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2017 Archived Reports

AGAINST THE ODDS

The odds of the two Meadow teams (Meadow and Meadow Starlings) being drawn in the same EPA EuroCup fourth round group were 1 to 3 against. However unsurprisingly when the draw was announced they were inevitably drawn together in Group D, along with Hanbury 2 (from Eastern Counties) and the group seeds - Sports Bar (from Chiltern).

The other groups were drawn as follows:

Group A: Baldock Town, Feering Bell, Great Yarmouth & Bath Larks.

Group B: London 1, Cobbetts 2, Beacon View & Hereford.

Group C: Railway Inn 1, Crowborough, Stockton Knights & Bancroft Park.

Why "unsurprisingly"? Well since the current format of 4th round group stages was first introduced in 2011-12 the Meadow have been drawn to play Kent's other top qualifier (be that the George, Tovil or Railway) at this stage in 6 of the 7 events. What are the odds of that happening I wonder?

With only one side from each group qualifying for the final it does of course mean only one of our sides can reach the finals. However with both Meadow teams in the same group it does narrow the odds of getting one side through to the final to 50/50.

The fourth round is due to be played over the weekend of 7th to 8th April 2018. The venue has yet to be announced.

CHRISTMAS HAMPER DOUBLES REPORT

Amazingly the Meadow's annual Christmas Hamper Doubles competition attracted 23 teams despite the atrocious wintery conditions. The attendees also included 5 juniors, testament to the Meadow's policy of not charging juniors to play in it's open events.

The snow had stopped by the time play commenced at 10am but the white covering quickly turned to slush with the rain and sleet showers throughout the day.

Following the morning leagues the teams were seeded into the Gold, Silver and Bronze knockout events for the afternoon. Another snow flurry greeted commencement of the afternoon's play (see picture below) but this still didn't deter the players.

Reaching the final of the Gold event were club members Rowland Jones & Matt Horrigan against club mate Greg Davenport, who was playing with Phil Bradshaw who had travelled up from Wales. After a high quality final it was Greg and Phil who took the honours with all four finalists leaving with large hampers. Also picking up hampers were the losing semi-finalists: Meadow's Kevin Spillett & Jason White and Becky & Tim Edwins from the Bat & Ball.

The Silver final was contested by club members Tracy Spillett & Neil Phillips against Marston's Alan Creegan & Alex Bruce with Alan and Alex taking the winners hampers back to East Kent.

Finally the Bronze final was an all Meadow affair with Richard Spillett and Dave Hurren taking the honours ahead of Corinne Cooter & Trevor Gordon.

With hamper or wine prizes for 14 teams and a large array of raffle prizes on offer, including another large Christmas hamper, most people left with a little something for Christmas.

The club would like to extend a big thanks to Richard Spillett who once again made up all the hampers and sold the raffle tickets.

Pictured above - Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze competitions.

ANOTHER BRONZE MEDAL FOR ALEX

Club member Alex Spillett represented England in the Junior World Championships, that were held in China in early November. Playing with fellow Kent member Jason White, Morgan Pry from Sussex and Kai Sheffield from Chiltern they were managed by Scott Ashby.

They faced a tough start against France 1, which they lost, but bounced back with a 'fanny' against India. A close game against Malaysia was lost 8 points to 10 when they ran out of time. A second 'fanny' against Hungary was followed by defeat against Poland but their superior points difference was enough to see them into the Elimination round. Sadly defeat against Tunisia saw them eliminated from the main competition.

So into the Coupe de Nations event where English junior teams have enjoyed some success in the past. An excellent come-back against the home side China 1 in front of a partisan crowd was followed by another close win against Denmark which saw England into the semi-finals. They then lost to the eventual winners Japan but earned themselves a spot on the podium and bronze medals.

Alex must be getting sick of the sight of bronze medals as her and her team mates also got bronze at the EPA's Junior International event in July and bronze in the European Junior Championships Coupe de Nations event last year.

EURO CUP UPDATE

Both Meadow teams have won through to the fourth round group stages (semi-finals) of the EPA's Euro Cup Qualifying competition.

"Meadow" have cruised through the competition so far, having been barely troubled recording 5-0 wins over Hartley (65 points to 24), Gravesend (65-14) and Bat & Ball (65-25).

"Meadow Starlings" meanwhile received a bye in round 1 before recording wins over Seal and Duke of Wellington 1 to secure their semi final place. There is a long wait now as the next round isn't until April next year.

VET'S IN EUROPE

Club members Sue and Dave Turner travelled to Karlslunde in Denmark over the weekend of 6th-8th October to represent England in the European Veterans Championships, along with team-mates Jean-Louis Guiot and Robert Silvy.

They got off to a good start recording wins over both Switzerland and Austria before losing to Sweden and then Scotland. A final 13-12 victory over the holders, the Netherlands, saw them safely qualify through to the second round barrage groups in ninth place.

Into the second round and a good win against Andora was followed by a very tight game against the number one seeds, Spain, which resulted in another 13-12 victory and saw them straight through to the quarter finals. Sadly a 6-13 loss saw them eliminated from the competition at the quarter final stage but gain a very commendable final ranking of equal 5th place.

Netherlands went on to retain their title beating Spain in the final. Monaco and Sweden were the losing semi-finalists. There was some consolation in the fact that England played all four top teams during the tournament beating both finalists.

The Veterans Championships have been one of England's (and Meadow's) most successful categories in Europe. Previous club members Angie and Lee Jamieson also finished in equal fifth place in the inaugural tournament back in 2012 before going on to win the Coupe de Nations in both 2014 and 2016.

Pictured above from left to right: Sue Turner, Dave Turner, Jean-Louis Guiot & Robert Silvy.

Meanwhile, over the same weekend in a small village in the middle of France, two teams from the Meadow PC were representing Kent in an invitation event. Running out victors were Rowland Jones, Matt Horrigan and Scott Ashby while club mates Richard Spillett, Dave Hurren and Mark Cooter lost out in the semi finals.

BANK HOLIDAY BOULE

The hottest UK bank holiday weather for decades saw a full weekend of petanque. A number of our club members played at the Atlantic Trophy competition at the Gardens of Hanbury on the Saturday. Play then switched to the Meadow P.C. on the Sunday with Scott Ashby's "four person" event. Winners for the second day running were our Danish friends from the Boule Hedebo club, Morten Saxild-Hansen, Morten Per Laursen and Christian Andersen-Nielsen, playing with their host for the weekend Meadow's Dave Turner. They won a close fought final against the current England No.1 team. Finalists pictured below:

Above photo from Martin Hughes's post on EPA Facebook page.

Bank Holiday Monday saw 33 teams register for the Meadow's International Doubles competition. The event lived up to it's name with International teams from Denmark, Holland and Wales competing along with ex-pats representing France, Italy and Portugal. England was also well represented with international players from across the age spectrum including all 4 current English Juniors selected to attend the junior World Championships up to the English Veterans Champions.

After the morning leagues were completed the 8 league winners were seeded into the first round draw for the knockout stages. Despite all the overseas talent on display it was two English sides who won through to the final. Undefeated all day were the Railway's Dean Ashby and, one of the afore mentioned English juniors, Jason White along with the London side containing ex-Meadow member Nic Baxter and Sylvester. The final was nip and tuck up to the half way stage but then a big end by Nic and Sylvester saw them take control to run out winners. Losing semi-finalists were Meadow's Rowland Jones & Matt Horrigan along with Monty Quaia from London playing with Xanda from Holland.

In the plate competition East Sussex juniors Morgan Pry and Ella Slade put in a great performance to reach the final where they finally lost out to the Meadow's Martin Bishop and Mark Cooter.

Pictured above International Doubles winners and runners up receiving their cash prizes.

ANOTHER KENT TITLE

Meadow member Dave Turner secured a fifth Kent title for the club in 2017 when he, and team mate Dave Snook from Istead Rise, won the KPA Over 50's Doubles. The event, held at Hartley Country Club on 20th August, attracted 21 teams. It was a second 'senior' title for Dave this year following his earlier win in the EPA Veterans Championships. This latest win secures Dave a place in the EPA' Over 50's Champion of Champions event.

FOUR FOR JONES

Meadow PC member Rowland Jones secured his FOURTH Kent title of 2017 when he, and fellow Meadow licence holder, Matt Horrigan, won the KPA Doubles title when the event was held at Lordswood on Sunday 6th August.

Previously this year Rowland and team mates have won the Regional Triples, the Regional Singles and the Regional Qualifying series. Unfortunately for Rowland he was not available for the Regional Shooting championships so he was unable to complete a clean sweep of Kent titles.

It was Rowland's seventh Regional title in 2 years and his 14th since 2005 when the Kent Petanque Association was formed. For partner Matt Horrigan it was his tenth Kent Regional title to add to at least 13 South East Regional titles that he had won prior to 2005.

