our country and from Europe. A couple of weeks later and a group are in the Northern Region team playing against Mercia and Heart of England in a fabulous day of petanque at Mansfield. Move on to today and we’re playing in the Euro Cup against Mansfield.

Having had a bye in the 1st round we faced Mansfield on our home terrain in the 2nd round. Our team of six, who all had to be full Petanque England registered members, kicked off our latest adventure with two games of triples. Jane and Roger Farrar along with Colin Child were a little slow getting into their stride and were soon 0-10 down. However they staged a very strong comeback pulling the score back to 8-10. However the Mansfield lads finished with a good end to take the game 13-8.

Meanwhile Kath & Clive Westley along with Gordon Walsworth were involved in a very tight game with the lead switching at almost every end. At 9 across we had a brilliant opportunity after moving the coche with the opposition having one boule left. They didn’t get a good outcome leaving us three boules to boule in for game. Kath sent in two gems to count but sadly yours truly left his boule a foot short. To compound the issue, on the next end we somehow contrived to send in 6 poor boules leaving the end at Mansfield’s mercy. They didn’t fail and took the game 13-12.

Things looked a bit grim at this point but our pairs played some brilliant petanque as first Kath and I won 13-10, followed by Gordon and Colin snatching a last end two points to win 13-12. Jane and Roger had built an early 8-0 lead but that was slowly eroding when a couple of good ends saw them get home 13-6. A brilliant 3-2 win takes our Euro-Cup adventure on further into the 3rd round. Our thanks go to Mansfield players who helped make today a brilliantly enjoyable match of petanque.

 

A PROUD MOMENT AT HECKY

This weekend saw a first for Heckmondwike Petanque Club and a proud moment for the four of us pictured. On Sunday we received and played in our new Northern strip in a triangular match with Mercia and Heart of England.

In September we go to Hayling Island for a weekend spectacular of petanque where we will represent the Northern Region in the National Regional Championships. Around 1000 avid petanque players will play 12 matches over two days as the nations regions look to become national region champions. It promises to be a great experience.

Now the reason for my post. It’s not to tell you all how brilliant we are. I’m sure you can all recall recent games when you’ve beaten us. It’s a post to encourage all of our members to widen their petanque horizons and experience playing petanque at other clubs and terrains. It will greatly help you improve you standard of play as well as your enjoyment of the game.

The four of us above joined forces to “have a go at the Regional Qualifiers” some months ago. It’s a triples competition but because we were keen to try and the club didn’t have enough members of Petanque England who were available to field two teams of three it was our only opportunity. I guess that all would agree that four members adds even more nervous pressure to the already tense matches against some good teams but we managed to qualify for the Northern Championship team. Each one of us played our best game when sat on the sidelines. When you play and lose a game you feel the pressure to want to stand down for the next one.

However a team spirit and desire to do well will hopefully see us enjoy a great weekend at Hayling Island.

It would be great if a few other members would give it a try.  Join Petanque England next January and be prepared to set aside the necessary time to play qualifiers and perhaps go to Hayling Island. It will give us a chance to perhaps enter two or even three teams.