Arlesey Petanque Club hosted the first round of the Women’s and Men’s International Qualifiers on Sunday May 31st.
This was the second time that an International Qualifier had been held at the Chiltern venue and the pitches provided a stern test of skill with lob pointing and boule to boule shooting required. Unlike previous years where there have been three separate venues for the two qualifying rounds and the Top 8, all competitions in both the male and female categories will be held at the same venue.
A disappointing nine teams entered the first round and the format was four rounds of Swiss.
At the conclusion of the day, no team won all of their games and it was left to Buchholz to establish the rankings. Top team on the day was the Kent quartet of Fay Golder, Sheila King, Michelle Creegan and Tanya Cloak. They had a deserved victory in the first round over Michelle Tarbun, Rachel Shaw, Claire White and Charlotte Simmons and carried on the good work in the following round by narrowly defeating Kim Lachani, Lisa Edmondson, Myra Huntley and Syri Noble.
In second place was Team Lachani, who bounced back from their defeat against Team Golder and prevented the team of Chris Best, Angie Gaughan, Lisa Goliger and Caroline Hoy from winning all their games by securing a notable win in the final round. Team Best finished third on the day.
Joining Team Best on three wins and finishing fourth on the day was Team Tarbun, who bounced back from their first round setback to win their remaining games. The final round, however was a lengthy and tense contest with the team of Tracy Turner, Emma Longstaff, Sabrina Seville and Sarah Huntley, which Team Tarbun won 13-12 after two final shots were missed against the holding boule.
A much more healthy 16 teams entered this, which allowed there to be a perfect four round Swiss tournament where a winner would be found at the conclusion.
At the end of the day, the 100% record went to the team of Herve Bavazzano, Sean Prendergast, Lee Jamieson and Sofiane Lachani. Team Bavazzano had only dropped 4 points in the first three games when they played the showdown match against the reigning English champions, the team of Jack Blows, Rowly Jones, Kevin Spillet and Scott Ashby. A tight match saw Team Bavazzano edge it 13-11.
The Swiss then left four teams each on three wins and these were ranked by the Buchholz tie break. In second place, was the team of Dean Seville, Ross Jones, Sam Blakey and Sylash Smiker; third was the Southern quartet of Dave Plumhoff, David Cruz, Steve Daykin and Steve Lombard, who had bounced back from a heavy first round defeat against Team Bavazzano to win their remaining games; fourth was Team Blows; while the final team on 3 wins and 5th place was the team of John Edmondson, Steve Brown, Chris Peel and Dean Ashby.
It’s now all to play for at the second and final qualifying round on July 5th.
Full results can be seen here.