Regional records are sparse before 1993 but as far as I can establish Rowland is the first person to complete the triple of Singles, Doubles and Triples titles in the same year, unless you know different of course.

FOUR FOR ENGLAND

Four members of Meadow PC will be competing in various tournaments for England this weekend (12-13th August). Travelling to Saint-Omar in France Luke Ashford and Alex Spillett will be representing England in an Espoirs (under 23) tournament. Meanwhile at senior level Rowland Jones and Tracy Spillett are among a party of 20 players who will travel to Maaseik in Belgium to compete in an international tournament.

ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL PODIUM FOR ALEX

Meadow junior member Alex Spillett's team finished equal third, to earn themselves a place on the podium at the EPA's Junior International event, that was held at Waltham Abbey over the weekend of 29-30th July.

They finished equal third with Luxembourg, behind gold medallists Belgium and second placed Netherlands. As well as beating some strong continental teams, included the French team, they also beat the two other England International teams which should hopefully strengthen their claim for selection for this year's Junior World Championships.

In a parallel competition at the same venue Alex's mum, Tracy Spillett, and team-mates won the Ladies Ranking Triples event.

Pictured above far right: England 1 (Alex Spillett, Morgan Pry and Jason White)

ENGLAND SELECTION

Congratulations to Meadow junior member Alex Spillett who has been selected to play as England 1 in the Junior International event that is part of the EPA's "Festival of Petanque". Alex will be playing with fellow Kent member Jason White and Sussex's Morgan Pry.

They will take on International teams from Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Slovakia along with two other selected English teams at Waltham Abbey over the weekend of 29-30th July.

This tops off an excellent year that Alex is having to date. She recently reached the semi-final of the Ladies Ranking Triples event. She played with Fay Golder, Michelle Creegan and fellow junior Ella Slade at Arsley on 23rd July. Alex is currently in fourth place in the National Ladies Ranking table and is one of only four ladies who have picked up points in all of the 7 ranking events to date.

QUALIFIER WINNERS

The Meadow team of Richard Spillett, Dave Hurren, Rowland Jones and Matt Horrigan won the fifth and final Kent Qualifier at GRFC on 25th June to finish as No.1 in the region, taking the title of Kent Qualifier Winners 2017.

The quartet will represent Kent at the Inter Regional Championships in September along with club members Greg Davenport, Dave Turner, Trevor Gordon, Alex, Tracy & Kevin Spillett. Kayleigh Drew and Shaun Reilly will be representing Kent in the Junior event while Martin Bishop, Max Boyce, Corinne & Mark Cooter will be competing in the EPA Combined squad.

SINGLES CHAMP

Club member Rowland Jones retained the Kent Singles title when the event was held at Hartley Country Club on Friday 23rd June. Twenty eight competitors played in the event. Rowland beat the Railway's Dean Ashby in the final to record his third Kent Singles title. Meadow's Greg Davenport won the plate.

VETERANS CHAMP

The fourth EPA Veterans Championships was held on 18th June at Oxshott Petanque Club and for the fourth time a member of the Meadow PC was in the winning team. Winners on the previous three occasions, Angie and Lee Jamieson, did not complete this year so it was down to the Meadow's Dave Turner to uphold the honour of the club. Dave, playing with Lee and Angie's partners from last year, Jean-Louis Guiot and Robert Silvy, along with substitute Sue Turner, won a "tight, tough" final 13-4 to take the title and qualify for the European Veterans Championships that are being held later in the year.

Pictured above: English Veterans Champions 2017. Photo courtesy of Jean-Louis Guiot c/o Facebook

DENMARK REPORT

Four members of the Meadow PC, along with some friends, made their annual pilgrimage to Denmark for the Hedebo Open petanque weekend. Below is a report by Tracy Spillett:

The Hedebo Open in Denmark was once again attended by a few of us from England. We had some good results by finishing in some great positions. In the 4 man tournament Kevin and Tracy Spillett finished 3rd playing with Morten Per Laursen and Christian Andersen-Nielsen.

The triples saw Rowland Jones, Scott Ashby and Nic Baxter into the A tournament and Tracy Spillett, Kevin Spillett and Greg Davenport lose the final of the B tournament 12-13.

On the Sunday in the doubles tournament Rowland Jones and Nic Baxter lost to the eventual winners in the A tournament. The pairs of Tracy Spillett & Scott Ashby and Kevin Spillett & Greg Davenport, lost out in the B tournament. Once again it was an amazing weekend of petanque (except for the torrential rain on Sunday!) I would like to thank everyone involved in making it a great weekend.

