Our 2019 Eurocup squad travelled down to the south coast for an exciting and nerve wracking two days of petanque to decide who would be crowned English Champion Club and represent their country in Belgium.
Worthing Petanque Club hosted the weekend which was ably organised as usual by Alan Roden and assisted by umpire Bob Parker.
On a very blustery Saturday, two rounds were to be played on terrains consisting of a highly tricky and technical surface. Our first round against Manston (Kent) went to plan losing just two of the six singles and one of the triples matches meaning we just needed to win one of the three doubles to secure that round. To make sure, we won all three!
After a spot of lunch the Cobbetts (Southern) team were our next opponents. An overall win in this round would ensure us of a guaranteed top two finish. We performed even better winning 5 out of 6 singles, 1 out of 2 triples and all 3 doubles matches. A strong, solid performance from all players and the platform we needed going into day 2.
A 10am start on the Sunday; the wind had dropped and it was a perfect sunny day. it was crunch time. One round, 11 matches, 31 points* up for grabs. The only sticking point - we had to beat Baldock Town - the club who had won the competition for the previous four years!
Singles matches first and London were storming ahead with quick wins from Dean (13-0) and Sofiane (13-2) already exerting the pressure on our opponents. Claire wasn’t far behind with a convincing 13-3 win. In all we won 5 out of 6 with a close run contest in the one we lost. We felt good. We came out of the round with a 10-2 lead.
Next up the triples. Big games, big teams and lots of points up for grabs. If only we could win one of the two it would put us in a really strong position going into the doubles.
Both games started badly; both lost big first ends putting them on the back foot from the very start. The open triples of Nic, Sofiane and Federico showed some great skills but the Baldock team just had the edge and took the game.
The mixed triples was a closer game but after some unfortunate movement of the cochonnet for London, we ended up losing that too. The tables had turned and it really was all down to the wire. A score of 10-12 with the doubles matches to go.
Both clubs needed to win 2 out of the 3 games to be crowned champions.
Baldock took the first game meaning we needed to win both of the other ones in play. Monty and Dean looked strong and were leading when Baldock substituted one their players. Unfortunately this seemed to upset the balance just enough and Baldock just edged this second win to take the title.
We therefore conceded our third game at 8-8.
So close and yet so far but proud to be the “2nd best English Club” and hopefully will step up another notch for 2020!
*Scoring system = 2 points for a singles win (12 points total), 5 points for a triples win (10 points total), 3 points for a doubles win (9 points total). 31 points at stake, 16 secures the round.
2019 squad were: Dean Seville, Sofiane Lachani, Monty Quaia, Claire White, Federico Faucher, Nic Baxter, Sylvestre Mananasy, Nicki Scott and team manager Barry Scott.