Thursday, 18 June 2015

A Week to Remember

Monday 8 June - Panthers hosted the Old Horse Roadies in a Leicestershire Presidents Cup tie worthy of a final. After see-saw battles in the triples and the first two doubles games, the match was almost inevitably poised at 2-2. Dan and Tony then edged a roller-coaster decider against Drew and 'Loll' with shooting of a remarkable standard from both teams. Keen competition and a high standard of pétanque blended with witty banter and camaraderie in the very best kind of sportsmanship on a memorable night

Tuesday 9 June - Asfordby Amateurs were the away team in a Greene King Cup tie which was potentially a tight affair. The visitors, riding high in Division 1, and having disposed of Premier Division Old Black Horse B at Houghton in the previous round, must have fancied their chances. But, still buzzing from the previous evening's exploits, Panthers executed a savage demolition of their opponents. They racked up an unprecedented four consecutive 13-0 'fannies' with John and Nigel needing only four ends in each of their triples and doubles games. The for-once-absent Timbo's reports from Edgbaston of England's remarkable ODI cricket exploits against New Zealand neatly complemented the sense of occasion

Wednesday 10 June - After much poring over maps, interrogation of navigation systems and no little debate, Panthers trekked all the way over to the border with Derbyshire to pick up another convincing Division 3 league victory, this time against The Holly Bush (once Bulls Head Wilson)

Thursday 11 June - The Panthers entertained their nearest rivals in the Thursday Petanque League, Mansfield Titchfield Bandits, eventually overcoming stubborn resistance to notch their fifth 4-0 in the opening six match-days in Division 2

Sunday 14 June - The icing, the cherry and the candles all arrived at once in the East Midlands Regional Doubles. In a manner that has come to be known as 'doing a Germany' Dan and Simon squeezed into the semi finals on 'goal difference' from a clutch of teams on three wins. Up against the experience of ten times Regional title winner Stone and the dogged pointing of Rob from the Air Hostess, they stared defeat in the face at 8-12 down but upped their game another gear. Saving countless 'match points' Dan and Simon clinched the deal, with the Pocket Rocket twice notching three consecutive hits under the ultimate pressure. Sporting lore dictates that anti-climax follows a hard fought victory - but this time the script went out of the window. Joe and Lisa had marched inexorably into the final as favourites with a 'perfect six' wins but their opponents didn't allow them to really get started. Saving their best til last, Dan and Simon wrapped up the title with blistering tactics and calm efficiency. Aged twelve and a half, Daniel is the youngest ever Regional title winner and will represent the East Midlands with Simon, Joe and Lisa in the national Champion of Champions Doubles on October 10