Another rearranged competition sees the National Precision Shooting competition wrap up the 2020 playing calendar.
After much debate amongst the Executive Committee, it was decided to go ahead with the National Precision Shooting competition in a different format to that in previous years.
Concerns about the weather and failing light potentially making an already difficult competition even harder, the competition was held as a one-round “all-or-nothing” shoot-out, with Pontyclun PC again acting as a host venue.
A number of last-minute withdrawals left a depleted field of 10 men and only 2 women.
One huge positive of the day was the number of players taking part for the first time, including the eventual Women’s winner, Gill Greenwell.
The Men’s competition went to a more experienced player – with Ian Bailey taking his first National Precision Shooting title, with Len Field coming second.
The plan now is to be able to hold the 2021 competition early in next year’s calendar with a more conventional format, and for it to be as part of the International Qualifying Assessments as well as a National title.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, and a big thank you to Pontyclun PC for preparing the pistes to allow the competition to go ahead,
Rainbows, Road-Closures & Floodlit Finale fail to Dampen Spirits
Re-arranged after being postponed as a result of the recent Welsh Government Firebreak, this year’s National Mixed Doubles finally got underway at Caerleon RFC PC.
Having offered to host the original event, we were delighted that Caerleon were able to also meet the revised date. Our thanks to the Rugby and Petanque Clubs Committees, and especially Richard Harris for making it happen.
The build-up to this event was, I think it’s safe to say, less than ideal. With more teams entered than the Welsh Government limit of 30 people allowed, it meant we unfortunately had to decline the entries of a few teams. It’s rare for us to run an oversubscribed event, and our sincerest apologies to these unlucky players. We were able to accommodate some more, when a few teams dropped out at the last minute, which left us with 12 teams fighting for the title.
There’s a clear risk to holding competitions mid-November, and today we found out enough weather to prove this, with sunshine, light showers, proper Welsh rain, winds and hail making it a challenge.
Four rounds of timed games including a short lunch break, led to the top four teams heading for the semi-finals, where Maesteg PC’s Julie & Ian Bailey defeated Wheatsheaf PC’s Gail Brooksbank and Robert White, and club-locals Tansy Mayfield and Richard Harris defeating Monkstone PC’s Jayne Dunn and Peredur John.
With the semis and final being untimed, the light was fading-fast as the finalists threw the first boule. Ironically, as the light faded, the clouds parted and the sky truned out be the clearest it had been all day!
Mayfield & Harris got off to a flying start with a 1 and 6 on the first 2 ends taking them into a strong lead – the 6, in particular, coming from some outstanding pointing.
Just at the point when many teams would crumble, former champions, the Baileys, dug deep and began their recovery, clawing their way back in 1s and 2s, till the edged ahead as the light went completely and we had to resort to using temporary floodlighting (thanks to Marie & Derek Jones for the inspirational decision to throw them into the bag of the car in the morning).
The next few ends saw the lead change hands until both teams were tied on 11 each, with Baileys taking the point on the next end, just missing out on the winning point, before finally closing the game out 13-11.
Huge congratulations to our 2020 National Mixed Doubles Champions, and, once again, our thanks to Caerleon RFC PC for hosting the event in a safe and sporting way.
Next-up is the National Precision Shooting for Women & Men, currently scheduled for November 22nd – venue still to be confirmed.
Part of Caerleon Road will be closed to allow urgent work to fell a significant number of mature trees affected by Ash dieback disease.
Diversion routes for most vehicles will be via New Road, Belmont Hill, Royal Oak Hill, Chepstow Road, Clarence Place, Old Green roundabout and A4042 but heavy vehicles will use the B4236, Ponthir, Llanfrechfa and the A4042.
The B4236, Ponthir, Llanfrechfa and the A4042 is a larger road and come in from the top of Caerleon.
I hope you and you families are continuing to stay safe and well.
You may have seen in yesterday’s announcement from the First Minister that outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people will be allowed again from Monday 9th November.
