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News Archive 2012  

2012 ARCHIVED REPORTS

CHRISTMAS HAMPER DOUBLES REPORT

There was an excellent turnout of 34 teams for the Meadow PC's Christmas Hamper Doubles competition on 9th December. This was despite clashing with a club event at Hartley and one of the indoor Grand Prix's at Whittlesey.

The attendees travelled from all across Kent as well as from other EPA regions: London, East Sussex, Southern Counties and even Great Western (Bath). This included all levels of players including 8 current English Champions down to Kent League division 5 players. With the three levels of knockout competitions in the afternoon all were catered for with nearly half the attendees going home with prizes. There was even a guest appearance by Father Christmas (aka Rob Harvey).

Despite the array of International players in attendance it was the home side of Corinne Cooter and Trevor Gordon who won the main event, and it wasn't down to an easy draw either. During their route to the final they knocked out the current English Veterans Champions, Angie and Lee Jamieson, in the first round and then one of the English Ladies and Mixed Doubles champions: Debbie Elcome, who was playing with Graham Elcome, in the second round. In the semi's they faced one of the current English Doubles Champions: Sean Prendergast, playing with Ashley Jamieson before rounding off a superb day beating the other half of the English Doubles Champions: David Plumhoff, who was playing with a former British Champion Barry Wing, in the final. The Spillett brothers, Richard and Kevin, from the Meadow were the other losing semi-finalists.

Alan Creegan and Richard King (Northwood/George) won the plate event beating Barry Soileux and Paul Collins (Tovil) in the final. Sylvie and Martin Pry from the White Hart in East Sussex won the Consolage competition beating Debs and Mike Capelin in the final.

Despite the somewhat sticky conditions underfoot the day was played in the right Christmas spirit and everyone seemed to enjoy the day. A big thanks to Richard Spillett who made up the excellent array of hampers.

MEADOW MEMBER HONOURED

Meadow PC member Dave Hurren was honoured at the Kent Petanque Association's AGM when he was awarded the Taylor Achievement Award for his services to petanque by Regional President Martin Eggleton.

MORE LOCAL VICTORIES FOR MEADOW MEMBERS

There were yet more victories in local competitions for Meadow members. Rowland Jones and Richard Spillett were victors at the Hartley Open Doubles on 28th October. One week later it was the turn of Tracy Turner and Greg Davenport who were joint winners of Lordswood's Icicle Doubles. The following weekend, 11th November, saw double celebrations with Lee Jamieson and Bruno Bove victorious at the Harriers Remembrance Day Doubles and Nic Baxter, playing with Gary Atkinson and Sofiane Lachani, winning the first Whittlesey Grand Prix.

KENT LEAGUE HANDICAP

Having finished as losing semi-finalists and then runners up in the last two years the Meadow triple of Corinne Cooter, Tracy Turner and Kevin Spillett finally came good and won the Kent League Handicap when the event was held at Hartley on Sunday 7th October. They beat the Hartley triple of Bob Gaywood, Martin Eggleton and Jean-Louis Guiot in the final having earlier bettered the same team in the afternoon league for the top four teams.

EPA OVER 50's DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIPS

The EPA Over 50's Doubles Championships took place at Brighton on 30th September. The same three Meadow members who played in the Veterans (Over 55's) championship took part. Having previously won the Over 55's Championship the duo of Angie and Lee Jamieson were highly favoured. They won their league at a canter and progressed through to the quarter finals where they eventually lost to Robert Silvy and Bruce Rowland (who they had previously beaten in the final of the Veterans). The third Meadow member was Brono Bove, who had partnered the afore-mentioned Silvy and Rowland in the Veterans championship. Bruno and his partner Nick Goodhart of London won their league and progressed through to the final where he again had to settle for the runners up spot losing to his former team mates.

MEADOW 1 RETAIN KENT LEAGUE TITLE

With a match in hand Meadow 1 secured the Kent League Championship for the fourth year running on 19th September. Meadow Rats made it a double celebration as they took the division 2 title. With Meadow 2 finishing mid-table in division 1 the Meadow will have 3 teams in the top flight next season.

