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Subbuteo Parramatta Junior Holiday WASPA Tournament Report

Play gets underway - Imojjen v Othniel at the back, Andrew v Æowyn at the front.

Play gets underway – Imojjen v Othniel at the back, Andrew v Æowyn at the front.

School holidays can mean only one thing – another Junior WASPA tournament at Subbuteo Parramatta. 4 players were free this holiday, two of whom were competing in their first WASPA tournament. Sisters, Imojjen and Æowyn Elmer, were joined by new club members, Othniel Antwi and Andrew Kuany. The boys had both played in school competitions over the last 2 years, so were far from new to the game, but this was their first chance to take their enthusiasm outside the school gates.

A simple group format, with the top two progressing to a final, was decided. Andrew started confidently, having recently won his school’s Subbuteo tournament, but was soon brought back to earth when Æowyn went ahead and then held on in their opening encounter. Meanwhile, Imojjen and Othniel played a tight tussle. Imojjen’s shooting fingers were nowhere to be found, however, and Othniel found the back of the net to take the game 1-0. The second round saw Imojjen lose again, by the same score, to Andrew, while Æowyn and Othniel, each looking to head to the top of the table, played out a stalemate in their encounter. The mind games then began – Imojjen couldn’t progress to the final, but her result against Æowyn would have a large bearing on who would. Andrew knew a win over Othniel would see him leapfrog his opponent, while a draw might be enough if Imojjen could beat Æowyn. And so the trash talk began in earnest! Imojjen and Æowyn battled out a scoreless draw, their skill levels dropping significantly as they, by their own description, both played their worst game ever. The result, however, meant Æowyn was in to the final, regardless of the other result. Othniel took a lead over Andrew to the half time break, as the two attempted to out-talk each other more than out-play each other. An equaliser early in the second half meant that Andrew could make the final with one more goal. In a tense finish, though, it was Othniel who kept his nerve and scored a winner with couple of minutes to go.

Othniel on the attack against Æowyn in the Grand-Final

Othniel on the attack against Æowyn in the Grand-Final

In the 3rd and 4th play-off, Imojjen had a number of shots on goal but just couldn’t get her accuracy to work on the day, while Andrew was far more clinical with his chances, taking the game 2-0. meanwhile, in the Grand Final, Æowyn’s accurate flicking was proving too much for Othniel. She took a deserved 1-0 lead into the half time break and was looking confident. Othniel managed to hang on, though and started getting some shots of his own, though Æowyn’s goalkeeping was proving to be another huge hurdle. With under a minute left on the clock, Othniel broke into the scoring area and finally found a way past Æowyn’s ‘keeper to send the game to extra time. The deadlock couldn’t be broken, though, so the two went to a shootout. Othniel’s first shot was a shocker, dribbling harmlessly across the area, Æowyn’s blazed over the top with hers and Othniel buried his second to take the advantage. Now it was Æowyn’s turn to lose her shooting touch and, though she did keep out Othniel’s next two with some good goalkeeping, she was nervous with her shooting and failed to trouble the scorer. With his final shot, Othniel took an unassailable lead to take the title.

l-r : Imojjen, Andrew, Othniel, Æowyn

l-r : Imojjen, Andrew, Othniel, Æowyn

A great day of friendly rivalries and some hilarious on-field commentary and light-hearted sledging. Canberra TFC’s Yago Dzelalija was also able to come up for the day and reintroduce himself to the game, assisting with refereeing and getting some extended friendly flicks in himself. A great day was had by all.

for more photos of the tournament, click here.

for full results, click here.

Tournament Report – Subbuteo Parramatta January WASPA (Sydney Premier League Rd 5)

Following the December break, the Sydney Premier League picked back up again with an early January tournament. Big Steve Dettre was flying in from Las Vegas just for the tournament, but his flight was delayed in LA, leaving the door ajar for a few players to possibly go ahead of him on the SPL table. Dave Sultana was on hand to play in his first ever tournament, having first picked the game up a couple of months ago, while Dave Rudd made his SPL début following his return to the game in the Spring League and Tony Credentino added to the Italian flavour of the Sydney Subbuteo world, having played sporadically over the last few years but returning in earnest this month. And, in a Sydney first, a Junior competition was also played. Though small, as with the game in general over the last few years, these first steps will hopefully lead to strengthening the junior game in the long term.

Lucas pushes forward against Æowyn in the Juniors Division.

Lucas pushes forward against Æowyn in the Juniors Division.

That Junior competition saw Lucas Butterfield and the Elmer sisters, Imojjen and Æowyn, play each other in a round robin. The first game saw Imojjen take on Lucas. While neither dominated overall, it was Imojjen who created the better chances. Lucas made a couple of excellent saves but Imojjen squeezed one through with a nice chip in the second half. The next game saw the sisters face each other, where the quality dropped as both Æowyn and Imojjen played nervously, each trying not to concede as the sibling rivalry kicked in. A goalless draw was the result. In the final match, Æowyn lifted her game while Lucas had grown more accustomed to his new figures and also played well. A very tight game saw few chances. The goalless outcome meant Imojjen took the title, though all three players picked up points, enjoying playing even games rather than being hammered by the more experienced players, and then retired to play a few other board games while the Opens players headed into their knockout stages.