BRUNO BOVE

22/08/1941-31/05/2017

Sadly long time club member Bruno Bove passed away whilst in hospital due to a brain infection on Wednesday 31st May.

Bruno started playing petanque in England for Lloyds in the early 80's before moving to the Black Lion in 1985, where he enjoyed a lot of success being one of the top shooters in the Country. Subsequent club relocations saw him playing at the Plough & Chequers and the Meadow P.C.

Amongst Bruno's many petanque achievements he represented Great Britain at 6 World Championships and 7 North Sea Tournaments. He also held 9 National Titles including 5 times National Triples Champion.

Closer to home Bruno was virtually ever present in the South East/Kent Inter Regional squads from 1984 until 2006 during which time he was in the winning squad no less than 11 times. He also won numerous Regional titles. Bruno also featured on a TV game show in the 80's shooting boule.

Bruno's funeral will take place at 10am on Wednesday 14th June at Our Lady of Gillingham Church, Railway Street, Gillingham, ME7 1YL.

funeral will take place on Weds 14th June at 10am at our Lady of Gillingham Church. funeral will take place on Weds 14th June at 10am at our Lady of Gillingham Church.

Our deepest condolences to Angela, Paula, Anna and all the family.

R.I.P Bruno.


Pictured above three greats of the game: Bruno (centre) flanked by Michel Hourcastagnou and Dave Chalkly. Photo courtesy of Louise Hourcastagnou c/o Facebook

NATIONAL TITLES WEEKEND

Meadow junior member Alex Spillett had a great weekend at the National Titles events, that were held in Exeter over the Bank Holiday weekend, as she gained ranking points in all three events she was eligible for.

Starting with the Ladies Singles on Saturday 27th Alex won through her league but lost to 10 points in the Last 16.

Playing with Mum, Tracy, in the Ladies Doubles on the Sunday the pair played some excellent boule to reach the main final. A hard fought semi final saw the Meadow pair beat the favourites, Sarah Huntley and Emma Longstaff - who had contested the Ladies Singles final the day before, by 13-11. They then faced the reigning champions, Samantha Thatcher and Christina Norris, in the final. Another close fought match ended with the Meadow paring just losing out on a National title, going down 12-13.

Alex then rounded off the weekend recording five straight wins to reach the semi-finals of the Mixed Doubles with partner Reece Gould before losing out to Scott Ashby and Emma Longstaff.

Two other Meadow members also made the long trip down to Exeter. Rowland Jones lost in the quarter finals of the Mens Singles and also at the same stage in the Mens Doubles (with Scott Ashby), both times to the eventual champion/s. Kevin Spillett, playing with Reece Gould, also lost in the quarter finals of the Mens Doubles.

Alex currently lies in third place in the Ladies Ranking with Tracy also in the top 16 in eleventh place. In the Mens Ranking Rowland is currently 12th with Kevin in 16th position.

WINNING RUN CONTINUES IN REGIONALS

Meadow members recorded wins in both the second and third Kent Qualifiers. In KPA Qualifier No.2, that was held at GRFC on 30th April, the Meadow team of Richard Spillett, Rowland Jones, Dave Hurren & Matt Horrigan won all 5 games for the second qualifier running to take maximum points.

KPA Qualifier No.3 was held three weeks later at Hartley Country Club. This time it was the turn of Dave Turner, Tracy & Kevin Spillett to win the event. The win was enough to see them push Spillett, Jones, Hurren and Horrigan into second place in the standings.

MEADOW MEMBERS CONTINUE WINNING RUN

The first Kent Qualifier, to find the top 12 teams in Kent, was held at the Star Meadow on 9th April in glorious sunshine all day. Meadow members continued their winning start to 2017 as top team on the day were Richard Spillett, Rowland Jones and Matt Horrigan who won all 5 games to take maximum points. Tracy Spillett, Kevin Spillett, Dave Turner & Greg Davenport won four games to finish third.

Also doing well in their first ever competition were the Meadow's two newest junior members, Kayleigh Drew and Shaun Reilly (playing with George Martin from Seal and Aaron Nash from Hartley) who won two games.

In total 18 Meadow members participated in the event.

MEADOW DOMINANT IN KENT TRIPLES

The third event of 2017 in Kent again saw Meadow PC members dominating proceedings. The KPA Triples was held at the Railway Inn, Sole Street on 2nd April. The turnout of 11 teams was disappointing but it was up on recent years.

