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Great National Singles and Doubles weekend in Exeter

There were no prizes for the Cornwall players who took part in this weekend's EPA National Singles and Doubles competitions in Exeter, but it was a great opportunity to watch and play against the best in English petanque.

The Singles competition on Saturday attracted 76 entrants for the men's event and 36 women, with a league format in the morning taking players into Gold, Silver and Bronze contests in the afternoon.

Two Cornwall players - Colin 'Boot' Booth (North Inn PC) and Graeme Kirkham (Tregony) - took part in the Men's Singles, and both started with tough first-round draws. Boot faced last year's Singles champion Dean Seville, who also went on to win this year''s event; he lost 13-3. Graeme drew Scott Ashby, who went on to the semi finals of the Men's Gold competition, and, after a lobbing game on the 3-inch deep loose gravel of piste no 1, lost 13-5.

Boot and Graeme each won one of their morning games with Boot winning a further two games in the afternoon and Graeme taking one win. Going out at that stage did give them the chance to watch the very impressive play in the Women's and Men's semi-finals and finals.

For the Doubles events on Sunday there were 26 entries for the women's event and 45 for the men's. Format was as for the Singles, with leagues followed by Gold, Silver and Bronze contests.

Boot and Graeme again had a tough start, with an opening draw against Jack Blows and David Plumhoff, who went on to win the plate contest in the Gold division of the competition. These two took some time to find their usual form, however, with Boot and Graeme reaching 11-2 up! The luck didn't last and they didn't score another point, losing 11-13.

They won their second game of the morning and then faced another very tough draw against Mark Robertshaw and Stephen Daykin; Mark had been a very impressive semi-finalist in the Men's Gold the previous day and Stephen a runner-up in the Silver section, and the pair were the eventual winners of the Silver section of the Doubles. After a very tight game Boot and Graeme took an unexpected win, 13-11!

The two wins in the morning games took them into the Silver contest. They gained a narrow win in their first game against Tim Raine and Steve Golder, who went on to win the Silver plate event, but were then knocked out 13-6 by a team from Plymouth Petanque on the very smooth rollers' terrain of the temporary car park pistes.

The other Cornwall entries for the Men's Doubles were Pete Lynas and Paul Rundle. Disappointing results in their morning games placed them in the Bronze event. They took a win in the first game of the afternoon but then they too were knocked out.

Bank Holiday Monday saw the Mixed Doubles competition but there were no Cornwall entries for this.

Thanks to Rob Brealey and his team at Isca PC for a lot of hard work setting up the terrains and to Martin and Annette Eggleton for handling the immensely complicated organisation of the multiple competitions. Congratulations to all those who made it to the final results tables (see the EPA News section of the EPA website). Video streams of the later stages of the event are on the English Petanque Association Facebook page.

 

Petanque in Cornwall Video

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