The clash of the Italians - Tony (l) vs Daniele (r).

The clash of the Italians – Tony (l) vs Daniele (r).

The two players at the top of the Sydney Premier League table, Eliot Kennedy and Daniele Lombardi were the two seeded players. Daniele made short work of Dave Rudd with Dave even being so generous as to score an own goal for Daniele’s benefit. Tony had a solid start, creating some chances for himself, but Mat Barrie’s experience was the difference in the end as he eased to a 3-0 win. Mat followed this up with a hard fought victory against Dave Rudd with a solitary goal being all that divided them. Eliot blew out both his own cobwebs and Adrian’s, storming to a 3-0 lead by the break. Adrian was much tighter in defense in the second half, neither player troubling the scoreboard in that period. The two Italians (who had earlier discovered that they coincidently had family connections dating back 35 years) faced each other. For a player who was on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline, Tony did a surprising amount of attacking, frequently putting pressure on Daniele’s goal. However, he was unable to breach the defence and Daniele eventually eased to the victory.
Eliot (l) and Dave Sultana (r) enjoy the alfresco pitch.

Eliot (l) and Dave Sultana (r) enjoy the alfresco pitch.

Meanwhile, Dave Sultana faced a baptism of fire, his first ever competitive game against one of Australia’s best in Eliot. He was not disgraced, though, showing good touch for such a new player. Eliot’s class was evident, though, scoring four. Both players enjoyed the cooler outdoor pitch as the main clubhouse room began to swelter in the heat and humidity. Dave then backed up with a strong showing against Adrian. Adrian could only break Dave’s stout defense once, finding the goal with a long distance shot through a small gap in the first half Dave hit the crossbar himself in the second half, unlucky not to draw level. Tony managed his first victory with a hard fought 1-0 win over Dave Rudd, both players enjoying the tight tussle. In the final group game, Mat and Daniele were fighting for first place in their group. Mat took the lead in the first half and then defended well. With four minutes left it looked like he might be able to stitch up 1st place. Daniele had other ideas and, in a late blitz, put two goals past Mat’s ‘keeper to take the group.

A barrage stage saw the 2nd and 3rd placed players face each other. Again, Dave Sultana put on a good show but Mat was calm in taking the game 2-0. Adrian won his game against Tony via the same scoreline, Tony unfortunately conceding with a stranded ‘keeper to make it comfortable for Adrian. To the Semi-Finals, then, where Eliot’s earlier free-scoring ways were dried up by Mat. In the end, Eliot could only squeeze one goal, seeing off Mat with a sigh of relief. Daniele and Adrian fought out an equally tense game. A first half goal gave Daniele an early cushion. However, Adrian pushed hard for an equaliser. With time running down, Adrian pushed hard and had Daniele under pressure but a swift counterattack saw Daniele finally seal the win with the last flick of the match. Meanwhile, in the consolation game, the two Dave’s went head-to-head. Neither could find the goal in normal time, or extra time, so the game went to shots. After 5 shots each, the scores were still level at 3-3 and it went to the 3rd shot of sudden death for Little Dave (given the title due to age differential rather than size differential as with the Steves) to finally take the advantage and the ‘Dave’ bragging rights.

In the 3rd and 4th Play-Off, Adrian had home ground and home strip advantage over Mat and made full use of it. For the second game in a row, Adrian was able to score via a stranded travelling ‘keeper mistake from his opponent. He gave himself some breathing space with a second goal and was able to hold that scoreline until full time. Meanwhile, the Grand Final was a true thriller. A tight tussle stalled midway through the first half as a refereeing matter was discussed at length and then cleared up to everyone’s satisfaction. Things looked like they would head to a half-time stalemate until, with the last flick of the half and literally one second left on the clock, Daniele scored to excitedly take the lead, Eliot devastated that he hadn’t held out for that one more moment. In the second half, Eliot piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser, but Daniele looked dangerous every time he surged forward. With a few minutes left, the game was placed on a knife-edge as Eliot finally broke through. Then, as Daniele had done in the first half, Eliot surged forward in the final seconds. With the last flick of the game he shot…and the ball crashed into the crossbar where it meets the upright, ricocheting out of ply to leave the result at 1-1. After a brief interlude (a chance for both players to get some much needed fresh air and for a group photo opportunity), the two went at each other again for extra time. With just a couple of minutes to go Eliot found the back of the net with a deadly chip – only to find one of his figures was off-side. And so the score remained 1-1 at the end of the extra period.

Daniele chips Eliot's 'keeper with his first in the shootout.

Daniele chips Eliot’s ‘keeper with his first in the shootout.

And so to Shots. Eliot shot first and missed, but Daniele was in fine form and, after 3 shots each, had a 3-1 advantage. Eliot managed to bury his 4th, but Daniele needed only to score to take the title. He adjusted the order of figures he used, bringing his beloved Maradona in to take the winning shot. Except he didn’t. Maradona missed, Eliot scored his 5th to tie the scores and then kept Daniele’s final shot out to send the shootout to sudden death. Both players missed their first, then Eliot took the decisive lead with his 2nd. Daniele was unable to respond in kind and so Eliot grasped victory from the jaws of defeat in one of the more thrilling encounters of recent times.