By the semi-final stage 11 of the 12 players were members of the Meadow PC. The eventual winners, who retained their title, were Kevin Spillett & Rowland Jones, playing with Scott Ashby. Runners up were Dave Hurren, Richard Spillett and Matt Horrigan. Losing semi-finalists were Luke Ashford, Paul Reilly & Peter O'Sullivan and Trevor Gordon, Corinne & Mark Cooter.

CONGRATULATIONS

Belated congratulations to the Meadow's Tracy (nee Turner) and Kevin Spillett who (finally) tied the knot at the Archbishops Palace, Maidstone on 4th February.

As both Tracy and Kevin have been playing petanque since they were juniors it was no surprise that around half of the attendees at their reception were past and present boule players.

ROB COOTER TRIPLES REPORT

The eighth annual competition in memory of Robert Cooter was held at the Star Meadow Sports Club on Sunday 19th March. 78 players attended travelling from afar afield as Wales.

After the morning leagues 16 teams progressed to the main competition with the remainder in the plate. Winners of the main competition were the home trio of Kevin Spillett, Dave Hurren and Dave Lavelle. In a surprisingly one-sided final they bettered Rowland Jones, Nic Baxter and Phil Bradshaw. Losing semi-finalists were two teams from the Railway Inn, consisting of Robert's good friends Scott and Dean Ashby, playing with Jason White along with Duncan Brown, Debs & Mike Capelin.

The Plate competition was won by Mat Lomas, Andy Dunstall and Chris Perry (Tovil). Runners up were Steven Slade, Sylvie & Martin Pry who had travelled up from East Sussex.

However the real winners on the day was Robert's charity fund, the Little Buds Fund - supporting the Special Baby Care unit at Darent Valley Hospital, who benefitted to the tune of £752 from entry fees, raffle proceeds and generous donations. This brings the total raised to date to over £8,300.

Corinne and Mark would like to extend a big "THANK YOU" to everyone that attended, donated raffle prizes, bought raffle tickets and made donations and as always a big thanks to Richard Spillett who helped prepare the terrain and for running the raffle.

Pictured above Rob Cooter Triples Winners 2017: Kevin Spillett, Dave Hurren and Dave Lavelle.

MEADOW OFF TO WINNING START IN 2017

Meadow members have got off to a flying start to the 2017 season.The season opener in Kent was the GRFC Open Doubles on 12th March. 28 teams from all across the South of England and Wales attended but it was Meadow members who dominated proceedings taking the top four positions in the Gold event.

With the light fading the two finalists: Richard Spillett & Dave Hurren and Rowland Jones & Matt Horrigan were declared joint winners. In equal third position were two more Meadow doubles: Corinne Cooter & Trevor Gordon and Paul Reilly & Luke Ashford.

Rounding off the cash prizes was junior member Alex Spillett who, along with team mate Dean Ashby, won the Consolage competition.



Pictured above joint winners of the GRFC Open Doubles - Richard Spillett, Dave Hurren, Rowland Jones & Matt Horrigan

2016 ANNUAL REVIEW

Our members were once again prominent in 2016 representing England in 6 International events, including one World Championships and three European Championships. Members were also in teams that took three National titles. A full summary of the year follows:

At International Level:

Junior members Alex Spillett & Luke Ashford were selected to represent England at a Belgian Junior International Tournament. Alex was also in the England team that won a bronze medal in the Coupe de Nations at the European Junior Championships in Monaco.

At the other end of the age scale Angie & Lee Jamieson were in the successful England team that retained the Coupe de Nations title at the European Veterans Championships, that were also held in Monaco.

Kevin Spillett represented England at the Mens World Championships in Madagascar. While Tracy Turner represented England at the European Ladies Championships in Slovakia and also at the Luxembourg Ladies International Tournament.

At National Level:

Angie and Lee Jamieson won the EPA Veterans (55+) Doubles Title while Nic Baxter won the EPA's Over 50's Championship.

Tracy Turner and her team mates won the English Ladies Triples Championships for a second year running.

At County Level:

Kent Qualifier Winner - Nic Baxter

Kent Triples Champion - Kevin Spillett

Kent Over 50's Champions - Angie & Lee Jamieson

Kent @ Zeist Open, Holland - Tracy Turner, Dave Turner, Dave Chalkly & Greg Davenport

14 Meadow members represented Kent at Hayling Island in the Inter-Regional Championships, Challenge Tournament and Junior Championships as well as 3 more members in the Combined squad, while 2 other members qualified but could not attend.

Our members also won numerous club events during the year.