Since moving to the Star Meadow in 2009 the club have recorded 11 Kent League titles.

MEADOW PLAYERS AT THE INTER-REGIONALS

In total 17 members from the Meadow PC qualified for the Kent squad this year. Unfortunately due to prior commitments only 11 of these members travelled down to Hayling Island for the EPA's Inter-Regional Championships over the weekend of 15th-16th September.

Playing as Kent 1 Angie and Lee Jamieson won 10 of their 12 games to finish as top Kent side in the main competition. Nic Baxter (Kent 2) and Phil Jarrett (Kent 4) both recorded 7 wins. Trevor Gordon (Kent 6) won six games while Dave Hurren and Richard Spillett (Kent 7) won 9 games.


In the Challenge Tournament playing at No.1 John Holbourn, Barbara and Mike Sharratt won 7 games while Alex Spillett in the junior event won 6 games.


DIVES REPORT 2012

Following their high place finish in the first "Tournoi Europeen" last year the Meadow Petanque Club were invited back again in 2012 to represent England in a top class event hosted by the town of Dives-sur-Mer in Normandie, France over the weekend of 14th to 16th September.

This year the event was even bigger with 20 sides invited. Countries that accepted invitations included International sides from Belgium, Germany and Netherlands along with club sides from Spain, Norway, England, Belgium, Morocco and two sides from different regions of Italy along with 10 French club sides from around the country.

The event commenced on the Friday evening with the presentation of the teams and then the drawing of the lots with each group consisting of two international teams and two French club sides. This was followed by a supper of Paella and a Flamenco evening (yes, I did say earlier we were in France).

The competition proper started early on Saturday with doubles matches. England faced a tough draw against last year's runners-up Saint Pierre Les Elbeuf (Seine-Maritime), Bonneuil (Île-de-France) and the German National squad including their 2012 World Championship team.

Meadow recorded two good wins against the two French club sides but despite some close games against the German National team they were unable to capitalise and finished second in their group to go into the "B" group on the Sunday to play off for 5th to 8th places.

Pictured above England (Meadow PC) versus Germany

England (White tops): Dave Turner, Greg Davenport, Mark Cooter, Rowland Jones, Kevin Spillett & Tracy Turner. (Squad members not pictured Corinne and Jennifer Cooter)

Germany (Red tops): Jens Christian Beck, Frank Maurer, Sönke Baking, Benjamin Lehmann, Mahmut Tufan and Pascal Keller

With no expense spared by the SUD Petanque Club and the local authority
Saturday evening saw a champagne reception at the local casino followed by a sit down three course dinner before departing back to the hotel.

Another tough draw on the Sunday saw the Meadow drawn against two top French sides: Laon (Picardy) and Dunkerque (Nord), who finished in third and fourth places respectively last year, and Belgium 1. Despite recording a draw against Belgium 1 the Meadow didn't take their chances in the other matches and only finished in eighth place.

The Meadow squad were disappointed not to have improved on their sixth place finishing position in 2011 but they were certainly not outclassed and held their own against top continental opposition. An indication of the calibre of this competition is that the bottom group included Italy 1, Nice and the hosts SUD Petanque Club, who's terrain we were playing on.

For the record the German National team went on to win the event.

1st EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP FOR VETERANS
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
17th to 19th AUGUST 2012

By Lee Jamieson

Since winning the EPA Veterans Championship back in July with Barry Scott, Angie and I had been looking forward to representing England in the European Veterans Championship in Denmark and the the alarm going off at 5 a.m. on Friday signalled the waiting was over. A quick shower, breakfast, cases in the car and we were off. After parking the car we arrived at Gatwick South departure terminal at 7.15, where we met Barry and Di Scott and Richard Baker, our manager. Our plane was on time and after an hour and three-quarters flight we touched down in a sunny/warm Copenhagen. A minibus was waiting for us and after 20 minutes we arrived at our hotel. Had a pleasant al fresco light lunch while waiting for our rooms. Then after unpacking and a quick change of clothes we had a five minute drive in the minibus down to the venue at the Hvidovre Petanque Club for a look around and a bit of practice.

