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: