Hermann Kruse won a sensational 20th Northern Falcons AGFA Cup, his first major event, and quite possibly his last in Australia as he and his family prepare to return to Germany.
Hermann took a tense final against Northern Falcons teammate Eliot Kennedy 1-0 at the end of a fantastic day with 17 participants from all four Sydney clubs.
He was presented with the AGFA Cup by Willoughby Councillor Brendon Zhu, who was largely responsible for getting the Northern Falcons into the Willoughby Park Bowling Club as our new home. We should also thank Willoughby Park President Roger Womersley and Manager Marcus Creais for their ongoing support.
Hermann was also presented with a special commemorative plaque celebrating our late brother Harley Ullrich by Harley’s sister Zoe, in the presence of Harley’s family. The plaque was made by Kevin Grant and will be a permanent reminder to Hermann, Oli, Hermine, Hagen and Claudia of their links with the Northern Falcons family in Australia. They also received an album of signed ATFA player cards.
The day was a celebration of all that is good with our game: a great tournament, great spirit, a fantastic BBQ, celebrations with friends and family, and some poignant reminders of our past.
As is customary with the AGFA, it was an open draw (not seeded), which threw up some challenging groups.
Additionally, the lightning 15-minute matches, and re-starts from a goalflick, not a flick-off, allowed for consistent action.
In group 1, the match between Johnny Ball and Steve Dettre was a rematch of the very first AGFA Cup final in 1977, with Steve coming out on top 2-0. There were a few twists and turns in the group, with Adrian beating Steve, then in the final matches it was the stubborn resistance from Johhny Ball that was Adrian’s undoing as he went out on goal difference
The surprise in group 2 was Neil’s second place after a 2-0 win over Catherine and a 0-0 draw with John, while Tony claimed top spot.
In group 3, Jonty surprised Adrian Grunbach with a 1-0 win, while Torben held Oli 0-0, then drew with Jonty to give himself a good chance of qualifying, but fell 4-0 to Adrian as they both went out.
Group 4 was the five player ‘Group of death’, which started explosively as Raffael beat Eliot 4-1, before Paul Magee beat Jeremy Simpson. Fabrizio Coco and Raff played out a typical derby 0-0, then Fab had the second of his 3 0-0 draws against Paul. In the last match, Eliot held on to edge out Fab into second place.
The quarterfinals were played before a growing crowd at the Willoughby Park club, as patrons and visitors became absorbed in the action.
Herman despatched Jonty 2-0, while Raff was in devastating form to beat Neil 5-0, and Eliot overcame Tony 2-0, before it took a dramatic shootout for Oli to beat Steve 4-3.
The semis were equally tight, with both finishing 1-0, before the dramatic final.
Zoe was also called on to present the Northern Falcons League Trophy, made from the beloved West Ham team of Harley. The trophy, now known as the Harley Ullrich Memorial Trophy, was presented to Eliot Kennedy, winner of the 2017 title. The current campaign is still under way.
AGFA XX May 2019