Here we found 10 large internationally sized pistes with a large grandstand on one side plus two large practice areas. The club's seven piste indoor bouledrome had been "converted" into the catering centre and a bar set up next to the grandstand. With the flags of all the 21 nations taking part fluttering in the breeze alongside the terrains, the set up looked most impressive.

Our practice session showed us that most of the terrains were quite firm with quite a lot of small irregular shaped chippings but in the middle of each lane there were soft "sandy" areas where pointing boules tended to "die". Shooting wise the surface was a little forgiving with shots landing in line a little short normally hitting the target but shooting along the ground (á la rafle) rarely work.

After our practice session it was back to the hotel to get changed ready for the opening reception and draw in a local civic hall/gymnasium where we were drawn in Group B alongside Sweden, Andorra and Jersey. Then after a pleasant buffet and a couple of drinks socialising with the other teams it was back to the hotel for an early night ready for the early start next morning.

Next morning it was team breakfast at 7.15 and then down to the terrains for the opening ceremony/parade at 8.30. Then at 9.00 play commenced with our first opponents being our friends from Jersey. After a slow start, going 0-2 down, we started to play our normal game and ran out easy winners 13-5. Our next opponents were Andorra and after watching them practising we had made them one of the favourites alongside Spain and Monaco. We therefore expected a difficult game but we played well, took control of the game, and ran out winners 13-7. As Andorra had previously lost to Sweden, our victory removed one of the favourites from the main competition. As Jersey had lost their second game to Sweden we knew we had qualified irrespective of how we did against Sweden in our third game which turned out to be a good job, because we were well beaten to 3. We played them on the roughest terrain which did not suit our pointing style and Sweden consistently outpointed us, to be deserved winners. Qualifying in second pace behind Sweden meant we went into the last 12 in a group of three with Holland and the Czech Republic.

The first game against the strong Dutch team was I think our best game with all three of us playing well to run out 13-6 winners. We then had to sit out while Holland played the Czech Republic which turned out to be a titanic struggle with Holland winning 13-12 after 2½ hours. Although we now knew that scoring 1 point against the Czech would be enough to qualify for the quarter finals we went into the game trying to win but we just "weren't at the races". I don't know if it was the 3 hour wait or knowing we had already qualified but we played really poorly (not forgetting that the Czechs played well) losing 2-13. So at the end of the first day we went back to the hotel for another early night, pleased we had achieved what we had set out to do by reaching the quarters but disappointed not to win the league, as this meant we would face one of the main favourites, Spain, in the quarters.

Next day we were back at the terrains bright and early ready to face Spain at 9.00. We started poorly and went 0-6 down before playing well to come back to 6-9 and then 9-9, and this despite missing chances to take more points. Spain were looking worried and we knew we were in with a chance but with bad timing we then had two loose ends to allow a relieved Spain to run out 13-9 winners. This sadly brought out participation to an end.


In the other quarters Monaco beat Denmark 13-0, Germany beat Sweden 13-2 and Finland beat the Czech Republic 13-8.
In the semis Germany beat the surprise team Finland 13-11 and Spain pointed in six boules on the last end to beat a stunned Monaco 13-10!
The final was, after the first three or four ends, a pretty one sided affair with Spain running out 13-3 winners.

The medal presentation was very professional with a podium for the top four teams, national flags, the Spanish national anthem and of course the obligatory bottles of champagne!

The closing dinner that evening, again in the indoor bouledrome, was like the rest of the tournament, excellent, with a lovely buffet meal followed by the presentation of medals for players, organisers and officials. The event then came to a close with the Danish organisers hoping we would all meet again in two years time in Germany.

The trip home next morning went like the rest of the event - smoothly with no problems.

So how can we sum up these first European Championships for Veterans. In one word "fantastic", one of the best I have been to, and without doubt a great success. The Danish Petanque Association and the Hvidovre Petanque Club are to be congratulated on the excellent venue, accommodation, catering and organisation. They even managed to organise warm and sunny weather for the three days. I am sure everyone enjoyed the tournament, I know we certainly did, and we hope we can qualify again for the next one in Germany in two years time.

