Back to Play! For some.
Some States are back playing Petanque competitively. South Australia had a round of its InterClub championships recently. In WA there are social games happening. IN NSW too social games have returned.
South Australia's Interclub competition was held on June 28th. This report from Anthony Pietsch, Tournament Director. Some pics below too from Jonathan Giddings.
The fine and sunny weather was as good as it gets in the middle of winter, setting the scene perfectly for our return to organised pétanque after the shutdown. At times it had looked as if our season was over and we can count ourselves very fortunate to be in a position where we could squeeze in one more round to finish off the 2019/20 Interclub competition. On such a beautiful day, the COVID-Safe requirements did not dampen the mood at all.
With 28 triples teams, the attendance was only just shy of the record set in January, showing that the unexpected interruption has not taken the momentum out of our recent growth trend. A few of the regulars were not yet ready to emerge from their isolation bubbles, but this was offset by a very pleasing number of new players participating for the first time -- representing five different clubs! Not to mention the presence of some who would normally be sunning themselves in warmer climes at this time of year.
On the day, it was Penny Lyons, Steve Hambour & Terry Hall from FAB who finished unbeaten and took the top honours. This notable achievement is the first time the gold medals have gone to a FAB team since 2009 and it brought great joy to the growing FAB contingent. The silver medallists were ESP's Dave Ward, Tory McBride & Lionel Pujol, while Arwed Turon, Nick Armstrong & Maurice Belz (also ESP) took out the bronze.
As for the club championship, no-one was surprised to see the dominant Eastern Suburbs squad seal the deal and claim another title. Coming in with a meagre six point lead over AHP, they left nothing to chance in the season decider by occupying three of the top four positions.
For the challengers, Adelaide Hills, this season will also go down as a success. Their best yet, in fact, as their influx of newer players start to find their feet. It's just the second time the Stirling-based club have finished as high as second in the championship, this time with a convincing margin ahead of third-placed Club d'Adelaide.
The Novar Gardens squad is another that is rapidly maturing. They, too, finished the season on a positive note, with a creditable haul of 24 pts being enough to bring them up into equal fourth place (tied with Prospect). This is the best finish yet in their short history and sets a new benchmark for the future.
It's been an exceptional year in so many ways. The global pandemic has presented many challenges, right around the world. But for the SAPL Interclub competition, it has been an exceptionally good season despite that unwelcome interruption. Attendance figures have continued to grow, reaching new heights, and the atmosphere and competitive spirit has also been first-rate.
The League wishes to thank all those who make this competition possible. In particular, we are grateful to those who take on the often-thankless job of umpiring, to the administrators, and to the host clubs and their bands of willing volunteers who always seem to rise to the occasion and take good care of us. Collectively, you have helped make the competition what it is today.
Some pics from Round 5 of SA Interclub Championships