Honiton petanque team pulls off big surprise in national competition


Petanque - Credit: Archant

Honiton Petanque pulled off something of a shock result at Mountbatten Park last weekend when they defeated Bath Sporting Cocks 4-1 in the second round of the national Plate competition, writes Chris Bigmore.

The visitors, who play at a higher level in the Great Western Region, started the match as firm favourites with only home advantage giving Honiton a fighting chance of victory.

In the event, the win was surprisingly decisive for the hosts. In the first round of triples Chris Bigmore, Cecily Young and Tony Prior tussled with their opponents for a number of tight, single point ends before a couple of loose ends gave the opposition the chance to score more heavily and pull away to win the game 13-3.

With the second triple of Charlie O’Reilly, Ron Hutchinson and Jenny Lavender at one stage behind 9-4 in their game, the match seemed to be going according to the form book.

But the trio managed to get control of the Jack, get a foothold in the game, and claw their way back - eventually running out 13-9 victors.

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With that win and the match tied up at one apiece the whole team began growing in confidence, but even so Honiton could not have expected to finish off the visitors quite so emphatically in the doubles round.

First out of the blocks was the pairing of O’Reilly and Young who romped to a 13-0 whitewash of their opponents - and the match lead for the first time. The second and third pairings followed sometime later with Bigmore and Prior comfortably in control of their game to win 13-7.

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And, with Hutchinson and Lavender also easing to a fine 13-6 victory the overall match was sealed at 4-1.

As a result of this fine performance Honiton now find themselves in the last 16 of a national club competition, a feat never achieved before by a Devon Region club!

The next round must be completed by March 3, and Honiton are delighted to have been given another home draw. They will entertain Northey Boules club from Box in Wiltshire, another strong side from the Great Western Region.

While they will give their visitors all due respect, Honiton will go into the match with renewed confidence for further progression in this competition.

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