The standard of play was on the whole quite high with no really weak teams. This surprised me as the "eastern European" countries have only been playing petanque for a relatively short time. I would say about half were of a good (English) regional standard, 8 to 10 of Top 8 standard with Spain and Monaco being by far the best of these. I must mention here the shooter of the Monaco team - Luis (Lu-Lu) De Los Reyes. A lovely man of 86 years who played in every game with a hit rate any English shooter would be proud of. At 63, I am a mere youngster, who perhaps has yet to peak!

Regarding our own performance I would say that on the whole we were quite pleased. However despite achieving our goal of reaching the quarters, we were a little disappointment because we know that if we had taken our chances against Spain, we could have progressed even further. Still on the positive side we did play some good boules, impressed quite a few teams/people and hopefully raised the profile of English petanque.

I cannot finish this report without saying a big thank you for the generous financial assistance given to Angie and myself by our club the Meadow PC and the Kent Petanque Association. This was very helpful in lessening the financial burden of the substantial contribution we had to make towards the cost of the trip to Denmark.

Pictured above: Richard Baker (Manager), Angie Jamieson, Lee Jamieson and Barry Scott

MEADOW DOUBLES REPORT

The Meadow Doubles competition took place on Sunday 26th August. Probably because it's held on a bank holiday weekend in the middle of the school holidays it is the least attended of all the Meadow competitions but it still attracted a better than average 30 teams.

There was a real international feel to the event which included two teams of international players from the Boule Hedebo club in Denmark, two international pairings from Wales, a team of Moroccans as well as our own resident Italian and the recently crowned English Champions.

With fine weather, unusual in itself for a British Bank Holiday weekend, the morning leagues progressed quickly to leave the top 16 teams for the afternoon's main knockout competition with the remaining 14 teams going into the plate.

In a very high quality main event the top 8 teams were:
"Rejects" Dave Hurren and Matt Horrigan (defending champions) v "Denmark 1" Morten Per Laursen and Sune Vig (Danish Internationals).
"Team Jones" Rowland Jones and Kevin Spillett (English champions) v "Meadow 55" Ang and Lee Jamieson (English Over 55 champions).
"Denmark 2" Christian Nielsen and Morton Saxhild-Hansen (Danish Internationals) v "Cardiff East" Phil Bradshaw & Ian Bailey (Welsh Internationals)
"GeorgeWood" Chris Watkins and Gary Atkinson (2nd in English Championships) v "Terraboule" Jack Blows & Peter Taylor (3rd in English Championships).

Some top quality play saw Denmark 1, Team Jones, Cardiff East and Terraboule progress through to the semi-finals.

In a surprisingly one sided semi-final Team Jones turned on the style to beat Denmark 1 convincingly while Cardiff East overcame the Chiltern pairing of Jack and Peter to reach the final.

In the final the Meadow pair of Jones and Spillett went into an early lead but were pegged back before the Welsh pairing of Bradshaw and Bailey won a big end of 5 to see them surge into an unassailable lead before going on to take the title and the top cash prize of £160.

Team Morocco won the Plate final beating Sheila King and Michelle Creegan (George/Northwood) in the final.

Pictured above: Meadow Doubles Champions 2012 Ian Bailey and Phil Bradshaw.

ENGLISH TRIPLES CHAMPIONS

The final of the EPA Mens Triples Championships pitted Meadow PC members against each other. The triple of Kevin Spillett, Greg Davenport and Rowland Jones faced fellow club member and old team-mate Marcus Hickman, playing with Alex Bruce and Chris Watkins. Meadow member Lee Jamieson was also a member of this team but was absent for the finals, representing England in Denmark (see report below). Kevin, Greg and Rowland won the final 13-8 to add the title of EPA Triples Champions to the Kent Triples title that they won earlier in the season. The win also qualifies them to represent England at next year's Men's European Championships.

Pictured above English Triples Champions 2012, From left to right: Greg Davenport, Rowland Jones and Kevin Spillett. Photo courtesy of Tracy Turner

MORE LOCAL SUCCESS FOR MEADOW MEMBERS

There has been a lot of local success for Meadow members over recent weeks. Kevin Spillett, Rowland Jones & Greg Davenport won the Bastille Day Triples at the Villager on 15th July coming out on top of a high quality field.

