The results of the Celtic Challenge Qualifier which took place on Sunday 10th April are detailed below. Congratulations to the top four teams who qualify as Wales A and teams 5 to 8 who qualify as Wales B.
A Team Manager will be appointed for each of the squads and they will be made known in due course.
The WPA Executive would like to thank all members who took part in the competition.
Sport Wales have announced that all future applications will be made via their website. Sport Wales are pleased to say that their new On-line Grants Management System has officially gone live.
Applicants can now apply online for Community Chest and Development Grant funding, and you can find the link to the new system via the funding pages of the Sport Wales website – http://sport.wales/funding–support.aspx
If you require any further assistance or advice please do not hesitate to contact me.
Treasurer and Community Chest Panel Member
On Tuesday 22nd of September the Men’s National team travelled to Albena Bulgaria to take part in the European Championships organised by the Confederation Européenne de Pétanque (CEP). The team was composed of Ian Bailey, Steve Brace, Peter Westall, Phil Bradshaw and Jean-Yves Robic (Team Manager and Head of Delegation); Julie Bailey and Diane Westall accompanied the team.
After a pleasant early morning flight from Luton, the team was met by members of the Bulgarian organising committee at Varna airport and taken to the resort of Albena. The team booked in their rooms and then explored the hotel facilities. Having discovered a number of pétanque pistes in the hotel grounds, and other various places around the resort; the team then started to practice under the sun.
Wednesday was another day of practice, with some of the other teams that had also arrived early. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to have a look at the championship playing area. We would have to wait until Thursday when the championship started. Everybody was in good spirits and enjoyed playing pétanque in the warm conditions.
Thursday morning was again dedicated to practice, with Peter Westall going through the precision shooting routine while the rest of the team played a couple of friendly games against Lithuania. In the afternoon, there was the first opportunity for everyone to have a practice in the indoor boulodrome. It was quite a surprise to discover a very stony and bouncy piste.
As Head of delegation Jean-Yves attended the CEP congress where the draw for the first round of the shooting and triples championships would be made. Wales was drawn in 13 place for the shooting on the Thursday evening and against Estonia in the first round of the Swiss system on Friday morning. Now it really felt as though the competition had started.
In the early evening the team, assembled in the indoor arena and witness some superb shooting by Dylan Rocher of France, with a new European Record and Diego Rizzi of Italy with 63 and 51 points, respectively. Peter Westall’s turn was coming, he was the first of the Home Nations to shoot. After a slow start Peter’s shooting found the target and he finished with the best ever Welsh score of 17 points at a senior championship. At the end of the night his score proved to be the best out of the Home Nations (Jersey 11 points, England 10 points and Scotland 5 points). Unfortunately, this was not enough to make the second round and Peter finished 22nd, missing the cut by two places and only 4 points.
Friday morning was the start of the championship. The first game against Estonia saw the Welsh team take an early lead 4-0 but struggled to keep the momentum. Estonia took the lead 4-5 after 5 ends, Wales reacted well and took the lead again, 11-7 after 9 ends. Estonia fought back and with the score at 12-12 Wales held on and secured their first win 13-12, a great start.
After an anxious wait for the round 2 draw to be announced, Wales’s next opponent was Belgium. The game started well for Wales, taking the first end 1-0. The next end was a good battle, where Peter responded to a Belgium spot carreau by another spot carreau of his own, game on! Wales stayed in the game and after the 4th end the score was only 3-1 to Belgium. Inevitably, Belgium slowly stared to build a good lead helped by some near perfect shooting by their young shooter Baton Logan (who will lose the shooting final against Rizzi) and some masterly pointing by Claudy Wiebel. The final score after more than an hour’s play was 13-2 to Belgium.
Friday afternoon (Round 3), Wales was drawn against Austria. Austria took the lead and never looked back at a struggling Welsh team, that seem to have lost their way, and despite changing the order of play and a replacement, Wales were severely beaten 13-1. Round 4, the last game of the day against Denmark was no easier. Denmark took a quick lead and the scoreboards showed 6-0 after 3 ends. After a Welsh substitution the team appeared to have regained the initiative and won the next two ends trailing 3-6. A Danish substitution saw them re-take the lead and build up a 10-3 advantage, again the Welsh team fought back to 6-10 after 9 ends. Denmark, after some very good shooting finally won the game 13-6.
Dejection in the Welsh camp, together with the added pressure of having to secure a win in the last round on the Saturday morning to avoid an elimination barrage. The other Home Nations were not in a better position, Jersey, Scotland, and England only managing to secure one win each.
Saturday morning (Round 5 of the Swiss system) was a must win game for Wales to ensure a place in the pool stage of the B championship. Wales was drawn against Andorra. After a nervous start, Wales came back to 3-4 in the 4th end and assured their lead by scoring 5 points from the next end and won the games 13-7, despite a good come back from Andorra. With 2 wins, 3 losses after the five round of the Swiss system, Wales was ranked 22nd and would join Turkey (19th), Lithuania (27th) and Jersey (30th) in the pool stage.
The first round of the pool B was against Lithuania. A good start from Wales gave them a 3-1 lead after 3 ends, but Lithuania took the following 6 ends and won 13-3. Wales would then play the looser of the other game between Jersey and Turkey; after a surprising win by Jersey it was to be Turkey.
Wales took an early 5-0 lead after two ends, but could not hold on to the lead against a good Turkish team who would go on to play the semi-final of the B championship. Turkey won 13-6 and ended the Welsh dream of qualifying for the 2016 World Championship. Wales finished in 30th place behind Scotland (21st), England (24th) and Jersey (28th).
