"Petanque de la Gare!"
The second season of the indoor French boules league,"Petanque de la Gare," organised by a combination of The Bath League de Petanque and The Bath Grand Cru Club, reached its climax on Tuesday 3rd April, when the participating teams met to play the final and decisive round of the Winter League 2017/18.
Once again, the teams have met on alternate Tuesday evenings to play undercover on the wooden floor of The Old Green Park Station, and to enjoy the hospitality and support of The Green Park Brasserie. The new synthetic boules can be thrown and rolled in a very similar way to those played in the traditional outdoor game, and so players are now keen to maintain "match fitness" during the off-season. The forthcoming outdoor season of The Bath League de Petanque will begin in Queen Square on Tuesday 8th May with the traditional opening evening party, and Grand Cru club matches begin in late April.
As it has been over the whole season, there were to be some very hard-fought matches, resulting in a final play-off between "Shamboules" and "Crème Brulee,", the two teams which had fittingly led the way most of the season. Playing up to 11 points, it was a very even contest throughout, with no quarter given and a nip and tuck match reaching 10 all! The spectating crowd all stayed to witness what most agreed was the best match of the season. John Knapper for Shamboules had previously rescued the match with a well placed final delivery, but it was his team mate Mike Bell whose first boule of the final end proved decisive in swinging the match their way to win 11-10, and so gaining the champions trophy. That same player was later awarded, "le bras d'or" or Golden Arm award, for the top player of the season.
The experienced Boules Brothers triple finished in 3rd place.
Chris Garratt, the event organiser said," it was a pleasure to see such a fitting final match to end this season. Much credit to all teams for turning out consistently in some pretty cold conditions at times. It's great to be able to play undercover but the event remains exposed to the cold Winter air at the market square.
Of course, we're all looking forward to getting out on the piste and enjoying play in warmer conditions, and once again, for The Bath Grand Cru Club members, we're especially looking forward to the end of season club tour to Bath's twin town, Aix-en-Provence in October."
In June this season, the club also has the opportunity to participate in a tournament in Bergerac, where the 2018 National French Championships is due to be held. It's quite a coup for The Grand Cru Club to have been invited to participate as guests in the tournament alongside this prestigious French national event.
Chris went on to say how this shows the way our local players here have proved themselves to be worthy match-players, able to compete here and abroad with some of the best.
Anyone interested in joining in with local Petanque activities, which are growing all the time, should contact Chris on 07789470577 (or firstname.lastname@example.org).