Altona Cup 2018
The largest and longest running Western Flickers’ event went back to its roots this year at the Laverton Bowls Club as part of the Altona Board Gaming Festival organised by Western Flickers’ own Adam Deverell.
Eight players players contested this years’ event. Western Flickers outgoing President and current WASPA World No. 2 Benny Ng was the top seed and hoped to take out his first Altona Cup. Current FISTF Asian champion Carl Young’s lack of WASPA action meant he was unseeded for his favourite event on the WASPA calendar. The second see was Luke Radziminski who has been in the rise in 2018.
Luke drew Carl, Beth and Kevin in his group; whilst Benny drew his bogey man Adam Deverell, Adrian Connolly and Fauzi Rahman.
The drama began early in the opening round. Luke went to a 2-0 lead over Carl, before the clash ended 2-2. These would be Carl’s last goals conceded on the day. Meanwhile, Kevin beat Beth to top the group at this early stage! The shot of the group table is now framed proudly in Kevin’s shed!
In the other group, Benny easily accounted for newcomer Fauzi. Adam Deverell scored a great counter attacking goal on the run to take a 1–0 lead against Adrian before Adrian’s pressure told in the second half. Adrian could not convert more chances and would later rue this with the game ending 1-1.
Kevin then took a shock 1-0 lead into half time against Luke before Luke turned the game around to win 2-1. Carl accounted for Beth 4-0 as he started to blow off the cobwebs.
In the other group Adrian easily accounted for Fauzi, but Benny again couldn’t defeat Adam with a scoreless draw ensuing.
In the final group games, Carl took top spot of Group 2 on goal difference from Luke after another 4-0 win, this time over Kevin. Benny took top spot in Group 1 with a narrow 1-0 win over Adrian, whilst Fauzi will have been round to have got his first goal of the tournament in his 1-3 loss to Adam.
The semi finals pitted Benny against Luke, with Adam against Carl. Adam continued his strong defensive work and great goalkeeping to go into half time 0-0 before ultimately succumbing 0-3.
Meanwhile there was even more drama in the other semi. A tense game finished 2-2, before Benny took the game with a goal in sudden death extra time.
The final the saw two players who’s performances on the day had some symmetry. Both progressed top of their groups with u points and had showed defensive strength to have only conceded in one game, identical 2-2 draws with Luke. A tight and tense final ensued with Carl on the attack most of the game, but Benny also having some great opportunities on the counter attack.
The game finished scoreless in normal time and it looked set to go to penalties before Carl grabbed the golden goal with less than 2 minutes on the clock in extra time.
Congratulations to Carl on the win. All those that competed appreciated seeing the Asian Champion back in competitive action. Whilst he may have been a little rusty, the performances of several others to push Carl during the event shows how far the game is progressing in Melbourne.
Thanks to all that competed and for Adam Deverell for organising the venue for the Altona Cup to keep it as one of the showpiece events of the Table Football calendar in Melbourne.