May 25, 2019
Mark Nicol is Jersey’s new pétanque singles champion, despite losing his first match in the qualifying round. That was a narrow 12-13 defeat to Keith Boleat, However Nicol got his revenge, beating Boleat 13-6 in the final with a master-class in firing the opponent’s boules off the terrain.
After that initial defeat Nicol never looked back. “I wasn’t on my game at all at the beginning but as the competition went on I got stronger and stronger. By the end it was the most comfortable I’ve felt for years.”
The reigning champion, Matt Pinel, was the only player to win all his five games in the qualifying round but his hopes of being the first Island player to successfully defend the title were dashed at the quarter-final stage when he lost 11-13 to Laurent Pellaton.
Nicol had got through to the last eight with a 13-6 win against Andy Limbrick. He was joined by Boleat, a 13- 5 winner over the only woman player to reach the play-offs, Joy Hart. The fourth semi-finalist was Matt Buesnel who beat Alan Lahiffe 13-6.
Nicol made light work of dismissing Buesnel 13-4 in the first semi-final but the other went to the wire with Boleat emerging the winner after picking up the two points he needed in the final end after being 11-12 down against Pellaton.  Buesnel went on to win the third-place play-off final, beating Pellaton 13-11.
Thirty players took part in today’s championship at the Les Quennevais home of the Jersey Pétanque Club.Nicol’s win means he has added the Island championship to the Liberation Pétanque ClubOpen title he won in April.

      3rd                       1st                    2nd

Matt Buesnel       Mark Nicol       Keith Boleat

Attached are the results of the preliminary round of the Island Singles Championship 2019 on Saturday..