A brave new world for Jersey pétanque players 

World pétanque triples competition Canada

October 12th, 2017

Jersey’s reward for qualifying for the first time ever inthe world pétanque triples competition is a trip to Canada. The men’s trio of Matt Pinel, Mark Nicol and Matt Buesnel made Island sporting history when they came 16th in the European Men’s Triples in St Pierre Les Elbeuf near Rouen last month. The top sixteen nations in the event qualified automatically for the world championships which will be held in Canada next September.

“This result is a major step forward for the sport of pétanque in Jersey,” said Jersey Pétanque Association chairman Andy Limbrick. “We established a rigorous new training programme for our top players this year and it’s certainly paid off. There have been a series of good results for us in European competitions over the last few months but a trip to Canada,which as far as I know is completely unknown territory for us, is the real icing on the cake.”

Details of where in Canada the event will be played have not emerged yet from theFIPJP, the International Federation of Pétanque and Provencal games which controls the sport worldwide. Nor is it clear whether there will be an individual shooting competition where players fire at a series of targets over varying distances. Matt Pinel was Jersey’s representative at the European championships in Normandy where he scored 27 out of a possible 100, putting him in 17th place out of the 36 competitors (the winner scored 48).

To qualify for Canada the Jersey trio began with two very close matches, both endingwith 13-12 results. In the first Jersey beat san Marino but lost the second to Scotland. A 13-5 defeat by Slovenia really put Jersey on the back foot but they fought back in the next game despite being 11-8 down to England. A substitution for the mainland team backfired and Jersey closed out the game 13—11. 

Their chances of reaching the last sixteen all rested on the last game against Finland but happily the Jersey team put on their best performance of the competition to win 13-6. There was an anxious wait for other results to come in before the Island trio knew they’d finished in the top sixteen and achieved automatic qualification for the world championships.

The team also went on to the next stage of the European competition for the first time and Jersey found themselves drawn against the eventual winners of the competition, France. The result was a 13-3 win for the host nation but the performance of the Jersey t rio offered a lot of hope for the future.

The World Championships were last played in Madagascar in 2016 and the same French team that beat Jersey at the St Pierre Les Elbeuf Boulodrome were among the losing semi-finalists along with Belgium. The top trio was from the host nation, Madagascar, with Benin the runners-up.  The current world champion for precision shooting is a Cambodian.

“The boys were absolutely elated when they knew they had finished in the top sixteen,” said manager Michel Morel. “We felt confident of improving on our results in previous European Men’s Triples events but the achievement in France surpassed our wildest dreams. If selected, we can’t wait to go to Canada.”

For further details contact Michel Morel on 07797 745708

The Jersey squad before they played the French team in the recent Euro Championships.  Dylan Rocher, Henri Lacroix, Philippe Quintais, Philippe Suchaud with their coach Alain Bideau.  All household names names in France.