Ottery petanque player John Thatcher wins Devon Petanque Singles title

John Thatcher (left) is presented with the Devon Petanque singles title by Devon Petanque president

John Thatcher (left) is presented with the Devon Petanque singles title by Devon Petanque president Ged Barton. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The last two championships of the Devon Region Petanque for 2018 were decided last Sunday, with the singles and precision shooting titles up for grabs, writes Chris Bigmore.

The event was held at Chudleigh, and on a technical terrain Ottery St Mary’s John Thatcher overcame a strong field to take the singles crown.

He had earlier topped his group in the first phase of the tournament, with Thierry Hacq and Rob Thomas from the host club leading the other two groups.

Second places were taken by Chudleigh’s Costa Drakatos, along with the Honiton pair of Chris Bigmore and Jenny Lavender.

The afternoon’s knockout stages saw John Thatcher storm through, defeating Costa Drakatos 13-4 in the semi-final to meet Rob Thomas, who also won his last four match 13-4 over Plymouth’s Mike Carroll.

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A hard-fought final followed with John Thatcher eventually winning 13-9 to become champion.

This added to his season’s success after being one third of the team that claimed the triples title, and it would have been a clean sweep but for a narrow defeat in the final of the doubles championship.

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In the Plate competition, Ronnie Hutchinson from Honiton overcame Plymouth’s Mike Newberry 13-11 in another closely fought final.

A full day’s play was completed with the precision shooting event and John Thatcher figured again as he took the runner-up spot, but Thierry Hacq scored highest and is champion for 2018.

Devon President Ged Barton presented the trophies to the winners and acknowledged yet another competitive and very successful tournament for the region.

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