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Douarnenez takes European title in bizarre setting

Posted by on March 15, 2020

Douarnenez takes European title in bizarre setting

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The championsteam Douarnenez Valdys, the European champion for the third time in a row

DOUARNENEZ - The European final for classic teams was played in a bizarre setting this Sunday afternoon in the Brittain city Douarnenez, France. The two French teams of Douarnenez Valdys and BC Oissel faced each other in the match for gold in an empty venue. The organization decided to play without spectators on the final day due to strict measures in the fight against the Corona virus. The winner for the third time in a row was the Douarnenez Valdys team with the balkline players Raymund Swertz (32, Netherlands) and Marek Faus (Czech Republic) and 38 year old local player Grégory Le Deventec in the discipline one cushion. The number two on the podium was another French team, BC Oissel with Willy Gérimont, Xavier Gretillat (Switzerland) and Johann Petit.

The final day had sports highlights in the managers of Xavier Gretillat (46) and Raymund Swertz. The Swiss excelled in a match 71/2 with 200 caroms in one inning, the Dutchman in a match 47/2 with 250 caroms in one inning. They did so during the run-up to the final in the semi-finals of BC Oissel (win against CB Vic) and Douarnenez (win against BC Soissons). Gretillat also played a beautiful final against Marek Faus (200-41 in 2 innings), but lost with his team due to the victories of Swertz and Le Déventec on the other tables. The Swiss could be proud of his last three games, in which he made runs of 110, 200 and 152.

Raymund Swertz dominated Willy Gérimont in that final match after a run of 165 in the third inning (199-8) and the decision in the fourth inning with 51 (250-14). Grégory Le Deventec and Johann Petit met in a thrilling match that went up to 87-69 in Petit's favor in 6 innings, 104-85 in 7 innings, followed by a run of 34 by Le Déventec, who missed at one point from the finish due to a missing bankshot. Petit was unable to seize his last two chances (0 and 4), Le Déventec made his last point to start up the party with his team mates.

It was the third European title for Douarnenez after 2018 in Bochum and 2019, also in the own billiard center in Douarnenez in Brittany, the region in north-west of France which is famous in history for two great cyclists (Louison Bobet and Bernard Hinault) and cosmetics icon Yves Rocher.

The final day with four teams had its sportive highlights in the performances of Xavier Gretillat and Raymund Swertz. The Swiss player excelled in a 71/2 balk line match over 200 caroms in one inning, the Dutchman in a 47/2 match over 250 caroms in one inning. They both were outstanding during the run-up to the final in the semi-finals of BC Oissel (win against CB Vic) and Douarnenez (win against BC Soissons).

Due to the global Corona crisis, the European tournament made an end to almost all billiard activities in tournaments and competitions for the time being. The closing ceremony with the champions was done behind closed doors, the matches were played following a non-stop schedule to close the Coupe d‘Europe in the French city as soon as possible.

The run-up:

Semi-finals

Raymund Swertz played the first maximum run of the tournament in balkline 47/2 against Pascal Dessaint. The Dutchman was the leader for his team Douarnenez to the later 4-2 victory over BC Soissons. At full speed and with his flawless technique, Swertz was inimitable during the 250 caroms he completed after Dessaint missed from the break at 13: 250-13.

When Grégory Le Deventec lost to Alain Remond in the one cushion (120-68 in 12 innings), the score was in balance. Marek Faus had to cross the line for the home team. The Czech was 96-95 down after 3 innings against Olivier Carreaux, got the balls under control and finished with a run of 105 for 200-96 in 4.
Douarnenez to final

With no audience in the stands, in an unreal atmosphere, Xavier Gretillat delivered a world performance in 71/2. The 46-year-old Swiss faced Raul Cuenca and cleared the match over 200 caroms in one inning. The Spaniard made eighteen caroms in the equalizer after the brilliant demonstration of his opponent. The BC Oissel team took the lead with that match over CB Vic, which had his weakest player in Juan Espinasa in one cushion. That was evident again in the match vs Johann Petit, who didn't play his best billiard, but easily won the match against his Spanish opponent: 120-71 in 15 innings. The decision was therefore made in favor of the French. The match in 47/2 between Willy Gérimont and Esteve Mata was stopped at 147-117 in favour of the Frenchman in 6 innings.
BC Oissel to the final.

Preliminary rounds

Two teams remained unbeaten in the preliminaries with two groups of three teams. Douarnenez remained unbeaten in Pool A, CB Vic in Pool B. The French team lost one game to the six games: Marek Faus was defeated in the 71/2 by Xavier Gretillat 200-140 in 7 innings. Raymund Swertz won in the 47/2 against Willy Gérimont (250-186 in 5) and Markus Melerski 250-27 in 2 (run 214). Swertz's average was 71.42. Grégory Le Deventec won his two matches in one cushion against Johann Petit (120-112 in 8) and Thomas Wildförster (120-58 in 12).

At the Spaniards of Vic Esteve Mata (47/2) and Raul Cuenca (71/2) won their two matches. Juan Espinasa lost twice in one cushion. Mata defeated Pascal Dessaint and Ludger Havlik with an average of 71.42 over two matches, the same average as Raymund Swertz. Raul Cuenca beat Olivier Carreaux and Thomas Berger 40.00 over two matches.

Ludger Havlik and Sam van Etten both won one match at BC Bochum. Havlik made a top run of 197, Sam van Etten couldn't shine in the one cushion 8.11 over two matches. Thomas Wildförster was the only winner at BC Hilden, Markus Melerski and Maarten Janssen lost their two matches.

Other high series in the preliminaries:
Esteve Mata 239 and 180
Raymund Swertz 214 and 179

Standings after preliminary rounds:
Group A:
1 Douarnenez Valdys 4 points
2 BC Oissel 2
3 BC Hilden 0

Group B:
1 CB Vic 4
2 BC Soissons 2
3 BC Bochum 0

Raymund Swertz and Willy Gérimont

Marek Faus (l) and Xavier Gretillat

 

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