One week later on 22nd July in Gravesend Town Centre Kevin, Rowland and Greg were looking to retain the Mayor of Gravesham's Charity Triples title they won in 2011 but with Greg bed-bound substitute Mark Cooter had to step in at the last minute. The team made it through to the final without too much trouble but were bettered by Lordswood's Dave Chalkly and Chris Watkins, playing with Gay Atkinson from the George, in the final. In joint third place were John Holbourn, Barbara & Mike Sharratt and Trevor Gordon, who played with the Booth family. Meadow's ladies team of Tracy Turner, Jennifer & Corinne Cooter won the consolage event to round off a good day for the Meadow.

Rowland Jones had to wait a week to gain his revenge over the Lordswood pairing. Playing in the Lordswood Doubles with Richard Spillett on 29th July they inflicted a 'fanny' on Dave Chalkly and Chris Watkins in just four ends in the final.

With no events in Kent on 5th August some Meadow players travelled further afield. Angie and Lee Jamieson played in the Brighton Open Doubles where they won the event taking the top £100 prize defeating current EPA Doubles champions, David Plumhoff and Sean Prendergast in the final. Another 7 members played at the White Hart Open in Netherfield, East Sussex where Richard Spillett & Dave Hurren won the event beating the 2011 champions Rowland Jones & Kevin Spillett en-route to the final. Even further afield and member Trevor Gordon was representing Kent playing with his regional team of Kevin Atkinson and Marin Edwards in the 16th edition of La Dunkerquoise in France while Phil Jarrett played in Germany with a party from Tovil and Chiltern.

Before setting off to Denmark Angie and Lee Jamieson, playing with Burno Bove, 'warmed up' with a victory in the Hartley Open Triples on 12th August.

TOP 8 QUALIFIERS

All 9 Meadow members that competed in the EPA Mens and Ladies Championships progressed through to the final 'Top 8' stages. Playing at a wet Harrow on 8th July the 2 mens teams containing Greg Davenport, Rowland Jones, Kevin Spillett, Lee Jamieson and Marcus Hickman both progressed though winning three games out of four each while Nic Baxter's team needed to come through the play off, which they won easily 13-2.

In the ladies event the team of Tracy Turner, Jennifer Cooter and Corinne Cooter also won through to the final stages that will take place on 19th August.

NATIONAL CHAMPS

Congratulations to Meadow PC members Angie & Lee Jamieson who won the inaugural EPA Veterans (Over 55's) Championship.

Playing with Barry Scott from the West Midlands (or the newly named Heart of England Petanque Association) they triumphed in the EPA's Top 8 event when it was held at Burnham on July 1st.

In the final they faced fellow Meadow member Bruno Bove along with his team-mates from London: Sylvan Borsi, Robert Silvy and Bruce Rowlands, who they had lost to in the second round of barrage matches. However the Jamiesons turned the tables and ran out winners 13-2.

Angie, Lee and Barry now go on to represent England in the first European Veterans Petanque Championships that is being held in Denmark in August.

MEADOW SHOW THEIR PEDIGREE IN EUROPE

Representing Kent in the Zeist Open the Meadow team of Greg Davenport, Rowland Jones and Kevin Spillett played exceptionally well in the triples event finishing in 5th place.

The competition at the Les Cailloux Club in Holland regularly attracts top teams from Holland as well as teams from all over Europe and further afield, including Algeria, Belgium, England, France, Germany and Spain. Included in a large contingent of Belgians was ex World Champion from 2000, Jean-François Hemon, who was in the team that won the Sunday doubles.

A few weeks earlier the Meadow Triple of Tracy Turner, Dave Turner and Rowland Jones travelled to Denmark for the Hedebo Open. Playing with a local player they finished third in the Friday Fours event, just failing to retain the title that the Meadow won in 2011.

MEADOW DOMINATE IN KPA QUALIFIERS

The KPA Qualifying series ended as it started at the Star Meadow Sports Club. With less teams in with a chance of qualifying to represent Kent the turn-out of just 22 teams at the final qualifier on 24th June was not unexpected.

