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.