And so Eliot extends his lead at the top of the Sydney Premier League Table, though Daniele is keeping him within striking distance. A great afternoon’s Subbuteo. Great to have some new players along, great to see the sportsmanship we’ve all come to expect, great to see the juniors finally up and running and great to enjoy some quality play across the afternoon.

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For full results and tables, CLICK HERE

Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League – Match Day 10

Match Day Ten

Toongabbie West

The Reynolds household was transformed for the evening into a shrine to Subbo, as the hordes (well, five of us anyway) descended for a hearty feast of table football.

Two boards were set up for the night, one in the kitchen and the other in the back room. Your correspondent had the pleasure of playing in the back room. Despite the table and board being propped up under the legs by what looked to be some mini ping-pong racquets and cardboard, the board was a solid as a rock and as flat as a pancake, allowing no player any excuses for missing!

In the first match, Eliot took on Dom in what was always going to be a tricky fixture for Eliot as he tries not to drop points as the season reaches its crescendo. And so it proved. Eliot had lots of possession, but great defence from Dom was restricting the number of shots on goal and Dom was looking dangerous on the counter. In the end, sustained pressure led to two unanswered goals to Eliot by half time (the second a shot with a player on Eliot’s own shooting area). But Dom came out firing after the break and pulled a goal back about 5 minutes into the second half. It was a much more even contest in the second half, with both players having chances, but a third goal with about three minutes left finally allowed Eliot to relax a little, and a fourth goal with a minute to go led to a 4 – 1 final result: not a true reflection of the closeness of the match.

Dom got some measure of revenge in his next match versus Gordy, scoring two terrific first half goals – the first a shot from a moving ball off a corner, the second from an inch perfect flick-in a minute before half time. These two goals were punctuated by a fine goal from Gordy….the only problem being that the shot came from a fourth flick by the attacking figure. That’s gotta hurt! A great second half saw both players making some good attacking and defensive flicks. Dom had more chances however and grabbed a well taken goal with 15 seconds left. This reflected the balance of play and followed a great save a few seconds earlier by Gordy’s prostrate but well positioned keeper!

Gordy puts Eliot under the pump...sort of.

Gordy puts Eliot under the pump…sort of.

Eliot took on Gordy in the third match. Eliot raced to a four goal lead by half time as he enjoyed the speed and flatness of the pitch and ignored the frequent cries of anguish emanating from the other table. Things slowed down a bit in the second half, with the mercy rule at 5 – 0 only being invoked as the half came to an end. Despite the scoreline, Gordy is playing much better than even a few months ago and his pending move to Tchaa figures should see further reliability in his flicking.

In the final game, Big Steve, fresh from two tough games in the Extreme kitchen (“if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!”) against Adam and Little Steve, took on Gordy. Steve was in control for much of the match, but Gordy defended well throughout. Steve led 2 – 0 at half time, but could not add to his tally in the second half. Both players would have been reasonably satisfied with the final result after an intense evening of table football action.
All in all, a top night was had by all and all matches were played in a great spirit. Thanks again to Adam and family for permitting the peaceful invasion.

(report by Eliot Kennedy)

It was a night of fabulously contested games on the “Pitch-in the Kitchen”, all four being played in the true Subbuteo spirit. The night began with Big Steve taking on Adam. Steve dominated possession in the first half, Adam forced into some “annoyingly good” defensive flicks. Having said this, it was a defensive error from Adam that allowed Steve to open the scoring, finishing well from a defensive error from Adam.
Adam looked for a fast start second half, but it was Big Steve who got on the scoresheet again within about 30 seconds from the kick off! A lovely touch into the shooting area was followed by a shot on the moving ball – the net bulging with Adam without so much as a finger on his ‘keeper. Craving a goal and playing well, Adam took full advantage of a defensive error from Steve to slot a fabulous chip in from a tight angle. It was game on now at 2-1, Steve opting to take his jacket off showing he was feeling the heat! A couple of foray’s forward from Adam bore no fruit, though, as Steve patiently worked his way up the field to hammer in an excellent third, again leaving Adam barely any time to get his hands on the ‘keeper. With only a few minutes remaining, Adam was determined to get back in and deservedly clawed it back to 3-2 with another astonishingly good finish from well out wide on the angle. This was to prove the last of the action though, the game finishing 3-2 in favour of Big Steve.
Big Steve (BS) remained on the pitch to take on Little Steve (LS) in the latest instalment of the “Derby of the Steves”. It was, however, a relatively routine 2-0 victory in the end for BS. Playing a cool and calm brand of – for the most part – faultless Subbuteo throughout, BS hardly looked like losing this one from the off. An early goal in the first half had LS on the back foot from the offset, though LS did have a chance or two of his own. Poor shooting, which he blamed on “not being used to his new bases”, let him down, however. The second half continued in the same vein as the first with BS claiming his second victory of the evening.

'Mad Dog' Grenot vs L(ittle) S(teve). note the carefully disassembled defensive lines.

‘Mad Dog’ Grenot vs L(ittle) S(teve). note the carefully disassembled defensive lines.