Coupled with the lifting of travel restrictions WITHIN Wales, this means we have decided to commence competitive play, as we’d previously said we would do if possible.
The WPA Playing Calendar has now been updated with the addition of 2 National events – the National Mixed Doubles has been scheduled for 15 November, and the National Precision Shooting (Men and Ladies) for the weekend after, 22nd.
Please note – the Venues for all these events are still under review and will be confirmed as soon as possible.
In addition, we are intending to run the first 2 Assessment events, as we’ve done in previous years, to find Teams to compete in the 2021 World and European Championships. Initially, this will be for the Men’s teams, with the Ladies teams to follow (this is because the Men’s competitions are earlier in the 2021 Calendar than the Ladies – so there’s a little more “breathing space” for them). It is still our intention to run these as early as possible in order to give the qualifying teams as much chance as possible to play together in 2021.
I hope you and you families are continuing to stay safe and well.
You will, no doubt, have now seen the Welsh Government’s (WG) announcement of a “firebreak” lockdown covering the whole of Wales from 6pm on Friday 23rd October until Monday 9th November 2020.
We have been advised by Sport Wales (SW) that during this period, all organised sport and facilities will be paused. This means that ALL our affiliated Clubs MUST remain closed.
In addition, the WG advice is very clear that, although exercise is permitted, and even encouraged, it MUST be local – starting and ending at home, and there must be NO gatherings between households. This means that, even if you live within walking-distance of a nearby playing area, you MUST NOT meet with anyone from outside your household.
The WG advice states:
People must stay at home, except for very limited purposes, such as for exercise.
People must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with either indoors and outdoors
No gatherings will be allowed outdoors, such as Halloween or fireworks/Bonfire night or other organised activities
I hope you and you families are continuing to stay safe and well.
You may have seen in today’s news that the UK Government has now launched it’s long-awaited NHS COVID-19 track and trace app for England & Wales for mobile phones.
Amongst other features, this allows the user to scan a QR code at any premises/venue/event they may be attending.
The UK Government has also released details of downloading, printing and using QR codes. These can be downloaded by Clubs or event organisers to allow people to scan using the NHS app.
The WPA Exec would encourage all its members who are able to download and use the mobile phone app.
In addition, we would encourage all Clubs and event organisers to download and use a QR Code for players to scan when they arrive at the venue/event.
When WPA-organised competitions return, we intend to make use of this facility and will produce a new QR code for each event (this will leave host Clubs free to use their own QR code for their own members.
Our Guidelines for Clubs and Players have been updated to reflect this, and can be found on our COVID-19 Webpage. The link to the UK Government website to obtain a QR code is in the Guidance for Clubs and on the COVID-19 webpage.
In the meantime, we appreciate your ongoing patience, and hope you and your families stay healthy.
With the latest news from the Welsh Government (WG), and yesterday’s announcement of a further 4 areas of South Wales put into a lockdown state, the WPA EC feels it has no choice but to postpone the National events that were scheduled to be played in the next few weeks.
National Precision Shooting: Women & Men
National Mixed Doubles
National Singles: Women
National Singles: Men
Although this is regrettable, we hope our members understand that this decision was not taken lightly, but was done-so with everyone’s health, safety and well-being in the forefront of our minds.
We will continue to monitor the situation and we wish to assure our members that, when the circumstances allow we will look to reschedule as many of these events as we are able.
Although the WG advice continues to allow groups of up to 30 to meet outdoors for organised activities (subject to the same guidelines as we have published previously), and we would encourage all members to support their local clubs if they wish to continue to play, we must remind members that travel into or out of a lockdown area is only for essential purposes – and playing sports does not fall into that category.
We also understand that this is a difficult time for Clubs who may be missing out on some income that they rely on from hosting competitions, running open-days, etc.
If Clubs are struggling financially, we would like to remind you that, as we have previously briefed out, Sport Wales has a Be Active Wales Fund that clubs are encouraged to apply to for assistance.
Pontyclun PC, based at Pontyclun RFC, once again played host to a National Championships – this time for the Men’s Doubles.
