EuroCup: BHPC Third Round Win to Get Into Last 16

Yesterday – gratifyingly sunny, warm and windless – the club hosted Arreton Barnes from the Isle of Wight for a Euro Cup for Clubs third round match. We got off to a welcome start by winning both first-round triples games: 13-5 to Harvey, Janice and Rohan, and 13-2 to David A, Stephan and Tony (vs IoW’s number 2 team). So at 2-0 we had to win just one more game for the match.

After feasting on Janice’s excellent array of sandwiches and home-made apple pie, all three second-round doubles games were played simultaneously. Unfortunately, Janice and Tony lost 4-13, and Harvey and Rohan lost a hard-fought game 10-13 (having come from way behind to lead 10-8). The match score was now 2-2: fingernails at the ready. The last game to finish featured our closely-related David and Stephan. By slow degrees, they found themselves trailing 2-11. Aarrgghh! Summoning up a fluffy white rabbit, they won four and five points in the next two ends to make it 11-11. Then 11-12: we’re talking knife-edge. Finally, two points to ‘Pops’ and Steph to win 13-12. Club wins the match 3-2. Whew!

The result means our club enters the penultimate round 0f 16, for at least the third time since the competition started. They will be joined for the first time by another Sussex Pétanque (SXP) team, Crowborough SC. Two SXP teams in the last 16 represents another achievement for the region this year. The matches are due to take place by the end of November.

We salute our winning squad, and wish them and our Crowborough confreres the best of luck in the next round. We also thank Janice for her tasty lunch, and all those club members who came down to the terrain to support the squad.

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Club Wins in Round 2 of EuroCup

Yesterday, a lovely day, six club members converged at the White Hart in Netherfield (just north of Battle) to play the pétanque club based there in the second round of the Euro Cup for Clubs.  (Messieurs Quintais, Suchaud, Lacroix, Rocher, here we come!)

In the first round of two triples games, at least one of which must be mixed, the result was even. David A, Gareth and Stephan won 13-6 (all conceded in the first end) against Martin, Sylvie and Steve, while Janice, Harvey and Rohan (both new to the squad) lost 10-13 (coming back from 0-9). As there was only room for two pistes on the terrain, only two of the next round of three doubles games could be played. The third one needed to be played only if the clubs were still tied. Which is what they were: it was 13-8 to Stephan and Gareth against Lynn and Steve; and 6-13 against Janice and Harvey vs Martin and Sylvie.

EuroCup at White Hart PC 27 September 2015 Rohan, Janice, Harvey (with black hat)

EuroCup at White Hart PC
27 September 2015
Rohan, Janice, Harvey (with black hat)

With all eyes on the deciding game, Rohan and David A stepped into the mini-cauldron against two of the SXP Juniors team – Morgan (son of Martin) and Callum (son of Steve) – who created such a sensation at the Inter-Regional Finals just two weeks ago. In the end, the BHPC team prevailed 13-6, but they had to watch their step throughout.

So the final result was that BHPC won by 3 games to 2, and thus progress to the third round which must be played (at home) by the end of October.

Our club thanks White Hart PC for their hospitality and all-round friendliness.

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Maynard/Simmonds-Issler Win Club Doubles

Compmeister, Ian Maynard writes: “Blue skies and an absence of wind greeted twelve club members last Sunday as they arrived for the final one-day club tournament of 2015. With just six pairs the format was a league, so each pair played all the others.

The draw was random but as luck had it in the fifth and final round each pair was playing their nearest rival for the honour of fifth, third or first place. In the first of these matches Ann and Harvey just pipped Chris and Di V to 11. The second match was even closer as David M and Jill G beat Janice and Rohan to 12. The remaining two pairs (fresh from representing Sussex at the Inter-regional Championship the previous weekend) effectively played a final, as both were unbeaten after four rounds. In this match Ian and Joe held their nerve to beat the more experienced pairing of David A and Tony 13-7, making Ian Maynard and Joe Simmonds-Issler our Club Doubles Champions for 2015.

