Players gathered from around Melbourne for the inaugural Jules Cup with all 3 Victorian clubs represented. Pre tournament favourite Luke Radziminski strode in with his Arsenal 2nd kit team confident of victory in yet another WASPA favourite. Hoping to knock him off his Highbury strut were Paul Mercer and Kevin Grant from Northern Phoenix, Juliette Browne and Steve Wright from host club Western Flickers and junior Flickers Billy and Charlotte Wright.
By fluke of the draw, the title deciding game took place in Round 1 of the round-robin FAST 20 competition with Luke drawn to play Paul. In a close fought battle, Luke came out on top 2-1.
His next five games saw him dominate beating Charlotte 1-0, Kevin 2-1, Steve 1-0, Juliette 3-1 and Billy 4-2 to take an unassailable lead before his last round bye.
Despite his round 1 loss, Paul bounced back quickly beating Kevin 3-0, Steve 3-0, Billy 1-0, Charlotte 3-0 and Juliette 4-0. He ended the tournament in 2nd place with 15 points but perhaps most impressively only conceded 2 goals, both to Luke, and scored 15 to be the tournaments highest scorer and least concede.
The remaining spots were extremely closely fought. Steve started brightly defeating Charlotte 1-0 and Juliette 3-0. Two losses to Luke and Paul dented his charge and his inability to score grew to haunt him.
Billy started well with a 0-0 draw with Kevin and a controversial 1-0 win over Juliette, followed by a loss to Paul. His goalkeeping was exceptional throughout the tournament.
Kevin started with the draw with Billy and back to back losses to Paul and Luke left him struggling with 1 point. Charlotte suffered consecutive 1-0 losses to her dad and Luke before securing her first point in a 0-0 with Juliette. Before her draw with Charlotte, Juliette suffered a 3-0 loss to Steve and a 1-0 loss to Billy. All to play for in the last three rounds.
Round 5 saw Kevin defeat Charlotte 2-1 where all 3 goals were scored in the last 3 minutes of play with Kevin coming back from 1-0 down to score the winner in the last 30 seconds. Juliette took a goal off Luke but succumbed 3-1 and Steve inexplicably picked up the ball in the penalty area to hand Billy a penalty, who then held on with some majestic goalkeeping for the rest of the game.
Billy on 7 points, Steve on 6, Kevin on 4, Charlotte and Juliette on 1. Round 6, Steve with the bye saw Juliette take a point with a 0-0 draw with Kevin, Billy lose to Luke 4-2 and Charlotte lose to Paul 3-0. Kevin had moved to 5 and Juliette 2.
Round 7 saw the Wright Siblings battle with Luke as referee to split the warring clans. Juliette succumbed 4-0 to Paul and with Steve and Kevin unable to break the deadlock, it was left to Billy to take a possible 3rd spot if he could get a draw. However, he was left disappointed as his sister took a 2-0 lead and despite pulling a goal back, he could not get the draw he wanted.
The Junior Waspa took place featuring the Wright siblings (Charlotte and Billy) and the Browne brothers (Liam and Sean).
Another closely contested tournament ensued. Billy quickly got revenge for being left disappointed in the Open event by beating his sister 1-0. Liam eventually overcame a stubborn and rapidly improving Sean 1-0. Charlotte and Liam played out an entertaining contest, end to end table football finally resulting in a Charlotte equaliser in the last minute of play for a 1-1 draw. Billy again scored twice to defeat Sean although it was a much tighter contest than the scoreline suggests.
So Billy needed a draw to take the title, Liam needed a win and Charlotte and Sean were playing for bragging rights only. Congratulations to Sean who scored the goal of the day against Charlotte, but sadly couldn’t maintain that and went down 2-1. Billy took an early lead against Liam and despite Liam attacking well throughout, Billy’s goalkeeping exploits continued as they had done for the remainder of the day and he held on for a 1-0 win.