Friday 21st September - and 20 people turned out to play for the Over 70s Pairs Trophy - the edge of a hurricane was passing over the terrain so it was incredibly windy - nearly blew some of us over! However, we managed three games, and the sun shon. The winners were Val Smith and Eileen Macland.
rAnd Wednesday 26th September, by contrast, warm and calm! We played for the Memorial Trophy, remembering those who are no longer with us.. We played a 3 game 'individual melee' - 24 members including the two minors Ava and Josie. The (pairs) games were keenly fought and Dave Smith won: (3 games + 26), and 2nd and 3rd places were taken by Pam Frewin (3 games +23) and Chris Hurst (3 games +14) respectively.
Friday the 14th to Sunday 16th was the 2018 Inter Regional Championships at Hayling Island. It's the biggest event in the Petanque England calendar where approx 900 licensed players, from all the regions in the UK take part. Each region can enter a maximum of 12 qualifying teams. Petanque Wallingford put a team of three forward, Chris Hurst, Dave Chalkley and Mark Dowman, who qualified 3rd in the Thames Valley Region qualifiers over the summer, getting to play the TV No.3 spot in the Inter Regional Championships. The team was originally a team of four but Chris Shaw had to drop out last minute.
The conditions at Hayling were perfect; sunshine and a light breeze. Mark Dowman kicked off the weekend with a fine performance in Friday's shooting competition but losing out on a top spot place. "It's a lonely place up there" Mark says. But that's the burden he had to carry having won the Thames Valley shooting competition over the summer and having to represent the Thames Valley against all the other regions' No.1 shooters. Well done Mark!
The Championship kicked off in earnest early Saturday morning and the fine weather continued throughout the whole weekend, which really brought the best out of the teams. The competition consisted of everyone playing 7 matches on Saturday and 5 matches on Sunday against their regional peers. Thames Valley played brilliantly, coming second place in their division, Division two, only 2 games away from Sussex who got the top spot. Thames Valley teams were awarded silver medals and both teams earned a promotion to Division 1 next year. This means if Petanque Wallingford put a qualifying team forward in 2019, we'll be playing against the big boys, like London, Chiltern and Kent. It'll be tough next year, but Thames Valley are getting a deserved reputation for being the region to watch out for in 2019.
Chris, Dave and Mark flew the flag for Petanque Wallingford and came 2nd out of the twelve teams who represented the Thames Valley, winning 9 out of their 12 games. Talk about Petanque heaven, what a great weekend. Well done lads!
4 and 5th August : The 2018 competition, between England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey, was hosted by the Jersey Petanque Club at Les Quennevais Sports Centre: 8 teams of up to 4 players each per 'nation' so lots of people!
One of Petanque Wallingford's members made up the England squad’s top team (England 1). The other three players in Engl 1 came from the Burnham club, also in the Thames Valley Region. And two PW members went to watch play – to help keep their spirits up and their mind on the job ….
The competition was held over two days (Saturday and Sunday) and the weather was amazing – terrific blue sky all day and hot. Fortunately, because the Jersey Club is near the coast we had a breeze to cool us down a bit.
After twelve hard fought games by every team, England won by just three games (60 games 270 points) over Jersey (57 games 255 points). The England 1 team won 9 games, second best of the England squad! A very well organised competition, and most enjoyable day was had by all.
The FJIJP, the International Petanque Governing body wants to get petanque included as a Olympic sport in 2024 when the games are held in Paris, so with a bit of luck … maybe we'll get to go to Paris to support our players!
29th July 2018
This year's 2018 Thames Valley Singles and Shooting competition was held at Petanque Wallingford, on a very wet and windy Sunday 29th July. There were 20 entries, representing clubs in the Thames Valley Region from Wallingford to as far east as Harrow.
