Friday 18th February 2022 saw the worst storm in three decades with gusts in excess of 90 mph. Storm Eunice took its toll on the pistes, littering them in branches, twigs and debris. So some clean up required before play!
This was our first Money Melee of the year. With the forecast a bit shaky, 21 intrepid members turned up for what was my first melee as organiser. It was great to see so many turn up, including some new members, Pam, Cathy and Martin along with some players we haven’t seen for some time, Peter Smith and Pat Hayton. With fine drizzle coming down, play began with the blow of my whistle at 11am, a stampede of eager players dashed to their allotted piste. Five teams played three forty minute games. Luckily the weather held out until the end. Score cards were handed in confirming that the winners were:
1st Place Nick Zalinski
2nd Place Steve Gothard
3rd Place Wendy Harris
Friendliest Player Pat Hayton
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all those that braved the elements for what was a very enjoyable morning.
Bridget, Pete, Debbie and I decided to go to Worthing to do some cycling on the South Downs and enter a triples competition at Worthing Petanque Club. This would give us an opportunity to meet new players and to gain experience.
Worthing Petanque Club is based in West Worthing and was started in 2013. They have over twenty pistes and a variety of playing surfaces, including part of a car park that they use for big events.
The triples competition was open to all clubs and attracted 28 teams including several England players as well as Southern County players. It was played under international rules, which was a first for us. Our team of Debbie, Bridget and me, was placed in a League of four teams and we played three matches in the morning. The weather was reasonable and after losing the first match we rallied and won both our other matches, one against women from the England squad.
The afternoon session started late and was split into Gold, Silver, Bronze and consolages. As we topped our league we were placed in the Silver. The weather took a turn for the worse and afternoon play was a battle against the rain, wind and cold. We held our own but sadly it was not to be.
However it was a great day, with like minded friendly people with many remembering the man in the shorts from Wallingford!!
Pete who was not originally playing, offered to help out with a team from Oxshott who were short of a member due to Covid. They started off by playing the England mens team who eventually went on to win the competition. They qualified for the Bronze category and battled on through the afternoon, eventually finishing around 6:30 pm, thoroughly soaked. Sadly no prizes, but we all feel it was a great experience and day out.
Last Sunday saw the 5th round of Winter Pairs competition played in mostly fine winter sunshine despite a rather ominous forecast.
Twenty Teams from the Six Clubs that make up the Thames Valley Petanque Region originally entered the 1st round at the beginning of October last year.
Of the twenty teams starting out only the top twelve have been invited to play in the Final at Arbourfield Petanque Club on Sunday 6th March with a 10am start.
Four teams will be playing for Petanque Wallingford in the final:
The Eddie Bears - Paul Hammond & Debbie Hammond
The Wolves - Peter Smith & Dave Chalkley
Mind The Gap - Wendy Harris & Steve Gothard
Special Ks - Mike Marshall & Yvette Marshall
Just missing the cut and in the position of 1st Reserve Team:
Black Berets Adrian Aldred & Julia Williamson
We would like to congratulate our teams for getting through to the final and wish them the best of luck on the day.
We had a working party at the Club yesterday – 10am before play:
A big ‘Thank You’ to all the members who turned out and worked so hard to make everything ship shape.
The last of the leaves were cleared away from on and around the pistes. The shelter had a good tidy out and some re-arrangement of the furniture inside to make it more comfortable to sit in.
Later there was a very large turnout for Tuesday Morning Play Session at 11o'clock. Almost all the pistes were in use including two games on Brighton Beach.
A number of our Pay and Play Regulars have applied for Membership this January and nearly 70% of our Members have renewed already for 2022.
We expecting to have a full Calendar of events running his year as we recover from the disruption caused by Covid.
A lovely fine sunny morning for our Christmas Melee with a good turnout of Members lured out of winter lethargy by the promise of mulled wine and mince pies and sausage rolls.
Congratulations to the winner Kevin Deane seen here holding aloft his fabulous prize.
Thanks to Adrian and Val for organising the event and to JJ for his generous annual contribution of Mulled Wine. And Ray for donating the glasses.
Happy Christmas to all. See you in the New Year!
Seventeen Members and one Guest attended play at the club today.
