Stonehaven Fireboules take the Piste

By bellmannews / June 2, 2023

by Gregor McMurtrie

Picture the scene – a tree-lined provincial village square where160 people have gathered together to play French boules; a beret-wearing accordionist plays the romantic melodies of bal musette; the click-clack of steel balls on the piste accompanied by laughter, spontaneous applause, and the occasional pop of a cork as another bouteille de vin is opened.

What could be more French? Yet to experience this gallic idyll you need travel no further than Monymusk in late May for the Annual Boules Masters Tournament.

Stonehaven have participated in the Monymusk Boules Tournament since 2018 and have always acquitted themselves well, reaching the afternoon knock-out phase of the competition on three previous occasions. But this year, Stonehaven Fireboules Team Un and Deux raised their game and made it all the way to an all-Stonehaven Low Road final. En route, The Fireboules withstood formidable challenges from teams such as The Big Leboulskis, The Wedding Boule Crashers, Les Untouchaboules and The Raging Boules. The winning boule that took Stonehaven Fireboules Team Un to a 9-2 victory was flung by local petanque prodigy Theo Hermann (14yrs). Proud father and fellow team-mate Guigui Hermann commented, “Je lui ai appris tout ce qu’il sait” – I taught him everything he knows.

The upper league High Road final was conclusively won by the Macduff Boule Sharks over runner-ups Afford Tauros in a 9-0 rout.

Neil McArthur, Tournament founder and captain of veteran team Last of the Summer Winos, thanked everyone for taking part and modestly said that when they hosted the first tournament in 2013 they could never have guessed that it would still be running 10 years later and have raised in excess of £32,000 for local causes along the way.