Having won 4 out of 5 games at three of their previous qualifiers Trevor Gordon, playing with Keith and Kevin Atkinson, finally came good to win all five games to win the day. Despite the absence of Richard Spillett Dave Hurran's team finished second with Lee and Angie Jamieson's team third and Bruno Bove's team fourth.

Once the final tally had been made Meadow players dominated in the final standings, being placed in the top 7 teams. The Meadow triple of Kevin Spillett, Greg Davenport and Rowland Jones were runaway leaders in the series which saw them finish as KPA Triples Champions for 2012. Runners up were Dave Hurren and Richard Spillett's team who finished just one point ahead of Trevor Gordon's team. In fourth place were Phil Jarrett's team, which included Meadow junior Alex Spillett. Fifth were Angie & Lee Jamieson's team followed by Nic Baxter and Marcus Hickman's team in sixth place and Bruno Bove's team in seventh. Also qualifying for the Kent squad were John Holbourn, Tony Bouch, Barbara and Mike Sharratt in tenth place.

Indeed it could have been even better but two other Meadow teams, including Dave Turner, Shane Howarth, Tracy Turner, Jennifer Cooter, Corinne Cooter & Mark Cooter (who finished in 16th and 20th places respectively) only played in 3 events each as they would all be unavailable for the Inter Regional Championships.

REGIONAL QUALIFIER No.4

There was a shock at the fourth KPA County Qualifier, that was held at Hartley Country Club on 10th June, when the runaway competition leaders, Kevin Spillett, Greg Davenport and Rowland Jones, dropped their first game of the series to 'only' finish in second place on the day. This left the way open for Richard Spillett and Dave Hurren, playing with Matt Horrigan, to win the event.


Nic Baxter's team finished third to leave them well placed in the standings while performance of the day must go to Phil Jarrett's team. Playing with Neil Phillips they won their first game of the day, against Bat & Ball, playing with only four boule. The Meadow's 11 year old junior Alex Spillett then joined them for the remainder of the day helping them to win 3 more games to finish in 5th place.

REGIONAL QUALIFIER No.3

It was a case of déjà vu at the third KPA Regional Qualifier that was held at Tovil on 27th May. The Meadow team of Kevin Spillett, Rowland Jones and Greg Davenport won all 5 games for the third qualifier running to win the event that was again dominated by teams with Meadow players. The win ensured that the team of Spillett, Jones and Davenport will be Kent's official representatives at the Zeist Open in Holland in July.Nic Baxter,Dave Hurren, Richard Spillett, John Holbourn, Mike & Barbara Sharratt and Trevor Gordon were in the teams that finished in second to fifth places on four wins each while the teams containing Phil Jarrett, Lee & Angie Jamieson and Bruno Bove all won 3 games.

After the first three qualifiers Meadow players are in 9 of the teams that occupy the top 10 positions in the regional standings.

REGIONAL QUALIFIER No.2

In a virtual repeat of the first KPA Qualifier Meadow players again dominated featuring in the teams that took the top 7 places when the event was held at Lordswood on 20th May.

The Meadow triple of Kevin Spillett, Greg Davenport and Rowland Jones recorded another 5 wins out of 5 to increase their lead in the series. Second was Trevor Gordon, playing with Martin Edwards and Kevin Atkinson. Bruno Bove played with Kris Smith, Matt and Chas Shrimpton finishing in third place. The all Meadow team of Tracy Turner, Jennifer and Corinne Cooter were 4th, Phil Jarrett with Alex Bruce and Neil Phillips were 5th and Angie and Lee Jamieson, playing with Gary Atkinson and Chris Watkins were 6th. Top of the 3 wins to finish in seventh place were Richard Spillett and Dave Hurren playing with Matt Horrigan.