Club Doubles Champions 2015 (L) Ian Maynard, Joe Simmonds-Issler

Club Doubles Champions 2015
(L) Ian Maynard, Joe Simmonds-Issler

NB   Next Sunday six players, including two debutants, will be representing our club in the Euro Cup for Clubs – David A (captain), Gareth, Harvey, Janice, Rohan and Stephan – whilst Tony will be representing, with Jeff Mitchell, our (EPA Division 1, yeah) region, Sussex Pétanque in the inaugural EPA Over-50s Doubles Champion of Champions Championship. We wish them success.”

Congratulations to Ian and Joe (ben Alan) and well done to all who participated last Sunday.

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No, No, Yo-yo!

Yo-yo? What yo-yo?, ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous. Having won promotion to Division 1 in the EPA Inter-Regional Championship for the first time last year, how can we find the words to sum up Sussex Pétanque’s amazing achievement in staying up last weekend? It’s a tall order.

Just before play on Day 2

Just before play on Day 2

We are proud to report that no fewer than eight BHPC members were involved in SXP’s memorable success: David Alfred, Stephan Alfred, Gareth Jarvis (Alvis, No 1 seed), Terry Gibbons, Alan Issler, Joe Simmonds-Issler, Ian Maynard (Agit-tated Seagullzzz, No 5), and Tony Mann (in Crowbright2, No 2, with Matt and Alan, in the photo).

Day 2 Warming-up (L) Matt Shrimpton, Gareth, Tony,  Alan Constable, Stephan

Day 2 Warming-up
(L) Matt Shrimpton, Gareth, Tony,
Alan Constable, Stephan

Things were not looking too good after Day 1 when SXP were second from bottom with 19 wins (out of 56 games), after each seeded team had played their opposite number in the other seven regions. According to the championship format, this meant playing five games on Day 2 but excluding the top two regions, both far ahead, as they always are, of all the other regions. With steely determination SXP took full advantage of the opportunity this presented in battling against the remaining six regions, winning no fewer than 21 games (out of 40). But would the total of 40 wins be enough to stay up? Would we be back to Division 2 next year? Would we be the classic yo-yo region?

With rumours furiously flying around and fingernails at the ready, the whole squad waited anxiously as the final results for Division 1 were announced at the closing ceremony about 7.24pm on Sunday. Incredulity, pure delight and high emotion (even some tears of joy) greeted the results. Defying all known expectations and all the laws of probability theory, not only did Sussex Pétanque avoid relegation, but we stayed up and with room to spare, finishing not sixth but fifth – only four games below the two next best-performing regions (the 21 wins made us the third best-performing region on Day 2).

Considering that, first, Sussex Pétanque was formed less than ten years ago; second, its population base is one of the smallest of all the regional associations and the smallest by a long way in Division 1 regions (SXP is really only East Sussex); and third, some of its better players were missing this year, SXP’s feat is all the more impressive – bloody marvellous, in fact!

So, hearty congratulations to Sussex Pétanque and to our club members who contributed to the region’s finest hour.

And huge congratulations also to our junior team – Callum Slade, Morgan Pry and Kira Croft – who, winning 9 out of 10 games, were runners-up in the Junior Championship: a truly great achievement.

Long Live Sussex Pétanque!

Posted in EPA, Sussex Pétanque (SXP) | 2 Comments

Tony Mann Retains Club Singles Title

Competition Secretary Ian Maynard writes:

“Last Saturday thirteen club members turned up for our Club Singles tournament: not the ideal number, as someone was always sitting out (in the league of 5), but manageable with two qualifying leagues of four and one of five, playing three rounds with the top eight qualifying for the Main and five for the Plate. In the first league of four David A won convincingly conceding only 15 points to start the afternoon as top seed; he was joined by runner-up Terry. In the other group of four Ian won all his matches and was joined in the Main by Jill G who was pointing unbelievably and Harvey who scraped in as a second best-third finisher! (Jill G beat him to 3!) The group of five provided two unbeaten players, Tony and David M ( 2nd and 3rd seeds respectively) and the other third-place qualifier Rohan.

