One of the highlights of the social calendar in Queen Square, home to Eunomia’s Bristol head office, is the prestigious petanque tournament.
The businesses of Queen Square battle it through a group stage over several weeks, and Eunomia’s “Team Glory” was one of 16 to qualify for the ultra-competitive knock-out finals evening – knowing that only one can be crowned petanque champions, with all the glory that ensues. But could they fight through four rounds of stiff competition to bring the trophy home for Eunomia?
Eunomia has an impressive petanque history, with victories in 2007 and 2010 – but the years since the company last saw silverware placed a heavy burden of expectation on this year’s players. Perhaps that inspired the herculean efforts that Chris Cullen, George Cole and the stand-in captain Peter Jones put in – they certainly left nothing out there on the gravel in their quest for victory.
Establishing a “slow starters” trend that was carried through the finals run, Team Glory gave their first and second round opponents several points’ lead before coming back strongly, defeating Jones Milbank II by 13-5, and then Aspire 13-7, brushing them aside so quickly that they needed to play some intra-mural ends while waiting for other games to finish, just to keep their eyes in – and to avoid overdoing it on the Pimms.
Having sailed through to the semi-finals, the team found themselves drawn against the fearsome Toshiba team – their distinctive red boules have been a frequent sight in the latter stages of past petanque finals. They lived up to their reputation, playing with terrifying accuracy and pulling out to a seemingly unassailable 11-4 lead. Eunomia’s redoubtable group of supporters must have thought it was all over.
Astutely, though, Team Glory had practised “coming back from almost certain defeat” that very lunchtime. Toshiba were left crying into their laptops as the Eunomians reeled off end after end of faultless play to win it 13-11.
With twilight closing in and a hard core of remaining supporters, Team Glory was faced off against Peter Brett III (of whom there were only two – controversial!) for ultimate Queen Square petanque glory. True to form, the team slowly gave their opponents a substantial lead, despite George and Chris playing with incredible accuracy which, with the rub of the gravel, could have turned things in Eunomia’s favour. From 12-5 down, they mustered something of a comeback, but it was too late. Peter Brett won through 9-13 to be crowned this year’s champions.
Congratulations to Peter Brett on their well-deserved win, and thanks to Metcalfes Solicitors for organising the tournament. Rest assured, Eunomia will be back on the hunt for petanque glory again next year.
Photos: Amy Slack