EARLY SEASON SUCCESS

Despite the lack of Open Competitions in Kent this year Meadow players have still been making their mark with the following early season successes:

  • May Day Doubles Winners - Angie and Lee Jamieson won the first prize of £100 at the Hartley event on 7th May. They beat fellow Meadow member Marcus Hickman, playing with Alex Bruce, on the final.
  • Atlantic Trophy Triples Winners - Rowland Jones and Nic Baxter, playing with Tovil's Scott Ashby, won the Atlantic Trophy in Cleaver Square, Kennington, London on Saturday 19th May to take the top cash prize of £450.
  • Kent Shooting Championships - Mike Sharratt was Runner-up in the first KPA Shooting Championships when the event was held at Tovil on the evening of Friday 18th May.
  • Mayor of Maidstone Cup Winners - Greg Davenport, Janet Davenport & Kevin Spillett won the annual Harriers event on 1st April beating Lee Jamieson's team in the final.
  • Bird in Hand Doubles Winners - Nic Baxter, playing with Gary Atkinson from The George, travelled to Essex to win this competition on 18th March.

MEADOW PLAYERS PROGRESS IN INTERNATIONAL QUALIFIERS

The first rounds of the EPA's Mens and Ladies Triples Championships (International qualifiers) were held on 29th April in Exeter and Nottingham. Two teams from the Meadow PC travelled down to Exeter. Despite the atrocious weather conditions both the men's team of Kevin Spillett, Rowland Jones and Greg Davenport and the ladies team of Tracy Turner, Corinne and Jennifer Cooter qualified for the Top 16 with relative ease. Meanwhile the conditions in Nottingham were no better but Nic Baxter, playing with Scott Ashby and Gary Atkinson, won three of their four games to qualify for the next round.

The second day of qualifiers was due to take place on 13th May in Hartley and Leicester but the lack of entries meant that all the entrants automatically qualified for the Top 16. This included Lee Jamieson and Marcus Hickman, who were teamed up with Alex Bruce and Chris Watkins.

The Veterans (55+) Triples Championship first round was held at Brighton on 6th May. Three Meadow players took part: Angie & Lee Jamieson, playing with Barry Scott from the West Midlands and Bruno Bove, playing with Sylvan Borsi, Robert Silvy and Bruce Rowland, finished first and second in their league respectively to automatically qualify for the Top 8. The top 8 teams play in the finals on July 1 with the winning team will represent England in the European finals to take place in Denmark.

MEADOW MEMBERS TAKE TOP HONOURS IN FIRST COUNTY QUALIFIER

Eighteen Meadow Members participated in the first KPA Qualifier that was held at Star Meadow on 15th April. The event saw the 'perfect' entry for the organisers with 32 teams taking part.

The Meadow team of Rowland Jones, Kevin Spillett and Greg Davenport remained undefeated all day to lead the table with the maximum 26 points. The next six teams all contained Meadow members with Phil Jarrett's team finishing 2nd, Angie & Lee Jamieson's team 3rd, Nic Baxter's team 4th, Richard Spillett and Dave Hurren team 5th and Trevor Gordon's team 6th. All these teams dropped just one game while top of the three wins in seventh place was Dave Turner's team.

ROB COOTER TRIPLES REPORT

The Rob Cooter Triples took place at the Star Meadow Sports Club on Sunday 25th March. Unfortunately the predicted 19° sunshine never materialised. It took an age for the cold morning mist to disappear only to be replaced by an even colder overcast day. Fortunately this did not put off the players who came from all over Kent as well as from neighbouring regions Southern Counties, Sussex, Eastern Counties and London to form an excellent entry of 37 teams.

After the 'morning' leagues the teams were split into main, plate and consolage events for the afternoon knockout stages based on their league positions.

Progressing through to the main final were Tracy Turner, Kevin Spillett and Nic Baxter (Meadow PC) and Sarah Huntley, Scott and Dean Ashby (Tovil PC) who were playing under the name of "Cooterful" in honour of their dear friend. 'Cooterful' went on to win the event with relative ease to take the title and prizes.

In the plate final the family team of Alex Spillett, Dave Turner and Shane Howarth (Meadow PC) overcame the 2010 champions Jean-Louis Guiot, Joyce and Mick Nash (Hartley PC). While in the consolage event Paul Parris, Janet and Charlie Davenport (Meadow PC) beat Dave Snook, Sheila and Brian King (The George) despite a late comeback by the George team.

