Video: Swanley giant killers from the Lamb Inn reach petanque cup final

Jon Bowdery takes a shot while (left to right) John Freeman, Lamb Inn landlord Ray McCarthy and team captain Martin Bowdery look on.

The team's base at the Lamb Inn.

The team take a break from Sunday morning training.

First published in Dartford & Swanley news
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A PUB team of novices has said boules to the form book by reaching a cup final.

The Lamb Inn petanque team in Swanley only took up the French game – a variation of boules – last year but squeaked past opposition four leagues above them to reach the final of the north Kent winter cup.

Captain Martin Bowdery says the underdogs will be in with a chance in the final against the Hartley Potters on March 6 – even though some of their opponent’s players are league one standard.

He said: "It’s a little bit like Swanley United playing Manchester United but you never know as it can happen in football.

"Everybody wants us to win because we are the underdogs.

"I’m apprehensive because they are a very, very good side but I have a funny feeling we are going to do it and it would be fantastic if we could."

The Dragons from the George Inn, Meopham, were sent packing on points difference in the semi-final on January 30 despite being in league two to the Lamb’s league six.

The object of Petanque is for a team to get its metal ball closest to a jack or ‘cochenet’ and matches are best of four legs with the first to 13 points winning a leg.

At 2-2 in the semi, it went down to points total with the Lamb winning by a single point even after losing the first leg 13-0. Such a score is known as being ‘fannied’ after a French peasant girl called Fanny who would kiss the losers as a consolation.

Sixty-five-year-old Martin is the senior member in a 10-strong squad whose youngest is in their early 30s and includes his wife Janys.

The retired carpenter and his charges started out in league seven last year but have since begun a rise up the rankings to go with their cup heroics: winning four matches to reach the final.

The Nuffield Road, Hextable, resident added: "It’s a good, fun game and if you like a beer as well then all the better.

"It certainly gets you out and about in the pubs of Kent."

The team play league games every Wednesday at 8pm at the Lamb Inn in Swanley Village Road and practise from 10.30am on Sundays.

Visit kentpetanque.org

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