Staying on for his second of three games for the evening, Little Steve then took on Dom in an exhilarating encounter. Steve looked to deploy a wide tactic at the beginning, Dom happy enough to hit on the break with Steve not offering too much of a threat. A goal rather early on for Dom (a piece of fine quick play and an insanely forceful strike to almost busted the net) got the game into gear – both players now happy to commit men forward, opening the game right up. Both Dom and Steve had their chances, but it was Steve who found the equaliser just before the break with a neatly worked move into the shooting zone and solid finish.
Into the second half, and much of the same again – both players dazzling each other’s eyes with menacing attack and purposeful defensive counters. Dom almost let Steve in with a dreaded travelling ‘keeper error, but Steve ‘Gordied’ it with Dom forcing a tough shot on an angle with a defensive figure there to provide cover and block. Showing good sportsmanship, Steve then saw fit to present the same opportunity to Dom with a ‘keeper error of his own, but Dom, like Steve, was unable to capitalise. A pulsating game with multiple attacks was typified with 30 seconds left on the clock and Steve fluffing a chance to win it with a straight forward shot on an angle, then Dom almost winning it himself with some quick flicks from the ensuing goal kick – the game stayed at 1-1 though, both players and the onlooking Adam agreeing it was a fair result.
The final game of the evening saw host Adam versus Little Steve in Steve’s third match in a row. Having settled in now, Steve was on the offensive right from the off, but again didn’t look overly menacing in front of goal. Adam held firm with a solid defensive shape and some great defensive flicks to really shut Steve out and limit his chances. The first half was played at pace (as were all the games; “Forza Extreme Pitches” – quote Raffaele, 2015) as both players enjoyed some good spells of possession and a few chances. The players entered the break, though, relatively content with the score at 0-0. The second half picked up where the first left off – plenty of pace, some amazing touches and equally amazing defensive flicks from both Adam and Steve. Steve came close with a chance he really should have converted after working a few intricate touches in behind the defence on the left flank. Adam came even closer towards the end of the half with an absolute tank of a shot that nearly obliterated Steve’s upright, ricocheting straight back off, though! With no further action, the game finished a square 0-0; similar to Dom and Steve’s match previously, a fair result.
It was a fantastic night at Adam’s place – he certainly did his best to ensure everyone was comfortable and having fun, also providing lollies, chips and soft drink for all. We were also treated to the pleasant sounds of “The Real Housewives of the OC” (to the delight of Gordy) coming from the lounge room, from which Eliot provided some words of wisdom which this reporter will leave us all with – “Americans are so American. Though, I suppose, Americans think we’re so Australian.“ Cheers, Eliot.

(report by Steve Diasinos)

The Clubhouse

Raffaele attacks Imojjen.

Raffaele attacks Imojjen.

Unlike Toongabbie West, The Clubhouse was fairly subdued this evening, with just 4 games across the two pitches, including one catch up from earlier in the season. The games were played under the brand new LED stadium lighting which all the players agreed was a significant improvement, with no long shadows being randomly cast across the pitches. The Elmer girls had both spent the day off school sick, but nothing was going to stop them getting their respective Subbuteo fixes. Imojjen stepped up to face Raffaele in the first game, putting her Subbuteo Parramatta jersey to use having otherwise spent the entire day in her pyjamas. Her flicking has improved considerably over the competition, as has her tactical awareness, meaning that she was not completely overwhelmed. Raffaele soon grabbed a stranglehold on the match, though, and was up 3-0 at half time. A further two in the second half gave Raffaele the win, though Imojjen did manage to get into a couple of shooting positions before full time.

match day 10d

Æowyn looks on in disbelief as her shot comes to a halt on the line.

Æowyn looks on in disbelief as her shot comes to a halt on the line.

In the next round of games, Mat took on Æowyn while Todd arrived direct from a local shirt manufacturer, having scoped the possibility of getting some replica classic Newcastle Breakers jerseys made up (though, sadly, no obscure jersey on his own back this evening!) to go head to head with Raffaele. Raffaele proved a bridge too far for Todd’s fledgling skills and the mercy rule was invoked midway through the second half. Meanwhile, Æowyn created the opening half chance of the game against Mat but was unable to connect with the crucial flick. This was to be her downfall in the game, with both Mat’s goals coming as a result of Æowyn missing crucial flicks in her own penalty area (one with her travelling ‘keeper) to give Mat gilt-edged chances. There was also the issue of the errant fingernail which was stopping her smooth flicking meaning that a time-out was called part way through the second half so that she could run inside and use a nail file – the first time in Mat’s illustrious career that he’s had to wait through such an event. Æowyn did create a few chances herself, though, including one shot which bobbled around the goal mouth before landing, agonisingly, straddling the goal-line.

In the evening’s final game, Raffaele and Mat lined up their figures. Mat prefaced the game by declaring to Raffaele that he hadn’t got within 5 goals of any of the league’s other front runners, therefore anything less from Raffaele should be considered a disappointment. The trash talk seemed to have the desired effect, as Raffaele struggled to get into a rhythm and Mat was generally quite comfortable. Finally, late in the half, the favourite took the lead, with a shot that bumped off a couple of other figures, the upright and the rod of Mat’s ‘keeper before trickling in. The second half progressed as the first did, Raffaele generally in control but unable to break Mat down, through both some good defending and counter-attacking, and some atypically poor final touches from Raf. The game did remain in the balance until just on 3 minutes before the end of the 30, when a more accurate, subtle shot from Raffaele finally gave him breathing space.