The grand raffle, that had nearly 50 prizes donated, raised £362. Along with the entry fees and kind donations the event raised a grand total of £1,012.25 for Robert's charity fund - the Special Baby Care Unit (Little Buds Fund) at Darent Valley Hospital. Robert would have been embarrassed but quietly touched that so much was raised in his name for a good cause.

Corinne, Jennifer and Mark would like to extend their thanks to everyone that attended the event along with everyone at the Meadow who helped out and donated raffle prizes, with extra special thanks to Joyce & Mick Nash, Mike & Jennifer Tull, Herve Bavazzano, Dave Snook, Sheila King and John Thatcher (along with anyone else I missed) for their donations and raffle prizes and lastly to our host Barry and his staff.

Pictured above: Rob Cooter Triples Winners 2012, left to right: Dean Ashby, Sarah Huntley and Scott Ashby

MEADOW'S EURO CUP RUN COMES TO AN END

Having qualified for the finals for the third year running the Meadow were keen to improve on their runners up places from 2010 and 2011.

In one of the strongest finals to date they faced two other previous winners of this event Victorians and Engine along with the top qualifiers from the strong Southern Counties Association: the Ship Inn.

The first match against Victorians was a very tense affair. Honours were even after the first round of triples games but Meadow edged the match by taking 2 of the 3 doubles games. In the other match Engine beat the Ship by 4 games to one.

The second match pitted Meadow against the Ship. A quick 'fanny' by the Meadow in the mixed triples was followed by a defeat in the open triples game. Following the lunch break Meadow came back 'all guns blazing' winning all 3 doubles games in record time, 13-2, 13-1 and 13-0. Meanwhile Victorians had taken a game off Engine in the triples and looked to be in position to run away with the match being up in all three doubles games early on but Engine fought back to win the match 4 games to 1.

This left a 'winner takes all' showdown between Meadow and Engine. Although Engine took a one game advantage into the final a 3-2 win would give victory to Meadow, based on the head-to-head between the two clubs. Meadow got off to a flying start recording their third fanny of the day in the Open Triples while a close mixed triples game went to the Engine. So down to the doubles with each match ebbing and flowing. At the end of the day the Engine held their nerve better to win the two crucial doubles games to take the title and their place in Europe. We wish them well on their travels.

Meadow's EPA EuroCup campaign 2011-12:
Round 1 v Borstal PC - Won (walkover)
Round 2 v Share and Coulter - Won 5 games to nil win (65 points to 8)
Round 3 v Star Meadow - Won 5 games nil (65 points to 4)
Round 4 (Group C) v The George - Won 4 games to 1 (64 points to 36)
Round 4 (Group C) v Crondall - Won 4 games to 1 (61 points to 30)
Round 4 (Group C) v Limesdowne - Won 5 games to nil (65 points to 24)
Finals v Victorians - Won 3 games to 2 (47 points to 49)
Finals v Ship Inn - Won 4 games to 1 (58 points to 16)
Finals v Engine - Lost 2 games to 3 (51 points to 49)

Summary: Played 40 games, Won 32 games, Points for 476, Points Against 216, Points Difference +260

SUCCESSFUL INDOOR SEASON

Meadow players have had a moderately successful start to the year playing indoors. In the Whittlesey indoor "club" event held over the weekend of 18th-19th February the Meadow squad finished in second place, although we could claim a moral victory as the winners were not a club side at all but a team made up from several regional players from different clubs.

Elsewhere our new members Nic Baxter and Marcus Hickman finished runners-up in the new Cobbetts indoor doubles event that was contested by 62 teams on 26th February. Other Meadow pairs Greg Davenport & Rowland Jones, Richard Spillett & Dave Hurren, Tracy Turner & Kevin Spillett and Lee Jamieson, with his partner Didier, all qualified for the gold competition while Corinne & Mark Cooter qualified for the silver event, eventually losing out to the category winners.

Having qualified for the Whittelsey indoor grand prix series finals on 11th March another of our new members Lee Jamieson, playing with Chris Watkins and Didier Chassot, won the final to take the top cash prize.