2021 Celtic Challenge
The 2021 Celtic Challenge was postponed due to COVID-19. Scotland intends to host the 2022 Celtic Challenge and more information will be provided in due course.
To enter a team for the 2022 Celtic Challenge Qualifier, click here.
History of The Celtic Challenge
In 1989 the Scottish Pétanque Association accepted an invitation to play Wales in Cardiff, Scotland won.
The return match was held in Stirling in 1990 and following a request from Northern Ireland to be included, the Celtic Challenge was formed.
In 1991 the Irish Pétanque Association was formed and the third Celtic Challenge was held at Clandboyne, Northern Ireland.
The Celtic Challenge is played over two days, each nation supplies four teams of three players with the host nation supplying an additional ‘B’ squad.
The winner is the squad who achieve the most wins after twelve rounds (when each team has played against all the opposing teams). The host nation’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ squad play each other in the first four rounds on the opening day.
Strong competition coupled with a social and friendly atmosphere combines to make the Celtic Challenge one of the highlights of the pétanque calendar.
Going into the 2022 competition the standing is:-
Scotland have won 14 times
Wales have won 12 times
Ireland has won 5 times.
Year Venue Winners (Wins) Comments 2021 Scotland - Glasgow COVID-19 strikes again! No Celtic Challenge held again this year, but the 3 Associations decide it was only fair for the venue to be carried over to 2022. 2020 Scotland - Glasgow So - COVID-19 strikes and we all have to stop! No competition held this year, but the 3 Associations decide it was only fair for the venue to be carried over to 2021. 2019 Wales - Pontyclun Scotland (14) National anthems played (and sung), challenging pistes needing boule-to-boule shooting and plombé pointing led to Scotland's 6th consecutive win. Twelve wins from twelve meant Shirley Legge, Robbie Stronnach and Derek Adam were top triple. 2018 Ireland - Dublin Scotland (13) 2017 Scotland - Galashiels Scotland (12) 2016 Wales - Caerleon Scotland (11) The old Roman town of Caerleon was the venue. Despite being paraded onto the piste by a Roman Centurion, Scotland take no prisoners as they continue their winning streak with a hat-trick of wins. Ian Bailey, Glyn Attley & Phil Bradshaw were top triple. 2015 Ireland - Fairfield Cork Scotland (10) A typically warm Irish welcome was waiting for the players, which was just as well given the weather which was wet for most of the weekend. This didn't deter Scotland, who retained their title from Fochabers. Scotland 2 was the top triple, denied a clean sweep of 12 wins by Wales 4 - Alison & Paul Gregory & Richard Harris. 2014 Scotland - Fochabers Scotland (9) The Fochabers bald and sloping pistes are transformed on the Sunday with heavy rain that stops play as it floods the lower pistes. Stronnach-Wilson-Bretenoux once again are top triple. 2013 Wales - Llanhennock Wales (12) At The Wheatsheaf Inn, deep in the countryside overlooking the Celtic Manor Golf complex, Wales emerge victorious. 2012 Ireland - Bangor Scotland (8) The games come back to Bangor where Scotland continue the winning streak. 2011 Scotland - Troon Scotland (7) Home advantage in Troon helps Scotland stop the Welsh dominance. Byrin nMilton is moire and tournament,ent director. Robbie Stronnach, Paul Bretenoux and Johnny Wilson win 12 out of 12. 2010 Wales - Wenvoe Wales (11) Wales make it four-in-a-row at The Wenvoe Arms. 2009 Ireland - Cork Wales (10) The second time the Celtic Challenge is played in Frankfield, Cork. In a tight battle, Wales emerge victorious with 29, Ireland with 28 and Scotland with 27. 2008 Scotland - Fochabers Wales (9) Fochabers was the venue, with good weather for one in nScotland. Roly-poly pistes meant that luck was a factor. Wales again take the trophy and the best triple. 