El Pres Gets the Game Restarted

Monday 22 June 2020 marked the day when petanque returned to the Monkstone Club after the Welsh Government eased the coronavirus lockdown.

The occasion was marked by Mike “El Pres” Jones throwing the first boule to get us started. Only singles play is permitted so Mike was pitting his skills(?) against Roger Griffin. Before the morning was out we had the Adshead’s showing that they had not lost their touch (“…..didn’t know they had one”, I hear you cry) along with Roger Green & Gill Clark and Sean & Gill Greenwell.

A small step, but nevertheless a welcome return to the sport we have all been missing these past 3 months. 

El Pres gets things underway with the first boule

What El Pres saw in his mind

What Actually Happened – a Socially Distanced Boule!

The Games in Full Swing

It’s a Scoreboard Jim – but not as we know it!

Is This Really Roger! (Jill Prudently Kept Her Cap On)

Not Sure Who Put the Boule on the Coche

Gill, You’re Not Paying Attention to Sean’s Demonstration!


Petanque Returns to MonkstonePC

The following statement was issued to all members today, 20 June 2020:

Following yesterday’s announcement by the Welsh Government (WG) that the Covid-19 regulations in respect of outside activities will be eased from Monday 22 June, your Executive met last night to discuss the re-opening of the club for a safe return to some form of petanque activity.
  • We are satisfied that our club falls into the category of sports allowed to open, subject to current travel restrictions and adherence to the WG Covid guidelines.
  • We discussed the issues to be considered in order to open our premises safely. A comprehensive risk assessment has been compiled and a set of guidelines for members produced.
  • With these preparations having been made, we agreed that the club can re-open for play at 09.00 on Monday 22 June.
After three months of non-activity at our club, this is obviously good news for us all. However, in order to ensure that our return to play is safe, please find attached a set of guidelines, simplified rules and a playing guide that all members should follow. These are also posted on our website.
I shall list a number of main points for members to note, but this is no substitute for a careful reading of the club’s guidelines. They are issued in the interests of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, including the members of the Bowls and Bridge.
  • Although we are now allowed to play outdoors, the WG regulations still apply, especially in terms of social distancing and the stay local requirement.
  • The format of play is SINGLES only.
  • All play must be booked in advance via the club’s website, which will go live at midnight tonight. Members should not turn up at the club on the chance of a game.
  • No spectators are allowed.
  • Assume for the present that the toilets at Penylan are not available.
  • Please bring your own hand sanitiser.
  • We are reverting to the use of the keypad lock on the wooden door. The code is XXXXXX. Please sanitise your hands before tapping in the code and after doing so. The door is on the closure. Please do not prop the door open.
Your Executive accepts that the petanque activity available at the club from Monday is not a return to normality but it is a step in the right direction. We hope in the weeks ahead that there will be a further lifting of the restrictions. But by adhering to the guidelines and playing safely we all have a part to play in ensuring a further relaxation of the WG rules. 
Stay safe and happy bouling.
Roger Griffin



The following statement was issued by the Club on 16 March 2020:

Dear Member,

Your Executive Committee met this morning and discussed at length the announcements regarding the Coronavirus pandemic made by the FIPJP and the WPA. Our deliberations focussed upon our duty of care to all members but particularly to those of us who could be described as vulnerable in all senses of the word.
Our conclusion was that the club will accept the recommendations of the WPA and suspend all activities within our club with immediate effect. The suspension covers all playing activity, even for individuals, and includes any planned maintenance work such as erecting fencing around the clubhouse. The club is now closed to all members until further notice.
Your Executive has not made this decision lightly and we appreciate that this action will disappoint members, especially those who come to the club on a regular basis. Some members may feel that they are prepared to continue playing at their own risk. We must make it clear that it is not acceptable for any member to do this. Any breach of the suspension of activity at the club is likely to invalidate the insurance cover provided by the WPA. 
We are very sorry that our club has to close its doors for an undetermined period of time. Our sole concern is the health and welfare of members, and their loved ones. Playing petanque is an important part of our lives and I know that many of us will miss the social side of the game. But on a more positive note we can help fellow members in the weeks ahead. As a small community of some fifty members, we can keep in touch and support each other. I think we would all like to hear if any of us is having difficulties, whether being unwell or having problems getting provisions. The easiest way for us to keep in touch is to use your club’s WhatsApp and I would urge anyone not already signed up to do so. For the moment we can’t play the game we enjoy but we can still help each other, talk to each other and share information with each other.
We will keep members updated at all times.
Take care,
Roger Griffin