After an honest de-briefing with the players and an analysis of the games completed the squad prepared themselves to go and watch the Rugby World Cup Clash between Wales and England; what a night…
Sunday, saw everybody back at the arena for the finals of the Precision Shooting Championship and the European Championship. The Precision Shooting final was very close with both competitors on 44 points after the five disciplines. This meant that there was a play-off where each competitor undertook each discipline again, but only from 7m, the winner would take the glory. I the 4th discipline Diego Rizzi scored 3 points which meant his opponent Baton Logan (Belgium) could not win. Diego Rizzi became the 2015 European Champion for Precision Shooting. France was the winner against a very good Swiss team and became the 2015 European Champions.
A mention must be made of Wales’s part in the shooting championship, Tony Smith on duty with the CEP acted as scorer for both the semi-final and final of the competition, as well as being heavily involved in the running of the championships.
Two qualifying teams from the 2015 Veterans National Championship travelled to Copenhagen to take part in the 8 Nations Veterans invitation tournament over the weekend of 5th/6th September.
The two teams representing Wales were the 2015 National Champions, Barbara Vaughan, Jake Caston and Kon Tomczyk. Team B comprised Ray Hayes, Tony Smith and Peter Westall.
Day 1: 7 games to play, each encounter 50 minutes in duration, in this round all the A Teams played each other and the same for the B Teams. Points were scored for the following results:
A win to 13 – 3 points
A win – 2 points
A draw – 1 point
A loss – 0 points
Literally, points means prizes.
At the end of the first day the two Welsh teams had scored the following Team A – 4 points, Team B – 8 points, a total of 12 points, equal with Norway.
Day 2: Group A – Finland, Holland, Denmark A and Denmark B. Group B – Norway, Wales, Austria/Estonia and Scotland.
At the end of the second day the two Welsh teams had scored the following Team A – 6 points, Team B – 7 points, a total of 13 points, giving an overall total of 25 points, winning the Group B competition.
The overall winners were Finland with 40 points, Holland were second with 34 points and Denmark in third and fourth positions.
Our first Members Meeting of this year, following the spate of meetings at the end of last year and the AGM in March was recently held at the Wenvoe Arms, home of the Wenvoe Pétanque Club. The numbers attending were on the low side, but not unexpected at this time of the year.
There was a lively and quite extensive discussion of topical playing issues, which gave the Executive Committee (EC) a chance to listen to and respond to Members’ views and comments on several of the recent WPA competitions. It was all very useful material for the EC to consider, especially as they preparation the calendar and planning for next season.
Among the issues which came up was funding for clubs, and in particular for clothing and equipment, and Tony Smith, the Treasurer, was keen to give out useful information on sources of funding. He repeated that EC members are more than happy to assist clubs in preparing funding applications to appropriate bodies – which can help clubs pay for things like team shirts, sets of boule for beginners, practice equipment, and to cover the cost of attending coaching courses.
We discussed in some detail the latest news on Tony’s on-going efforts to clarify our insurance cover, and we agreed to report back on further work we are doing with the insurers to try to maximise or improve the cover for our players and clubs. A number of important questions were asked by Members and we will be doing our best to get the answers!
We talked about the need to create proper training and playing facilities, and I have produced a separate message about that under the heading “Development Fund”.
We also had a lively discussion about how the WPA invites teams to play in international tournaments. The detail is already set out and published in the Rules of Entry, which were updated at the start of this season, with the help of some of our most experienced “international” players.
Following that discussion, the EC has been considering the further work it needs to do to clarify and publicise information about this, and related subjects, and further policy guidelines will be published shortly.
A number of concerns were raised about this season’s competitions, and the EC will be constantly reviewing how events go to see what needs to be improved on for later events and for next season.
One decision which has been made is to try to organise events where possible without “byes”, and from this meeting onwards entries will be monitored more closely so that the “cut off” will be applied when the last even numbered team enters, with later entering teams going onto a standby list, and being invited to play if an earlier registered team drops out.
If teams enter using the electronic application form their entry time is automatically generated, and so teams enter in a known date/ time order. It is important for teams to ensure that their electronic entry is correctly submitted – and acknowledged! If in doubt, contact Jean-Yves or Tony as soon as possible.
Jean-Yves asked for nominations for the appointments of National Coach, National Umpire, Medical Officer and Child Protection Officer. Please contact the Exec if you are interested in applying.
Please also contact the EC if you are in a team due to play in the Home Nations or Inter Regional but have to withdraw, so that reserve players can be invited to attend.
The meeting covered a lot of other topics, but I hope this gives you some news. There is a lot going on in the background to further our sport. Come to the next General Meeting to hear more!
Roy’s funeral is at 2.45 pm on Friday 15th May in the Wenalt Chapel at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff.
Keith Lord from Creigiau Pétanque Club has reported the following sad news.
“It’s my sad duty to inform you that Roy Lindsay, ex-regional president, died last night [Saturday 25th April]. We all remember him, his caring, kind nature, his love and enthusiasm for the game. Coming as it does on the aftermath of Avril, his wife’s death, makes this all the more sad for me to report.
He was truly a legend. That 19m spot carreau to ensure a Wales win in the Perth Celtic Challenge and secure a “top team” award for his team (of which I was honoured to be part of) is still talked about by everyone – even now. We will all miss him. He was a great mate to me and an inspiration.
As soon as I know the appropriate details, I’ll be sure to let you know.”