Originally due to be held at another venue, a last-minute issue meant that an 11th-hour change was needed and the WPA are very grateful to the Executive of Pontyclun PC, and Marie Jones in particular, for making the arrangements that allow this event to go ahead.
Shortly after the notification of venue change was sent to all the entrants, the PA weer advised that the local council, Rhondda Cynon Taf, had introduced a more rigid covid requirement to ensure face-covering were to be worn in any public indoor space. This necessitate another communication to ensure everyone was aware of these restrictions..
A total of 10 teams entered – not the best number for a competition – so the playing format followed one used previously, with teams divided into 2 pools of 5, with play following a round-robin pithing the group and teams in each pool that had a bye, playing the “bye-team” from the other pool, all played using timed games. .
Following the completion of the pool games, the top-2 sides from each pool were drawn into semi-finals to play full-length (i.e. untimed) games, so Winner-Pool-A v Runner-Up-Pool-B and Winner-Pool-B v Runner-Up-Pool-A.
The Semi- Finals started at 4pm, with Richard Harris & Kon Tomczyk playing Gareth & Stewart Spencer and Ian Bailey & Jean-Yves Robic playing father-&-son pairing, Huw & Matthew Morris.
Bailey & Robic dominated their semi, winning 13-3, whilst Harris & Tomczyk had to work hard for their victory, finally closing it out 13-11.
After a brief pause, the final got underway at 5pm, with Harris & Tomczyk making the best of starts by taking 5 points on the first end. Bailey & Robic clawed a couple back before Harris & Tomczyk pulled ahead again. But they were unable to close the game out, allowing Bailey & Robic to drag their way back to level the scores at 10-10, before easing ahead to 11-10 and finally coming out as victors 13-10 and claiming the title.
Once again, the pistes played their part, but there was still some fine and accurate play in the final.
Huge congratulations to our 2020 National Doubles for Men champions, and, once again, our thanks to Pontyclun PC and Pontyclun RFC for hosting the event in a safe and sporting way.
Standings after Pool Stages:
Richard Harris & Kon Tomczyk
Ian Bailey & Jean-Yves Robic
Hugh Morris & Matthew Morris
Gareth Spencer & Stewart Spencer
Bernard Adshead & Roger Griffin
Jake Caston & Bob Pugh
John Attfield & Derek Jones
Roger Green & Sean Smith
Colin Sweet & Basil White
Jeremy Clare & Len Field
Next-up is the National Precision Shooting for Women & Men, currently scheduled for September 27th – venue still to be confirmed.
WPA NATIONAL DOUBLES – MEN – CHANGE OF VENUE & FORMAT OF PLAY
Please note that due to circumstances outside the WPA’s control, we have been forced into a last-minute change of venue.
The competition will now be held at Pontyclun RFC.
Please also note that with immediate effect RCT County Borough Council have imposed the wearing of 3-layer face coverings where it is safe to do so, whilst in work, in supermarkets and other indoor or crowded public spaces.
Therefore, please ensure you have the appropriate face-overing with you for using the clubhouse and/or any shops when purchasing food/drinks, etc.
Please check with your playing partner to confirm that they are aware of this change.
My apologies for any inconvenience caused and my thanks for your patience and cooperation.
Bob Pugh National President.
The Director of Development has asked me to publish the following:
Sunday’s playing format will replicate one previously used:
2 x Pools of 5 Teams (drawn at random).
Each pool will play a round-robin (byes will be played against the opposite pool team, e.g. the Team in Pool A with a bye will play the Team in Pool B with a bye in the same round).
All Pool games will be timed at 50mins plus 1-end. This will allow time in between rounds to clean scoreboards and circles.
After the Pool rounds, the top-2 Teams in each Pool will progress to Semi-Finals (Winner Pool A v R-U Pool B & Winner Pool B v R-U Pool A). These games MAY be timed – depending on time at their start.
The winners of the Semi Finals will progress to the Final, with the runners-up playing 3/4 play-off. These games will NOT be timed.