2007 Wales - Abergavenny Wales (8) A relatively easy win for Wales in glorious Abergavenny. Paul Bond and the Dobbins father & son duo are best triple. 2006 Ireland - Dublin Ireland (5) Dublin Airport is windy but sunny, and even though Paul Bond, Glyn Attley and Neil Dobbins are top triple, Ireland win again on home ground. 2005 Scotland - Inverness Scotland (6) A Saturday of glorious sunshine inn Inverness is followed by heavy rain one Sunday. On the first day it is roly-poly on flat ground; on the second it is plombé into soft sand. 2004 Wales - Brecon Ireland (4) The first win away from home is recorded by the Irish in Brecon. 2003 Ireland - Bangor Scotland (5) Scotland make it a second win in a row at Pickle Bowling Club in Bangor when they demolish Wales by 11 wins to 5. The Belgian World Champions are visitors. 2002 Scotland - Stirling Scotland (4) The Birds and Bees host the event in Stirling, and Scotland use home advantage to win. This was the year of Braveheart and the nearby Wallace memorial was poignant. 2001 Wales - Pontypool Wales (7) Wales regain the trophy on home soil at Panteg House in Pontypool. 2000 Ireland - Cahir Ireland (3) Cahir in County Tipperary is the venue, beside the great castle. Charles Clarke, playing for Ireland B, throws the last boule to beat Scotland and sewcufre an Irish win. 1999 Scotland - Drymen Wales (6) Wales come to Scotland and regain the trophy from the Scots. Ireland are third. John Cameron was the organiser of a great weekend. 1998 Wales - Brecon Scotland (3) Back to Brecon, with the three nations deciding that the B teams' results would now count in the scoring. The Scots celebrate their first win since the initial matches. Young Neil Dobbins plays on the B team for Wales. His father, Rod, plays with Paul Bind on the best triple. 1997 Ireland - Castlewellan Wales (5) The first and only time that the Celtic Challenge has been played indoors. the soft clay of the Seeconnell Arena required spot accuracy in shooting, and plombé was and effective way of pointing. The Irish Breteches were the stars, winning all twelve games. 1996 Scotland - Perth Wales (4) Perth was memorable for its cold, wet weather. Paul Bond played for Wales as they narrowly overcame Scotland. Best triple was Roy Lindsay, Morgan Ince and Keith Lord. 1995 Wales - Cardiff Wales (3) The Monkstone Inn, Cardiff is the venue. The fist year that a Cahir triple plays for Ireland. Glyn Attley, Phil Bradshaw and Matthew Franks are the top triple as Wales dominate by 20 games to Ireland's 14, who squeezed past Scotland on points. 1994 Ireland - Cork Ireland (2) The first games in southern Ireland are held at Frankfield, Cork. Ireland win the Celtic Challenge and the Eurovision Song Contest. The Irish Breteches are top triple. 1993 Scotland - Troon Wales (2) At The Anchorage in Troon, Wales win, although the top side is Byron Milton, Mike & Ron Dow. The umps of Charles Clarke, Barra O'hEireamhian & Christoph Degranges play well for Ireland. 1992 Wales - Brecon Wales (1) The great Welsh side, with stars such as Feix, Chris Trig, Colin Newman, Rhys Davies and Tony Fox, emerge to dominate the Celtic Challenge for the next 4 years. Wales win convincingly at the Blue Boar in Brecon. 1991 Ireland - Clandeboyne Ireland (1) The Irish Pétanque Association is formed. The three nations meet in the George in Clandeboyne, Bangor. John McCloy, with his last boule on the last game secures a win for Ireland on Points from Wales. The Scots are led by Bob Boyle and the Welsh by Colin Newman. 1990 Scotland - Stirling Scotland (2) Scotland invite Wales to a return match in the Birds and Bees in Stirling. Northern Ireland are asked to join. Scotland win by 25 games to Wales' 16 and Ireland's 7. 1989 Wales - Cardiff Scotland (1) Wales invite Scotland to a match in Cardiff. Scotland win by 9 games to 7.
Images from the 2019 Celtic Challenge.
Double click on any of the photographs above to enlarge.