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!