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Playing with the big boys

The results have just been posted for the English Petanque Association Men's International Qualifiers, held in Nottingham on 22 May. And, to put it in a nutshell, it won't be a Cornish team representing England on the world stage next year!  Although only one Cornwall team qualified at the regional qualifying event in Exeter (see previous story), a shortage of entries from other regions meant that both the Cornwall teams who entered the Exeter round were invited to play in the competition to decide the last 16 in Nottingham. A total of 25 teams entered, including most of England's top players. The Cornish teams were finally ranked 19th (Michael Hill, Graeme Kirkham and Dave Piggin) and 20th (Robert Herrick, Roy Pemberton, Rob Sullivan). Both teams won two games out of the five played, losing in each case to teams who made it to the final 16. The standard of play was mostly very high on what was generally acknowledged to be an 'interesting' terrain. Even the most experienced players found consistent pointing difficult on the very variable and unpredictable surface. It’s many years since Cornish players entered for a national-level competition so this was certainly ‘playing with the big boys’. Both teams enjoyed the challenge and found that meeting players of a higher level pushed them to raise their own game. Fingers crossed for next time!
 

Petanque in Cornwall Video

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