The Plate in the afternoon was a snake of five players over three rounds. Charmian playing in her first tournament came unstuck against some seasoned players but was the best newcomer. She was joined by Mike, Ann, Janice and Jill C who eventually won the competition.

Club Singles 2015 - Plate (L) Janice Doherty, R-U, Jill Chrismas, winner

Club Singles 2015 – Plate
(L) Janice Doherty, R-U, Jill Chrismas, winner

In the Main quarter-finals David A lost to Harvey, Ian beat Rohan, David M beat his mixed doubles partner Jill G and Tony defeated Terry. In the semis, David M who was having an accurate pointing day narrowly lost to Tony while Harvey reversed the earlier loss to Ian. David M won the play-off to finish third and Tony beat Harvey. So congratulations to Tony who is the BHPC 2015 Singles Champion, a trophy he retains from last season.

Club Singles 2015 (L) David Miller, 3rd, Tony Mann, winner Harvey Knowles, runner-up

Club Singles 2015
(L) David Miller, 3rd, Tony Mann, winner
Harvey Knowles, runner-up

Special thanks were given to Terry who assisted with the running of the tournament, to Ann and Jill C for running the raffle, a much needed boost to club funds, and to Tony and others who donated generously to the prizes.”

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Inaugural Challenge Match vs Thames Valley

On Saturday our club was pleased to host yet another team for a friendly Challenge match. Thames Valley brought down 15 players plus assorted WAGS for a whole weekend that turned out warm and sunny (except for Sunday morning). Many of their players were from Thames Valley’s regional championship squad whom some of our SXP championship squad players knew from our Division 2 days.

Although we lost 5 games to 10 (2-3, 1-4 and 2-3 in three rounds, including three games lost to 12 points), everyone enjoyed the friendly rivalry in the searing heat, and there was a lot of very good pétanque.

One very sad note: at lunchtime some people saw the Hawker Hunter jet pass over, fairly quietly, just minutes before its deadly crash on and next to the A27 by Shoreham airport – dominating the news for the next two days.

The full results of how our teams performed are: Continue reading

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Channing-Gibbons SXP Mixed Doubles Runners-up

Nine teams turned out on a warm day, but with a some thankfully short-lived lightish pluvial nonsense, for this annual competition with players from Brighton, Crowborough and Hastings. There were leagues of four and five teams in the morning with the top two teams from each going through to the Main semi-finals, while the remaining five teams went into the Plate (with a two-round snake).

The Plate winners were the BHPC’s Pat Connolly and Ian Maynard.

Having lost their Main semi-final to the eventual winners, BHPC’s Janice Doherty and David Alfred (runners-up in this competition for the last two years) won the third-fourth place play-off to come third on the day. Meanwhile, in the Main final, after a good start, BHPC’s Gaby Channing and Terry Gibbons eventually succumbed 5-13 to Lynn Andrews and Matt Shrimpton (Crowborough) who thus became this year’s Sussex Pétanque’s (SXP) Mixed Doubles champions.

SXP Mixed Doubles Finalists (L) Lynn Andrews, Matt Shrimpton (Champions),  Gaby Channing, Terry Gibbons (Runners-up)

SXP Mixed Doubles Finalists
(L) Lynn Andrews, Matt Shrimpton (Champions),
Gaby Channing, Terry Gibbons (Runners-up)

Congratulations to Lynn and Matt, and well done to Gaby and Terry and to all who took part. Thanks to everyone who came along to watch, and to Terry for helping Tony Mann, SXP Playing Officer, administer the tournament with customary efficiency.

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