Our first Women’s Doubles to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) was a resounding success as it attracted 23 teams from across the Southern Region with one team from Sussex. The event also marked the centenary of the First Votes for Women.
As we watched the country gripped by snow the week before, it was a relief when the temperatures picked up as we approached the final countdown to the competition date. The weather forecast throughout the week was a changing picture and for a brief moment it was looking promising. But as players began to arrive at Fareham Pétanque Club on the morning of Saturday the 10th, they were faced with water-logged terrains and some heavy downpours.
However, determination was the word of the day as Malcolm & Steve organised a dedicated task force of a few merry men to clear the water and make good enough terrains for the 47 ladies waiting to compete in this inaugural Women’s Doubles. The rain certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of most of the players as they used the opportunity to catch up with friends from clubs across the Region and were determined to have a fun day!
With Malcolm at the helm, proceedings were soon on their way as the teams were organised into 6 leagues with one bye. It was good to see the ladies quickly adapt to the puddles of water, the on-off rain, and simply ‘Keep Calm & Play Petanque’. Lunch was served by the lovely Gary & Don as morning score sheets were collected, the teams seeded and divided into Gold, Silver & Bronze categories. It was good to see the eight top teams in the Gold representing a number of clubs which included Fareham, Beacon View, Portchester, The Ship and Muscliff Park. As the afternoon knockouts commenced, perhaps the most surprising team climbing their way to the top was the ladies from Portchester (Barbara & Annette) who beat Sue & Julie in the quarter finals and Hassi & Karen in the Semi’s to reach the final against Paula & Sammy who were crowned the overall winners.
The rain did eventually fizzle out and the sun broke through for the final few hours of play as winners and runners-up for the Gold, Gold Consolage, Silver, Silver Consolage and Bronze emerged and took their seats for the presentation waiting for the final of the Bronze Consolage to finish. The battle for this title between sisters Elaine & Hilary from Muscliff Park and team Gru’s Girls (Shelley, Carrie & Suzi) was the hardest fought and the longest game of the day with the latter team just clinching the title after over one and half hours of play.
During the afternoon, Keith Woodland – a photographer from The Portsmouth News – popped along to take some photographs for the newspaper. We were very impressed with his determination to get an action shot at the risk of being hit as he lay on the wet ground with camera pointing upwards and instructed a group of us to throw our Boules towards him. Hopefully, this will be the the photo of the day that might make the paper this week along with a shot of the oldest player (Rita aged 86) and the youngest player (Kaylee aged 21) illustrating that Petanque is indeed a game for all.
Thank you to everyone who supported the event and joined in the celebrations. It was a treat to have the true petanque legends Pam & Trevor Treend pop along to show their support and also nice to see so many other halves in the afternoon to cheer their home teams during the knockouts. Thanks to Pam for doing the honours and handing out the prizes.
Here’s to seeing you all and many more teams at next year’s IWD Women’s Doubles.
Arrivederci from your Happy Blogger.
Top Eight Seeds:
- Hassi & Karen (Fareham/Beacon View)
- Marion & Sue (The Ship Inn)
- Sammy & Paula (Beacon View/Fareham)
- Sue & Julie (Fareham/Shedfield)
- Barbara & Annette (Portchester)
- Sue & Jenny (Muscliff Park)
- Wendy & Trudy (Portchester)
- Daena & Kaylee (Fareham/Beacon View)
- Winners: Sammy & Paula
- Runners-up: Barbara & Annette
- Semi Finalists: Hassi & Karen and Wendy & Trudy
- Consolage: Daena & Kaylee
- Runners-up: Marion & Sue
- Winners: Lesley & Carol
- Runners-up: Beryl & Lucille
- Semi Finalists: Jill & Rita and Carolyn & Diana
- Consolage: Allison & Sian
- Runners-up: Lynette & Sylvie
- Winners: Christine & Ingrid
- Runners-up: Frankie & Sue
- Semi Finalists: Chris & Mavis and Mari & Carol
- Consolage: Shelley, Carrie & Suzi
- Runners-up: Elaine & Hilary
More photos in the Gallery