After a session of clearing up the piles of leaves covering our main Terrain all was ready for play at 11am. Loren called us all together for a silent tribute to those who we remember on this important day. Referee whistles blew around the park as all the players and spectators from the other Hithercroft clubs stood still and silent with us. We could hear and see the helicopters from RAF Benson flying over the town centre, the throbbing sound of their engines so evocative of the images of conflict we see on our screens, now paying respect to those who gave their lives for our freedom.
Our visitor today is from Nottingham Petanque Club, Loren’s daughter-in-law Jill. A wonderfully skilled player – not that surprising as Loren taught her to play.
This was not a melee today, so no overall winner, we just played.
Mike M played with Jill against Nick & Loren, ending in a draw. Nick is a very promising player and his boule on boule shots were outstanding.
Note: (Mike & Yvette played Nick and Cliff in the Summer League – Three games took 7pm to 10:30pm. Point by point we alternated to finish a point apart – can’t remember who won now but it was very very close.)
Thanks to all the helpers who cleared leaves and tidied away at the end of the session. A good warm up before play will always improve your game. Not many people know that so the secret is out.
We hope to have some more furniture around at the club as the bistro chairs and tables make their way back to the club from their caretakers over the next few weeks.
The Summer League which has been so well run by Steve Gothard came to an end on Monday. Thanks to Steve for all the work he has put into running this competition.
We have a few more playing events to hold before the end of the year. Dates to be announced. So watch this space and respond to Teamer or WhatsApp, if you want to take part, don't think you are too new to take part. If you feel up to it, give it a go!
The Club AGM will be coming along soon. The positions of President (Chairperson), Secretary and Treasurer will be becoming vacant as the current holders complete their three year stint. Val, the Secretary, will be sending out forms - if any member would like to nominate someone, check if they are prepared to stand, and complete the form (with a seconder), return the completed/signed form to Val. You could stand yourself, of course, just complete the form and get a proposer and seconder. Be sure proposer and seconder are present at the AGM.
Petanque England Licenses.
To play in Thames Valley Regional Competitions members will need a Petanque England license to take part. The current annual cost is £32 pounds. PETANQUE ENGLAND is currently in process of changing the dates of joining so watch this space!
Sunday we played our September End of Month Melee. The fine dry warm September weather that we have been enjoying for most of the month continued throughout the day. With heavy rain and winds forecast for Monday this could well have been our last day of summer.
Despite many members still being away enjoying their holidays we had a very good turnout with 20 Members signing up on Teamer and turning out to play.
The results for yesterday show how unpredictable playing Petanque can be with Paul being the Friendliest Player this month having won the competition last month.
In 1st Position Chris McGuire
In 2nd Position Mike Marshall
In 3rd Position Bridget Jones
Friendliest Player Paul Hammond
This month there is a special extra award of “Shot of the Melee” which goes to Val Smith for her stunning ‘boule on boule’ shot of 8+ meters. Picking out the opposition’s holding boule from within a tight cluster around the Jack. This surgical shot gave her and Moiya a bucket load of points. Well done!
Thanks to all the people helping out to get everything ready on the day. Special thanks to Yvette for keeping the score and even managing to step in and play the last part of Loren’s match for him.
End of Month Melee – Sunday 29th August 2021
Today we played our August end-of month Melee in lovely fine dry weather. With 24 players signing up for the competition, we had more than a third of our members out on the Boulodrome competing for both Cash and Glory. The Cash provided the club and the Glory provided here, as your name is revealed to the whole world, sitting up at the top of the leader board.
In 1st Position Paul Hammond
In 2nd Position Adrian Aldred
In 3rd Position Martin Wiggall
Friendliest Player Loren Butt
Our next End-of-Month Melee to be played on Sunday 26th September will be our last for this year. We hope to plan something a bit special for the day so please put the day it in your diary now and watch out for Teamer announcements.
The Memorial Trophy will be played for at the end of October.
Special thanks today to Adrian for all his pre-match preparation and a big thank you also to Yvette for keeping all the scores and popping out the results in the blink of an eye.
I still want to remain anonymous for now but I am an even smarter mouse ... and I love to play petanque ......