Pimms & Pètanque

Jun 20, 2018

Following a historic Scottish cricket victory over England at The Grange Cricket Club in Edinburgh the previous week, the now infamous Cricket Club hosted the annual Spifox Too Pimms & Pètanque event on Friday 15th July, where a team of 4 from Gladman Scotland attended. Upon arriving at the venue, the World Cup-style draw was announced with each team representing a different country in a round-robin group stage before a knock-out tournament. Gladman, drawn as the Netherlands, ended up in a tough group with Serbia (Burness Paull), Switzerland (JLL) and Costa Rica (4 former professional Pètanquers).

With 4 Pètanque novices making up the Gladman Netherlands team, we were swiftly beaten by an experienced Costa Rican side after some wayward boules that were more reminiscent of the English bowling at the Grange the week before. Treating the first game as a warm-up, we, unfortunately, didn’t fare any better against Serbia (Burness Paull) with another loss, meaning we could no longer qualify for the next stage of the tournament.

Despite having nothing to play for, the embarrassment of returning to the office on Monday morning without winning a single match, and inevitable ridicule, was enough to motivate the team for the final match against Switzerland (JLL). A brief team talk helped us re-focus and embrace our newly adopted nationality, with each of us channeling some of the previous Dutch greats.

The turn-around in the final match was remarkable with the touch and flair coming from Gerard “Van Basten” McHenry and Chris “Cruyff” Wright; the power from Matt “Frank Rijkaard” Rose clearing out any opposing boules that got in his way; and the tactical accuracy from George “Steve McLaren” Saliagopoulos who hadn’t dropped boules like that since he was 13…on a beach in France.

Although needing a sudden-death boule-off, Gladman Netherlands sealed the victory thanks to a pin-point boule from George capping off a well-organised event by Spifox Too, in aid of the Action for Children Charity.

Gladman Scotland will be sure to take part in the next Spifox Too event, though given the performance of Gerard, Chris, Matt and George, they may do better avoiding the Pimms and practising the Pètanque if they want to make the next squad.


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