(report by Adrian Elmer)

Dom 1 – Eliot 4
Gordy 0 – Dom 3
Eliot 5 – Gordy 0
BS 2 – Gordy 0

Adam 2 – BS 3
BS 2 – LS 0
LS 1 – Dom 1
LS 0 – Adam 0

Imojjen 0 – Raffaele 5
Mat 2 – Æowyn 0
Raffaele 2 – Mat 0

Todd 0 – Raffaele 5

With one week of matches left to be played, Eliot remains in pole position, though Fabrizio and Raffaele are still in the race. Steve Dettre is still a mathematical possibility but, in reality, Eliot needs just one point to put himself beyond Steve’s reach. He will have a significant say in the order at the top, though, as, next week, he faces off against Raffaele at The Clubhouse, while Fabrizio and Eliot also play a climactic encounter at New Trafford. Along with the other 11 players all vying for position on the table, it should make for some exciting final day action.

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Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League – Match Day 8

The Clubhouse

Adam, with trademark Chuppa-Chup, looking for a gap in Imojjen's defense.

Adam, with trademark Chuppa-Chup, looking for a gap in Imojjen’s defense.

WOW! What an explosive evening of Subbuteo! Of course, as with most things Subbuteo Parramatta, a careful following of the tracks leads it all back to one man – Gordy Dudley. With Big Steve and Dom having given notice of their absence early in the day (some lame (badump-ching!) excuses about hospitals and what-not) the schedule was hastily redrawn, with 8 games due to be played. However, an afternoon note from Gordy sent that all in to disarray and the evening was whittled down to 5 games. Raffaele was not happy, having to make the 2 hour drive for only half his original games, and then proceeded to be hounded on the phone by a recalcitrant shoe supplier from Italy on his phone, meaning flick-off for his first game was delayed for over half an hour as the sedate Toongabbie neighbourhood was treated to international business, Italian style!

So, Adam and Imojjen got their game underway anyway, and it proved to be the least controversial of the evening. Imojjen played well, making good defensive flicks, but a couple of misses while in possession in her own goal box meant she handed Adam some open scoring opportunities which he took well. 2 up at half time, the game continued with lots of tight midfield play but Adam was able to find space at crucial times to finish with a 4-0 victory.

Raffaele's travelling 'keeper is stranded, but his defensive positioning holds Daniele out.

Raffaele’s travelling ‘keeper is stranded, but his defensive positioning holds Daniele out.

Meanwhile, Raffaele and Daniele eventually were able to get underway and the tight affair between the brothers was to bring about the evening’s first controversy. Raffaele took a 1 goal lead but the match stayed evenly poised throughout. Midway through the second half, Daniele pushed for the equaliser, had a shot which pinballed around the goal area slowly, Raffaele eventually clearing the ball off his line with the rod of his ‘keeper. Daniele was adamant the ball had crossed the line. Raffaele was adamant it hadn’t. It was left to referee, Eliot, to make the call and he agreed with Raffaele. The explanation of parallax error did little to calm the aggrieved Daniele. However, he continued to push nobly right to the end, unfortunately leaving himself to a counter-attack in the final seconds, finishing with a 2-0 scoreline. The debrief at the conclusion of the game was extensive!

The second round saw the father-daughter showdown between Adrian and Æowyn – brought forward to cover the shortfall left by the absent players. Æowyn did a sterling job stifling Adrian’s attacks with some well placed defensive flicks. Adrian’s experience told out, though, as he found a way through Æowyn’s defenses on enough occasions to stay comfortable. Even though he was 3-0 up, though, Æowyn made a number of outrageous claims that the score was actually 3-1 (memory loss at 12 years old!!!??). Then, in the final minutes, Adrian was midway through a clear shot on goal which went into the net. Before he actually got to take it, however, Æowyn had called for a time out to clarify a ruling. The ball was thus returned to its original position, the shot retaken and duly saved. Adrian finished the game with a -1 overall goal difference which he had hoped to eradicate in the game! In a much calmer game on the other pitch, Eliot and Daniele whined about the slowness of the pitch (most objective observers noted they probably just need some lessons on polishing!), while Eliot slowly carved a 3 goal victory on the back of some precise flicking in the tight spaces which were all that Daniele allowed him.

