National Titles Weekend 26-28 May 2018

What a great weekend of sunshine and Petanque at the National Titles Weekend in Gravesend.  There was a good mix of Southern players taking part, with some superb performances and great achievements which included Kaylee winning the Women’s Doubles title with Ella Slade from Sussex. Ella was one of the youngest players at just 11 years old.  It was a pure delight to watch them play the finals with confidence and great teamwork.

Sammy took the Mixed Doubles title with Jeremy Huntley from Chiltern after they played the final  against Jamie Brooks & Ella Slade.  As possibly the youngest ever Junior Mixed Doubles team, Jamie & Ella got to the final with convincing wins and showcased amazing qualities and decorum worthy of great sportspeople – truly inspirational and humbling to watch this young pair not only play extremely well together but also show respect to their opponents.

Sammy also reached the Singles final and narrowly lost out to Becky Edwins from Kent. Once again, it was impressive to observe Sammy’s resolve and ability to keep it together under pressure at 12-1 down to fight back and finish on 11 before losing the match.

There were many other honours earned by Southern players. A full list will be published shortly by Petanque England but those currently known include:

  • Karen: Gold Semi Finalist in the Women’s Singles
  • Glenn: Gold Plate Winner in the Men’s Singles
  • Mark:  Silver Finalist in the Men’s Singles
  • Paula & Chris: Gold Semi Finalists in the Women’s Doubles
  • Callum & Stuart: Gold Quarter Finalists in Men’s Doubles
  • Karen & Hassi: Gold Plate Finalists in the Women’s Doubles
  • Jamie & Ella:  Gold Finalists in the Mixed Doubles
  • David & Paula: Bronze Winners in the Mixed Doubles
  • Liam & Francesca:  Bronze Plate Winners in the Mixed Doubles

Well done to all our juniors – Jamie, Liam, Marc & Francesca – who not only played really well in the heat but also coped with the pressure of playing some top players.

Thank you to everyone involved in organising this annual three day event, from the Gravesend club to PE president Martin Eggleton, Annette Eggleton and David Baxter, and to Martin Hughes who as well as playing also live streamed the finals at the end of a long day allowing many Petanque-lovers to enjoy being part of the action from the comfort of their home.  A very special thank you to John Booyah and Gareth Sullivan, two top class umpires who were just fantastic with their friendly policing of the competition, always on hand to adjudicate when needed and give encouragement and motivation to players along the way.

This was the first year the Titles Weekend was held at Gravesend, which offered a variety of pistes, making some appealing to those who like to scoot and some to those who lob and can shoot boule-to-boule.  Of course no-one was guaranteed their favourite piste as these were randomly allocated by the PE team, so the versatility of all the players was tested.  Gravesend also boasts an impressive permanent canopy over several terrains, providing shelter from the sun and rain.

For anyone who has never been to the National Titles weekend, it offers an opportunity to play with some of the best players in the country, meet and make new friends and play some intense Petanque matches.  Three full days of pure Petanque and you could also earn yourself a place on the Rankings Table.  So if you love Petanque, give it a go!

Aloha from your Happy Blogger