Bird and Marles snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for Ottery St Mary petanque team


Petanque - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary petanque team played host to North Devon clubs Pig on the Hill and U3A, writes Dave West.

Against Pig on the Hill the Otters made a good start with a 13-11 triples success for John and Rose Thatcher together with Mike Bird before a 13-7 victory for Paul Puddicombe, Pete Marles and Derek Hansen.

The opening doubles match led to a 13-8 defeat for John and Rose Thatcher. However, the Otters swiftly returned to wining ways with a 13-9 triumph for Mike Bird and Pete Marles and then a 13-2 victory for Hansen and Puddicombe.

In the meeting with U3A the triples ended even with a 13-10 defeat for the Thatchers and Bird, but a 13-6 win for Puddicombe, Hansen and Peter Smith levelled things up.

However, things all went down hill from there for the Strawberry Lane club when they lost all three doubles games. That all meant that U3A went back up the North Devon link road not only with a win, but remaining the only unbeaten club in the league so far this season and the Otters having to settle for second spot.

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A week after these games the Otters travelled to North Devon for further matches.

They journeyed to the Village Inn, Westward Ho! and resumed battle with table-topping U3A .

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As had been the case back in East Devon, the two triples matches ended with both sides winning one and losing one.

Derek Hansen, Paul Puddicombe and Pete Marles suffered a 13-1 defeat, but Dave and Margaret West, together with Mike Bird won their game 13-7.

The doubles began badly for the Otters with a 31-I reversal for Bird and Marles and that was followed by a 13-10 loss for Hansen and Puddicombe.

In the third doubles match, things did not look good for Dave and Margaret

West when they found themselves 12-4 down, but they staged a remarkable recovery to win 13-12.

Sadly though the overall score was 3-2 in favour of the table-toppers.

After a splendid Village Inn lunch, the Otters took on Pig on the Hill and once again the triples were shared with the winning Ottery threesome being Derek Hansen, Paul Puddicombe and Pete Marles.

Once again the match outcome was to be determined by the doubles which began badly for the Otters with a 13-6 defeat for the West pairing.

However, Hansen and Puddicombe edged a 13-12 success to leave the match score finely balanced at 2-2.

The final game was a terrific encounter, one that swung either way and it looked as if the North Devon side were set to win before Bird and Marles won when the latter bettered the final boule from the opposition to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!

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