The final game of the evening saw two of the favourites for the title, Raffaele and Eliot, line up against each other. The game went exactly as the form guide would suggest, with neither player dominating the other, both players showing some exquisite touches and both players determined not to concede. It was Raffaele who broke the deadlock midway through the first half when he finally found a chink in Eliot’s defense. Eliot did manage an equaliser before the break however. The clock was stopped for a couple of minutes as a referee ruling was discussed in detail. After time was waved back on, Eliot worked his way up field before finishing well, though Raffaele felt aggrieved at the preceding ruling. The second half opened up and, considering that the two players have such notoriously tight defences, the amount of shots on goal each was able to produce was a testament to their ability to control the ball in tight areas in attack. Midway through the half, Raffaele again got his nose in front, this time finding a large hole in the middle of Eliot’s defense having skilfully pulled it backwards and forwards for a few minutes. Eliot was not going to lay down, however, and dominated most of the rest of the match. A few chances were opened up but Raffaele’s goalkeeper was put to good use. Then, in the great talking point, the situation from the night’s first game was repeated. Eliot shot and believed the ball had hit the back of the goal. Raffaele believed the ball had hit the crossbar. In a reversal of the evening’s earlier incident, this time the referee (yours truly, caught in the cross-fire!) adjudged against Raffaele instead of in favour of him. After settling from the ensuing debate, Raffaele redoubled his efforts and had Eliot completely under the pump for the final minute. A string of free flicks on the edge of the shooting area took place as Eliot’s desperation saw him infringe on the rapidly moving ball. In the final seconds, Raffaele had a half sight on goal but, unfortunately, called for the free-flick he had earned rather than playing on, losing both the time and space he had left. In the end, the high quality play from both players deserved the draw.

Gordy’s no-show meant that his match against Paul was officially forfeited, Paul unavailable now due to HSC marking. With all his games now complete, Paul sits atop the table, though those behind him now have games in hand to try and catch him. As well as the new lighting that will be installed at The Clubhouse in the next couple of weeks, the groundskeepers are also now considering installing goal-line technology on the pitches as well! In the wash-up to the controversies of the evening, one thing was clear, though. If Gordy had been present then, at the very least there would have been a whipping boy for the other players to relieve their tensions against, which probably would have put everybody in a more relaxed mood. Of course it was all Gordy’s fault!

(report by Adrian Elmer)

Imojjen 0 – Adam 4
Adrian 3 – Æowyn 0

Raffaele 2 – Daniele 0
Daniele 0 – Eliot 3
Eliot 2 – Raffaele 2

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for full results and table, click here.

Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League – Match Day Five

Match Day Five

The Clubhouse

The pitches were mown and watered (well, the Subbuteo equivalent, they were given a good vacuum). With a few weeks passed since the close of the transfer window, new figures were close to full match fitness, so Dave and Todd were able to pull out their brand new teams (Arsenal 2015/16 and Newcastle KB 1978 respectively) while Imojjen’s bespoke pink and gold army had been transformed from their white blankness.

On the southern pitch, Todd started his Subbuteo bender evening with a game against Adrian. In the early stages, he was undone by some inexperience, allowing his defence to be pulled out of position leaving wide open spaces for Adrian to take the lead. Todd learned quickly, however, and no such spaces were left for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, a traveling ‘keeper error allowed Adrian a two goal advantage at half time. The second half was a much more closed affair and, though Adrian finished the game with a 4-0 victory, Todd showed that he continues to learn quickly, becoming more and more competitive as the minutes drew on.

Todd and Daniele crowd the pitch.

Todd and Daniele crowd the pitch.

Todd then took on Daniele, who was still hurting from his loss last week and was in no mood to take things easy. Daniele’s quicker game caused Todd problems, though, again, as Todd became accustomed to the speed, he grew into it and was able to get speedy, well-positioned defensive flicks in. Daniele’s shooting, however, was the telling difference. A steady stream of goals throughout the game, with a mix of delicate chips and deadly pile-drivers. The result finished at 5-0. Todd then left to make the drive across to Parramatta, where he was due to play his 3rd game of the evening. A champion effort in playing and a happiness to accommodate which was much appreciated by the fixtures organiser!

Which left Adrian and Daniele to play out the final game. Adrian was determined to keep his defense tighter in the opening phases after Daniele had scored in the opening 30 seconds of each half in their last clash. This time, while Daniele dominated possession, Adrian combined some tighter defense with some good goalkeeping to hold Daniele out, and began to hold his own possession. Then, in a swift move up the middle of the pitch, Adrian scored, putting the moving ball into the back of Daniele’s unattended goal. This kicked Daniele into action. By the end of the half he had carved Adrian up to score three unanswered goals, the last of these being a great shot from distance through a crowded box. The second half was a little tighter, with possession shared. However, Adrian’s final touches to get into the shooting area were dreadful, meaning he couldn’t get clear shots on goal. Meanwhile, Daniele scored a fairly simple 4th then scored the goal of the evening. He had stolen possession from Adrian’s traveling ‘keeper but could not get any good angles on goal due to Adrian’s defensive flicking. His 4th touch was on a sharp angle and he managed to hit the post, but the ball rested, agonisingly, just in the field of play in front of goal. For his 5th and final flick, not a single player on the pitch had a clear path to the ball. His only option was to put his traveling ‘keeper in his own goal area and take a pitch length shot at the ball, with a 5cm window between two of Adrian’s defenders. He took it perfectly to the amazement of all. Adrian did manage a late consolation but Daniele ran out a deserved 5-2 winner.

(report by Adrian Elmer)

On the Northern Pitch, the first match was between Imojjen and (Little) Steve. Whilst initially a little nervous, Imojjen soon settled into a nice groove. Steve’s pointers were generally cut short as Imojjen displayed a very keen knowledge of what she should be doing without his help! Whilst she defended soundly, it was Steve who still managed a 1-0 lead into the break. 2 quick-fire goals at the beginning of the second half extended his lead, however Imojjen found herself with 1 or 2 chances of her own. Having never scored a competitive goal before, she was absolutely delighted to have found herself in behind Steve’s defence, duly dispatching a wonderful goal into the bottom left corner – the game finishing 3-1.

