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El Juego de Pelota and La Carreta

El Juego de Pelota and La Carreta

Liege, Belgium

The Royal IC of Belgium was once again the host of IC Council sponsored events, this time it was El Juego de Pelota (a repeat of 2 years ago) and La Carreta. 

El Juego was played for 2 men of 70+ and 2 men of 75+ playing one singles each and a doubles in each age group. La Carreta is for one woman of 50+ and one of 60+. Both GB teams had a reserve player with them, which proved a good move. The men’s team consisted of Norman Church, Mark Cox, Alan Purnell, Henk Nijeboer and Brian Snapes. The women’s team had Teresa Catlin, Marjorie Love and Dee Oakley. 

The women did very well in beating France 3-0 in the group stage with a particularly noteworthy win by Marjorie against Caroline Glaszmann by 10-5 in the third set champions tie-break. Belgium was also defeated 3-0 which meant that GB got through to play Germany in the final. This was always going to be a tough match and again Marjorie did very well, but lost by 10-4 in the third set tie-break. The German no. 1 Anke Wurst was too strong for Teresa, so GB finished honourably as runner-up having won the trophy in Heidelberg and Sofia before. 

The men had a close first match against Belgium with both 70s singles lost, but the vital 70s doubles was won by Alan and Brian by 10-5 in the third set tie-break ensuring a 4-2 win. Germany was defeated by 5-1 with only Alan’s single against Alex Kurucz going the other way. In the final GB lost against the reputable French team by 4-1 with only Mark winning his single against old nemesis Patrice Beust. The French team thus won the trophy for the third time running after Mexico in 2014 and Brussels in 2017. All three victories were with the same core of Michel Leclercq, Patrice Beust and Francois Pierson. 

The event was held at the marvellous Royal Tennis Club of Liege, no doubt one of the most beautiful clubs in Belgium. As always the warm hospitality of the Belgian IC under Michel de Marneffe knew no limits with excellent lunches every day, a BBQ at the club and two dinners in upmarket restaurants in and around Liege. We thank the Belgians for all their efforts. 

Photo albums can be seen on the website of the Belgian IC here

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