Ottery St Mary petanque players win their first ever Devon League game
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary made a winning start to their Devon League career as they recorded a splendid 3-2 success at Isca in Exeter, writes Dave West.
The two sides have met previously, but never in the league given that this is the Otters first time in the competition.
In the first triple there was a convincing 13-4 success for John and Rose Thatcher together with Mike Bird, beating Stewart Brown, Joan Dixie and Dave Thomas.
Next up were Dave West, Derek Hansen and Paul Puddicombe and they did take the lead in a close encounter with Isca triple Rob Brealey, Colin Salter and Peter. However, they were eventually beaten 13-9.
That left the outcome of the match dependent on the results in the three double’s matches.
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John and Rose Thatcher lost 13-8 to Stuart Brown and Colin Salter in a hard game, but a new pairing of Mike Bird and Paul Puddicombe brought the Otters level in the match after a fine 13-5 success over Rob Baxter and Peter.
With match honours even the final double was a tense – and long – affair. On many occasions the tape measure was called into play to check distances! However, the Otters duo of Dave West and Derek Hansen ultimately defeated Isca pairing Joan Dixie and Colin Salter 13-6. The final match score was 3-2 in favour of Ottery with the final points difference being 56-41 to the Otters.
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This was an important game for the Otters because they have been homeless since having to vacate Salston Manor last year and members have been guesting at the nearby Honiton club. Work is now almost complete on a new terrain at Strawberry Lane, and the Ottery St Mary club will rebuild itself there. Petanque is a game that can be enjoyed both socially and competitively by people of all ages and abilities and anyone interested in taster sessions can contact club secretary Dave West by telephone on 01404 812292 or on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the sport can be found on the national website englishpetanque.org.uk.
A beret, striped jumper and a string of onions are not requirements for a game thought by many to have originated in France.