Brexit Melee

Our President was obviously suffering from a post-Brexit party hangover on Sunday and offers the following by way of apology:

Fellow Petanquers,
Sunday 2 February offered an opportunity for another MPC Melee (rescheduled from the previous week). The weather was cloudy and cold but things were soon to warm up on the pistes. El Pres addressed the 24 keen, enthusiasts who  were totally focused on grabbing the top prize.
Round 1 was a competitive affair with 12 victors coasting along into the next round. Peter D.  and Vickie stormed to victory as did Phil R. and Roger Griffin, Roger Green and Tricia, Tony N. and Gill C., Steve and John X., and a special mention to Melys and Jane M. who gave El Pres and Jane D. a lesson in pointing. Mike congratulated the pair through blurred vision caused by the welling tears in his eyes. (A factor that obviously affected his following games).
Round 2 was fought with tenacity and skill by everyone. Peter K. managed to throw the coche onto his own piste (at times!) and Andres claimed ‘ game on zee floor ‘ after one end!!
Vickie claimed another victory together with Phil R., Roger Green, Tricia, John X. and Gill C. Only 6 players were now on 2 victories. It was all to play for in the final round and who could have predicted the outcome? (Certainly not the scorer even after the results were in!).
Round 3 began and the tension was rising. The 6 players competing for the top spot were focused, determined and making every effort to secure a victory. Who would be awarded a laurel and hardy hand-shake as the Melee champion(s)?
Vickie and Gill C. were drawn together and achieved a 13-7 victory. Phil R. and Tricia were also drawn together and in an extremely tight game against Mike and John M. secured a 13-12 win. Roger Green fell to the silky skills of Tony N. and Jane D., and John X. was more focused on his Sun. dinner than the coche. As a consequence, after the final round, 4 players were to be congratulated on successfully winning all 3 of their matches.
All that remained was for the scorer to announce the winners. Using numerical skills involving algebraic equations, trigonometric calculations and advanced mathematics, the scorer registered the top 3 places. Is the scorer ‘Brighter Than Your Average Five Year Old ?’.  Well, apparently not!
In the bar the financial rewards were allocated with an amazing result of 3 players showing totals of exactly the same scores 39-17. (Vickie, Phil and Tricia ). However! All was not as it appeared! The scorer had miscalculated!  A very observant (some might say nosey!) member noticed a discrepancy in the totals. I won’t mention your name Phil – sorry, I mean Pike! but, quite rightly, the final placings needed amendment. The final, and I mean final, (subject to TMO and VAR) results are :
1st: Vickie and Phil. – 3rd: Gill C. = 4th: Tricia.  Well done to the top four players.
Incidentally, I failed to win any games all day! However, by my calculations I managed to come 5th!!! Great day everyone. ( Also I have invested in an abacus with lovely coloured balls for future calculations!!).
                                  Mike.    El Pres.

Winter Friendly 2nd Leg

The second leg of the 2nd annual Winter Friendly Trophy was held today at Caerleon RFC PC. Readers will remember that Monkstone had performed particularly well in the first leg held at the beginning of December, running out winners by 30 points to 15. It could be said that Monkstone were quietly confident of securing the 16 points they needed for victory out of the 45 on offer, There were even grand thoughts that wins in 8 of the 9 singles (Monkstone had won 7 out of 9 in the first leg) would give them the 16 points needed.

