PP: Congratulations Sammy on your recent EPA Women’s Singles success, how does it feel to be the champion?
ST: After about a week it finally sunk in. Singles has always been a weakness for me, so to win it this year has definitely boosted my confidence.
PP: You are a talented player Sammy and you were one of the favourites – did you feel any pressure?
ST: Of course I felt the pressure. After beating former champion Angie Gaughan in the Quarter Finals, I knew whoever I came up against next would be a tough game. The final was the most pressure I have ever been under in my career.
PP: The Women’s event this year was probably the toughest its ever been and the ability of the pool of players at its highest. With that, which rival(s) were you most hoping to avoid?
ST: Probably my sister, Kaylee as she is such a tough player but unfortunately that did not happen.
PP: What was your route go to the Final, who did you play and how did it go?
ST: I had a bye first game which wasn’t nice as I didn’t play for about an hour. I then had Vikki Amphlett, who beat me and then Angie Jamieson, which was a hard game, but I won to 8. I then had to play Hannah Lombard in the first round of the main, she played very very well for the first half of the match and built a good lead but I sorted myself out and pulled it back to win. In the Quarters I was up against Angie Gaughan – this game could have gone either way. Angie had no luck during the game. Both of us played well and the last end was unfortunate because Angie dragged the jack back with her last boule to give me game. I was then pitted against my sister in the Semi Final, when I found out I had to play her I wasn’t happy. It is never nice to play against family, especially in a Semi Final. I was ahead by a fair amount at the beginning, then she won a few ends which put the pressure on. She started missing shots, which frustrated her and this let me back in the game. The game continued like that and I ended up winning – thankfully.
PP: The game against your sister must have been a tense affair, as it always is, but you came through it, was it a tough game?
ST: It was horrible to play her! She is an excellent singles player as past results show. It was tough mentally because beating family is hard in any big competition. On another day she would have beaten me.
PP: The Final was against Emma Longstaff, a very good player, how did the Final go?
ST: This was the best singles match I have played in, it was excellent. Emma kept putting the pressure on throughout the whole match. This game could have gone either way as both of us were playing top boule.
PP: Now that you are Champion you can reflect on the draw and run in you had. Where do you feel the defining match was and who was your toughest opponent(s) and why?
ST: I think the Quarter Finals was when I felt confident that I could actually go far. My toughest opponent was Emma because she put the pressure on every end making me think and work for each point – which is expected of course!
PP: Now it’s all over, you must be so excited for the World Women’s Singles you will be expected to compete in?
ST: The EPA are not sure if there is going to be a World Singles next year, so winning this year might have just been for pride and new KTK boules.
PP: Well done Sammy on your singles success, Positive Pétanque think you’re a credit to the women’s game and a great Champion. One more question, what are your short term and long term ambitions?
ST: Short term- playing more regularly in competition with different players, long term – winning the women’s triples again.