Æowyn getting ready for Dave's corner.

Æowyn getting ready for Dave’s corner.

Next was Dave, with his almost complete new Arsenal squad (top job Adrian!) being put to the test by Æowyn. The game was contested in good spirit, with both players trying as hard as they could to breach one-another’s stoic defense. Both had some good chances throughout, some thwarted by good saves, others by that dreaded offside rule! The game was eventually decided only a minute and a half from time – an error from Æowyn close to her own goal gave Dave a free kick which he worked very well and slotted away neatly – the game finished 1-0 to Dave.
The final game saw Steve take on Dave. Dave, by his own admission, deployed a slightly more defensive tactic, and was keen to control the pace of the game. This proved a master stroke as he came away with a deserved 0-0 draw. Steve certainly edged the chances, but some poor finishing, one amazing save from Dave (who later told me he is a goalkeeper in the outdoor game!), and some good defending pushing Steve to wide angles on goal, all contributed to the result. Dave was not to be outdone though – able to move the ball quite well, he did create a few of his own chances. One resulted in a corner, and another saw him 1-1 with Steve’s ‘keeper, which he will regret not putting away! 0-0 the final result.

(report by Steve Diasinos)

Adrian 4 – Todd 0
Todd 0 – Daniele 5
Daniele 5 – Adrian 2

Steve 3 – Imojjen 0
Æowyn 0 – Dave 1
Dave 0 – Steve 0

New Trafford

The night started in great spirits at “New Trafford”. Although the new landlord may need to have a couple of words with the local curator as Carrington (The New Trafford training complex) seems to be equipped with better lighting than the main pitch! Would this play havoc with some of the more seasoned veterans? The night’s play will tell the story.
The first round of matches saw Mat taking on Dom on the Old Trafford pitch, with Paul and Fab playing on the highly visible Carrington. These were 2 crackers to start the night. Mat and Dom played one of the most exciting 0-0 results played. Both players hitting the post, and only some nice saves from Mat late in the 2nd half when Dom’s experience saw him starting to win the arm wrestle kept Mat alive, as Dom pressed with 3 consecutive corners in a 60 second period. How this still finished 0-0 with the amount of perspiration still left on the pitch from both players, is still making me sweat!

Over at Carrington, Fab lead on 3 separate occasions, only for the man “Who loves a cliff hanger” to keep up his shooting touch and equalise on 3 separate occasions. This kind of shooting from Paul will see more favourable results in the coming weeks – just wait ’til he finds his touch with his new bases. I’m glad his match against me has already been played! In the end this game set the tone for the play for the rest of the night. Great skills, spirit and sportsmanship.
The 2nd round of Matches saw Eliot make his OT debut against Adam (closely resembling a certain X-Man). Could Adam’s powers keep out the top seed? Eliot quickly took control of the game, scoring 2 quick goals before Adam really got started. Adam pushed a couple of chances wide against Eliot with 3 shots hitting the side netting in the first half, before a late counter at the end of the half saw Eliot take a commanding 3-0 lead to the break. The 2nd half saw Eliot put a coaching hat on for segments, which was of tremendous benefit for Adam and the referee/student, Mat. After Eliot scored another 2, Adam started putting in some real consistent touches and clawed a late goal for the score to finish 5-1.

Over on Carrington, Fab and Dom played a very entertaining 1st half. Going into the break at 2-2, all things were set for another “Cliff Hanger”, however Fab found some fine flicking form in the 2nd half and put 3 unanswered goals past Dom to take out a 5-2 result, much to the surprise of the dispersing Old Trafford crowd.
The 3rd round of matches saw Eliot taking on Mat, who was hopeful of taking advantage of the home ground and new teachings from his mentor/nemesis of the night. This wasn’t very forthcoming with Eliot continuing his teachings, this time with actions. Mat had some good spells in the first half, making Eliot produce one or 2 nice saves, but really spent his time facing a man in good swing. 3-0 was the margin at the half. Much more of the same in the 2nd saw Eliot take out a 5-0 result and not really break into any real sweat, which Extreme Works would be thankful for following round 1.

Paul took on Dom at Carrington, with the venue fast becoming the home of the “Cliff Hanger”, a great game, played in great spirits saw a 2-2 result. Dom, after playing 3 games on the bounce was thankful for the downhill walk from the O.T. penthouse. The intense pressure of facing Mat, Fab and Paul on the bounce had Dom asking for the fastest way out of there!!
The final match for the night saw Todd arrive from a series of matches earlier in the evening at The Clubhouse, for his catch up tie against Paul. Paul, deciding to break in his new iBases, didn’t take long to get his touch. Going into the break at 2-0 with some posts hit as well. Todd saw some much improved play in the 2nd, with some brilliant build up play, but Paul’s defensive tactics isolated his counters on a couple of occasions. When in possession, he took full advantage scoring another 2 in the 2nd to finish the match with a 4-0 victory.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the way they played on the evening. Some fine banter, even better play only to be topped by the sportsmanship (and all the guys leaving to toilet seat down after use in Emma’s bathroom) saw the real winner of the evening being Subbuteo! – Thanks to all.

