MCNULTY TAKES OUT PERTH TITLE*
A Europa league style tournament was held up in the hills of Perth on April 8th. 6 players took part on what would be by far the closest tournament we have hosted in our 2yr plus existence. After we all played each other twice in the league the table finished like this to determine who would play who in the final knock out games.
P W D L F A Pts
1:Alan Kimber 10 8 1 1 30 5 25
2:Ross Mcnulty 10 6 3 1 18 6 21
3:Hugh Best 10 2 5 3 5 8 11
4:John Harty 10 2 4 4 6 13 10
5:Chris Thorn 10 2 4 4 9 19 10
6:Ron Byrne 10 0 3 7 6 23 3
PLAY OFF FINALS*
1 Hugh Best*
0 Ron Byrne
Hugh Best took on Ron Byrne in a game that had lots of twists and theres no doubt these two boys are improving rapidly, the game started with Best on the front foot as he pressured Bryne with some nice controlled passing with his new Pink Tcha Palermo team. Byrne began to begin attacks and he was also sporting a new set as he had brought Best’s Celtic team of Tcha’s that morning. In a see saw game of cat and mouse but ultimately in the 2nd half Best pieced together a fine batch of passes which culminated in a fine strike just inside the right hand side of the attacking area. Byrne rallied but could not break down the Australian native who closed the game out and reach his first Semi Final at Subbuteo Perth, Well done Hugh and terrific effort by Ron.
1 John Harty
1 Chris Thorn* (Thorn wins 2-1 on pens)
Again the 2 original founders faced off in what would become a real contest of poise and nerve, Thorn started off well and and sprayed the ball around nicely without getting the ball in the area as Harty held a sound defensive line, Harty was pretty much breaking down the flanks as thats normally very much a trait of Thorn’s but midway through the 1st half it was Harty that struck with well worked 1, 2, 3, 4 touch between two players to work the ball into the danger Area, he struck a menacing effort that deflected off the hapless keeper. Into the 2nd half Thorn just soldiered on as per usual and kept playing his game of patience and a goal will come and low and behold he got the break through midway through with a low shot that went in off the woodwork. So thats how it stayed and the game went into extra time, again the sides could not separated and Thorn held his nerve to advance to the Semi Finals with a 2-1 win in shoot out.
Semi Final 1:
1 Chris Thorn
2 Alan Kimber* (wins in extra time)
Another game between these two rivals began in cagey style with both players reluctant to throw caution but in typical style Kimber scored one of his trade mark chips shots from nowhere and suddenly the game took off, Thorn kept patient and continued to probe away at Kimber’s defence but it held off until halftime. Into the second half it was Thorn who struck back in emphatic style with a well worked goal of quality as the ball nestled into th onion bag with Kimber helpless to prevent it, Kimber countered and went close on a few occasions but this game headed into extra time and midway through the first half Kimber broke on the right and delivered an inch perfect pass into the shooting area which was finished off with a smart chip that stunned Thorn, again Thorn tried in vein but could not get the equalizer he craved, another cracker of a match with little between the two players.
2 Ross Mcnulty* (Wins 2-1 pens)
2 Hugh Best
Another titanic game for the rapidly improving Best who is getting closer and closer with every passing month to beating Mcnulty. The game began with a very organised looking Best and he quickly got into his stride and within 4mins was 1 up after catching out Mcnulty with a fantastically well organised break out from his midfield, using 2 players he patiently bypassed Mcnulty’s defence which was all at sea and dispatched an unstoppable shot that had Mcnulty immediately shaking his hand and applauding the goal. Not long after the restart Best was at it again, this time another well worked move wound up with him in dreamland after another fine strike leaving Mcnulty with a mountain to climb. With 7mins of the half remaining Mcnulty began to up the anti with attack after attack and with a minute to go he put a low shot into the bottom corner to give himself hope of a comeback against the rampant Australian. In the second half Mcnulty went looking for that vital equalizer but found the Best rear guard and his keeper in fine form, Best himself had a few ventures out of his defence in a game that was fast becoming quite stretched. With 4mins to go Mcnulty netted an equalizer as the pressure finally told and another low shot with power beat Best’s Drago keeper to send the second Semi Final into extra time. Again it was very much tit for tat in extra time with both both players cautious not to pour forward and we headed into another penalty shootout, Mcnulty just about did enough and put 2 pens away to Best’s 1 and another final was secured. Hugh can be proud of his efforts as Ross really did dodge a bullet on this one and almost felt guilty at going through such was the closeness of the match up.
3rd & 4th Play Off:
0 Chris thorn* (wins 2-1 on pens)
0 Hugh Best
Another tight game with nothing to call between the two, plenty of chances came and went but ultimately after 30mins neither side could deliver the winner and it headed into extra time. Again nobody wanted to commit and it was very much a case of defences on top and for 4th time in these finals a penalty shoot out beckoned. Best summoned up all his passionate efforts as he closed his eyes and looked up to the sky and Thorn just had his usual ice cool appearance looking on but cometh the moment cometh the ice man and it was Thorn who put away 2 of his goals and although Best came very close, it was the Veteran player who once played Subbuteo creator Peter Adolf in Southern England in the 1950’s that ultimately claimed bragging rights to finish 3rd.
1 Ross Mcnulty*
0 Alan Kimber
Another final between arguably Perths two top players began yet again and as per usual it was another tight game with very few cast iron clear cut chances, after 5mins Kimber had Mcnulty in panic mode as he missed a defensive flick that allowed a shot in the shooting area and a gap had appeared for a shot from one of his players in central defence, one quick flick and the ball squirmed wide with Mcnulty breathing a huge sigh of relief. Mcnulty countered back and as the 1st half drew to a close he went close with a well worked move that ended in a shot just flying narrowly over the bar. The second half pretty much mirrored the 1st in a very open affair and after some neat interplay Mcnulty took the the lead after catching Kimbers defence pushing up a little to far and a shot arrowed into the top left corner to stun him. Straight after the restart Mcnulty decided to park the bus and just break with minimal players and Kimber began to pick a few holes and twice had another 2 shots from long distance but sadly one looped over the bar and another was saved by Mcnulty. A few breaks from Mcnulty went close as Kimber made 2 great saves and the favour was returned as Mcnulty then himself had to make 2 smart saves to keep his lead and subsequently he did as Kimber admitted on his last long distance shot 2 mins from time ‘ its just not gonna happen ‘. And thats how the game ended with Mcnulty jubilant but also absolutely shattered after a draining day of pure Subbuteo.
Again there was little to choose and the whole tournament was full of extremely close games and a special mention must go to Hugh Best & Ron Byrne who have improved so dramatically in the last month or two, really looking forward to many more tournaments like this in the future, its this closeness in competition that makes it so special and ultimately is what every club strives for. Thanks again lads and see you all on the 21st May for our next meeting.
Report by Ross Mcnulty.