With waterproofs on and against the elements, the competitors fought the Snake, a random draw where each player contested five one-on-one games, the objective being to win as many as possible. After three games, the rain eased and play stopped to allow for the shooting competition. Five rounds of 4 balls with a possible 100 points, the objective to blast the target ball out of the circle at four different distances. It's no mean feat to hit a target ball with pin-point accuracy and good shooters are few and far between. However, PelWal's own top shooter, Mark Dowman beat the competition with an outstanding 30 points to take the Thames Valley shooting title 2018, the second year in a row.
After that, play resumed for the remaining two games in the singles. Mark won the Thames Valley Singles title in 2017 and this time, he won all his 5 games to take 1st place overall.
However, to win the coveted title again, he had to play against the 2nd place holder Elaine Smith from the Burnham club. After a hard fought match, Mark won 13-9 to take the 2018 Thames Valley Singles title for the second year running. What a result for Mark and Petanque Wallingford!
Note: 'Our' Mark and Paul (the Regional Games organiser), his son Dean and Christian – all from the Burnham Petanque club - will form part of the England squad of 24 players on 5 & 6th August in Jersey. Good luck!
Follow this link to see more about the Home Nations Match:
There is an article in the paper today about the FIPJP trying to get petanque into the Olympics as a sport - The article says a lot about the French and their treatment of it as a 'game' played by old men drinking pastis - a total stereotype. There is much much more to it than that.
Our club is the biggest in the Thames Valley Region and is pretty well organised. We have a super 8 piste terrain plus the new one of 3 pistes with a different surface so we can practice plombe! We also have a club strip which is worn when we hold matches, and we try to coordinate bottoms too. We have many groups who come and play for fun, it's true, but we also host league and regional matches.
PETANQUE (aka French boules) is played all over the world. It has been recognised by Sport England as a sport for several years now, and Petanque has been recognised as a Transplant Sport for at least 4 years. A huge match is held in France with several thousand people taking part. About 900 people gather in September to take part in the UK inter-regional matches - each region fields 12 teams of 3 or 4 - so there is lots of competitive play too..
This match was played on Wednesday clubnight. The new trophy holders are Mind the Gap - Louise and Steve.
This match is played in memory of those who are no longer with us. Twenty four people turned out on this extremely hot day to play for the Silver Salver. The terrain was very dry, so very fast, and it was so dusty too.
G and I played with Dean (who, with Mark D, Paul and Christian) is representing England in the Home Nations Match in Jersey in August! So no pressure there then – I played out of my skin so as not to look too stupid. Fortunately we won all three matches before lunch (This took us into the 'main'). After lunch, and a much needed rest – it was so hot – we played another 3 games and just lost (! ) against Wendy H and Sean (a Junior*) who was shooting everything! Wendy, her usual very consistent self … played so well. Anyhow, they went on to play against Mark D and his daughter Ava (a Minor at 9 years old)* in the final and in a hard fought match, Wendy and Sean won. A fabulous game and we hold out great hopes for all of them if the FIPJP manages to get petanque declared an Olympic sport for the 2024 Games in Paris!
* Petanque England has various categories for youngsters:
(As at the 31st December -)
Up to 11 years old they are known as Minors. (The minors in the European scene are sometimes referred to as 'Benjamins')
11 up to 14 years old - They are known as Cadets.
15 up to 18 years old - They are known as Juniors.
Beyond 18 years old up to 23 years old they become Espoirs.
After that they are Adults!
Twenty eight people from the Sinodun Players (the local amateur dramatic society) came to play today starting with a pop up picnic. They started play at 3.00 pm and played 3 games, with breaks between for more picnic. They had a super time, 'full of fun and competition' and although most had not played before, did very well indeed. They enjoyed themselves so much they want to make this an annual event. First prize went to Dr. Sue , 2nd went to Polly and Fiona was the 'friendliest player. Gloria got a special prize for being responsible for the creating the 'first fanny'. She also organised the event. It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves.
I still want to remain anonymous for now but I am an even smarter mouse ... and I love to play petanque ......