Tansy Mayfield called all the competitors to order, welcomed Monkstone to the Caerleon and admitted that Caerleon had a bit of a mountain to climb to retain the cup they had won last year by the slenderest margin of 1 point.

The singles got underway and Monkstone were looking comfortable with the first 3 scores to come being 13-3 wins for Mike Jones, Gareth Spencer and Jayne Dunn. With Amanda Jenkins, Peter Kensett and Phil Roberts holding reasonable leads in their games, it was looking like 6 wins for 12 of the points needed for victory. Only rookie Amanda managed to hold onto her lead  for a 13-7 win while Peter and Phil went down 10-13 and 12-13 respectively. With Tony Smith and Michelle Spencer also going down Monkstone were left with only 4 wins out of 9 giving them half of the required 16 points.

So it was onto the 4 doubles games where Monkstone were looking for a better return. It didn’t turn out that way – Tony Smith & Bernard Adshead let an early lead slip and were always struggling eventually going down 7-13. Mike Jones and Gill Greenwell went down 9-13 and Roger Griffin and Vickie Adshead lost 10-13 on the last end. The whitewash was saved by Phil Roberts and Jane McGirr who took their game 12-9.

The result of this was that it left Monkstone needing to win one of the three triples – a situation they had hoped to avoid by picking up the points they needed from the singles and doubles. In fact they only gained 11 of the necessary 16. At this point Caerleon were leading 19-11 on the day but Monkstone were leading 41-34 overall.

A break was taken to devour the extremely tasty soup, bread and cakes provided by Caerleon. 

The triples got underway with players and spectators alike keeping their eye on all three scoreboards. Roger, Bernard and Vickie in the mixed triples were always struggling but a glance across to the other two pistes showed that Gareth, Phil & Peter building a healthy lead and Tony, Mike & Jayne slowing edging ahead of their opponents.  A couple of ends later showed G, P & P had shipped a few points and their lead had been cut down. Meanwhile T, M & J were increasing their lead whilst R, B & V were still struggling. The first game to finish was G, P & P who ran out winners by 13-6 securing the trophy for Monkstone. Shortly after T, M & J posted a 13-2 win leaving the mixed triple as the only game to finish. Monkstone had been 8-1 down but a small run of form  pegged Caerleon back to 8-5 before they reimposed themselves on the game increasing their lead to 10-5. R, B & V weren’t going to give up without a fight taking it to 10 -7. A bad end followed in which it was wide open for Caerleon to take the 3 points needed but they missed the final point to increase their lead to 12-7. Monkstone took 1 on the next end for 12-8 but time was up during the end leaving a final end to be played. V opened with a great boule on the cosh but Caerleon knew that they only had to keep it tight so didn’t attempt to shoot. They pointed in all 6 boules with 2 of them within inches of the cosh. V put her next boule about 15 inches behind the cosh, leaving Monkstone first and fourth. B pointed his first which also went behind the cosh close to V’s. The agreed plan was to try to roll the cosh back a few inches to give 3 or possibly 4. B threw and agonisingly touched the cosh but only moved it a fraction leaving them still holding 1. R pointed in, got a ricochet and sneaked through for 2.  R threw the final boule which fell slightly short, ending what would have been a great comeback and leaving Monkstone on 10-12.

All the points were totted up and Tansy announced that Caerleon had salvaged some pride by winning 24-21 on the day but overall Monkstone had taken the cup by 51-39. Tansy congratulated Monkstone on their win and said that she thought that it had been a great competition played in a friendly spirit. Bernard said that he agreed entirely with Tansy’s comments and said that we should get the dates in the diary for another encounter in 2020/21.

Advance notice: The agreed dates are: 29 November 2020 at Caerleon and 10 January 2021 at Monkstone : 

Revised Dates:  22 November 2020 at Caerleon and 10 January 2021 at Monkstone

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