Autumn Cup Competition
Our 6-a-side team is playing in a competition organised especially this year by the SCPA (Southern Counties Petanque Association – our Petanque England region) as all previous 6AS matches had to be cancelled. The first round consists of 6 groups of 3 teams, with each team playing the others home and away. This is followed by quarter finals for the top 8 teams, semi finals and the final, all to be completed by the end of October. We are in Group F with Worthing Peacocks and Cranleigh Cougars.
Oxshott 4 : Worthing Peacocks 1
We played our first match on 17 September against our old friends from Worthing, who had very generously hosted a coaching session for us earlier in the week. Stuart and Graham spent hours preparing the terrain early in the morning, and did such a fantastic job that none of really wanted to tread on it! The weather was brilliant too, warm and sunny but not too hot.
It was honours even after the triples round, with Oxshott winning one game and Worthing storming back from 6:5 down in the other to take 4 points in both the last 2 ends and win 13:6. In the doubles, we won the first 2 games, but the third developed into a real thriller, going to 12:12 with everything hanging on the last end. Ash finally powered through after a difficult patch, and he and Trish sealed the game, to a standing ovation from the crowd (many thanks to all those who came along to support us!).
Well done to the whole team on our first competitive outing since lockdown (Ann, Ash, Barry, Carol, Celia, John, Stuart, Trish). Next stop Cranleigh!
Cranleigh Cougars 2 : Oxshott 3
Our first away match was on 24 September at Cranleigh. They have refreshed their terrain since any of us visited last, with the separate terrains now joined, and with new edging. It looked immaculate, but a little less so after we’d finished practicing as we arrived quite early to prepare!
The triples went the same way as in our previous match, with one game each, and the first two doubles games finished relatively quickly, again one game each. This meant the match result hinged on the last doubles game, which was finely balanced at 9:9. We could hardly watch, but Barry and Stuart held their nerve and took the last 4 points to win 13:9.
Many thanks to Cranleigh for hosting the match and for their friendly welcome, and congratulations to the team for another good result (Ann, Ash, Barry, John, Carol, Stuart). Off to the seaside Friday of next week to meet Worthing again!
(Carol also played in the team at Cranleigh but was unavailable for the photo).
Worthing Peacocks 3 : Oxshott 2 (2 October)
Our third match was away at Worthing on Friday 2 October. We started well, winning both games of Triples (13-7 & 13-8). The heavens then opened and we played on in torrential rain! The terrains became very difficult to read, and we lost all three Doubles games (9-13, 9-13 & 8-13).
A disappointing result but some gritty performances from the whole team (Ann, Ash, Barry, Celia, Stuart, Trish) in tough conditions, in particular Stuart, Barry and Trish’s marathon Triples win. As usual, it was all played in a very friendly spirit and it was nice to see our old friends at Worthing again.
Our last game in the group stage is against Cranleigh at home on 15th October at 2pm, and we need to win to be sure of progressing to the knockout stage. No pressure then!
Oxshott 3 : Cranleigh Cougars 2
Our final match in the group stage started as a tense affair, with both teams equal on matches won, and needing to win to be sure of going through to the knockout stage. We lost the first triples game 8:13 which didn’t bode well, but in a much longer game, our other triples team ground out a 13:9 victory so we were back on even keel.
We then won the first doubles game 13:3, followed shortly by a 13:4 win on the adjacent piste, so the match was already won, but Cranleigh had a consolation 6:13 victory in the last doubles game to finish.
The match was played in a great spirit of friendly competition, and Cranleigh wished us all the best afterwards for the next round. They may actually qualify as well in one of the runner up slots so it’s possible we may meet them again!
Congratulations to the whole team (Ann, Ash, Barry, Carol, Celia, John, Stuart & Trish) for another great performance, and huge thanks to the dozen or more supporters who came to cheer us on (quietly of course). Our supporters included: Pam & Fred, Audrey, Brian, Dave G, David A, Gill S, Jeannett, Krystyna, Marlene, Reg, Richard, Rosemary & Terry. Socially distanced around the terrain, they certainly helped to let Cranleigh know we were a force to be reckoned with!
Our next match will be next week (w/c 19 Oct) and we should know the details soon as the last group matches finish today (16 Oct). If you believe in omens, we now know the crock of gold is hidden in the Petanque shed, and the rainbow after the match developed into a fantastic full ark over the whole village
Quarter Final – Fareham Conifers 3 : Oxshott 2
Having come top in our group, we were drawn to play Fareham Conifers away in the quarter finals in an evening match on Thursday 22 October. We agreed no one should travel from the high risk Covid areas as Fareham is medium risk, but we are lucky to have such a strong squad that we were able to field a very strong team anyway.
The match couldn’t have been closer! After the triples we were 1-1 so all to play for, and fairly quickly Barry and Stuart won their doubles game. With the other doubles fairly equal, we were still in with a chance, then we lost the second doubles leaving the final doubles as the decider. The score reached 12-12, with Celia and Carol holding game on the ground in the last end before the last boule to be played by Fareham. They tried to shoot our boule, and a ricochet hit a Fareham boule, moving it about 2cm closer which was enough for them to win the match.
It is a fine line between winning and losing, and Oxshott won 56 points to Fareham’s 50, but it was a great match overall, and good luck to Fareham in the next round. Thanks to all the team members who played, and to everyone who supported us throughout the whole of the Autumn Cup competition.