(report by Mat Barrie)

Dom 0 – Mat 0
Eliot 5 – Adam 1
Mat 0 – Eliot 5

Paul 3 – Fabrizio 3
Dom 2 – Paul 2
Fabrizio 5 – Dom 3
Paul 4 – Todd 0

Points table after Match Day Five.

Points table after Match Day Five.

For full results and updated table, click here.

Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League – Match Day 4

Match Day Four

The Clubhouse

Adam must have looked at the draw and panicked. With clashes against Gordy and one of the Elmer girls lined up, he needed a way out. Either that, or he was still recovering from too much free wine on Saturday because he decided to stay home and spend the evening throwing up instead of facing his opponents. Meaning just 3 games were played at The Clubhouse this week. Mat lined up against Adrian for the first and it didn’t take him long to stamp his authority on the game. Within 5 minutes he had comfortably worked his way past Adrian’s defence and made no mistake with his shot. A few minutes later and Adrian’s defence was again in disarray, Mat doubling Adrian’s total goals against for the entire league so far inside 10 minutes! Adrian finally found a bit of composure and drew one goal back before the break, however, giving him some hope. The second half was a far less open affair, with both players tightening up their defence, though half chances did fall to both players. With 90 seconds left on the clock, as Adrian pushed his figures forward in search of an equaliser, Mat took advantage of the space at the back and put the result beyond doubt with a perfectly, delicately weighted chip shot.

Gordy shoots. Æowyn saves...Gordy's figure, while the actual ball cannons off the post and out for a flick-in.

Gordy shoots. Æowyn saves…Gordy’s figure, while the actual ball cannons off the post and out for a flick-in.

Game Two saw Gordy face Æowyn in a rematch of their clash from the previous weekend’s September Cup. In that game, Gordy had come away with the win but tonight, Æowyn put up a better defensive effort, limiting Gordy’s shots on goal and using her ‘keeper well when Gordy shot on target. Æowyn even carved out some chances for herself – only her inexperience denying her a possible golden opportunity to steal the win with one chance in the second half. In the end, both players settled with the draw, each earning their first point of the league.

Mat puts his superior arm reach to good use.

Mat puts his superior arm reach to good use.

Mat then returned to the pitch to go into his game against Gordy as the strong favourite. Gordy, however, lifted a notch and played with more speed and accuracy. In what was an enthralling game, both players had chances, both players made good saves, both players frustrated themselves with some poor flicks and both players came away with no goals and a point each. And, in spite of his best efforts, Adam will still have to face the music at a later date.

(report by Adrian Elmer)

Mat 3 – Adrian 1
Gordy 0 – Æowyn 0
Gordy 0 – Mat 0


It wouldn’t be a night of Subbuteo without a little drama to start! Daniele’s train didn’t roll in to Parramatta station until a few minutes past 7:00pm – with Steve picking him up this left poor Paul stranded outside the Diasodrome without anyone’s contact numbers!!!
Play finally got under way with Steve and Paul kicking off the evening. It was a relatively straight forward win for Paul – some solid defensive flicks forcing Steve into some half chances on angles, and the chances he did have were let down by some poor shooting. Paul was rather more cool and clinical, slotting once from a number of chances in the first half. Both Paul and Steve missed chances in the half as well from travelling ‘keeper errors, in what is now becoming known as “doing a Gordy!” Paul’s was particularly heart breaking, hitting both posts before realising one of his attacking figures was indeed offside. The second half was more of the same – Steve did manage to level early in the half, but conceded a further 2 superb goals from Paul, who ended with a 3-1 win.

Paul and Daniele fighting with everything they've got.

Paul and Daniele fighting with everything they’ve got.

Paul stayed on and took on Daniele, which was an astonishing advert for this beautiful game! Playing somewhat more conservative than he did against Steve, Paul was happy to soak up a little early pressure and try hitting on the counter. Daniele however was not perturbed, scoring the goal of the night from well inside his own half, somehow avoiding some well positioned defenders to chip the ‘keeper. The second half began this time with Paul maintaining the bulk of possession and, inevitably chances on goal too. The closest he was to come though was one that came agonisingly off the bar after some fabulous build up play. Daniele rode out around 5 mins of pure attacking mayhem from Paul before slotting his second on a neatly worked counter attack, taking away a 2-0 win.
“How the hell did you beat that guy?!?!” – these words from Rob (who was in attendance with a beer to watch the nights action) to Steve perfectly summed up the final game of the evening with Daniele taking on Steve. The game started at a quick pace which was maintained throughout. The first real opportunity of note came quite early in the first half with Steve entering the shooting zone but being forced to settle for a corner. A neat short pass to the near past and an excellent flick onto the moving ball saw Daniele stunned as the ball hit the ‘keeper but somehow still stumbled in! This is where Steve’s attacking forays for the half were to end though. Whilst the game was not necessarily uneven in terms of possession and skill, it was Daniele who managed to create the most chances, his slick and fast paced movements proving too much for Steve. Somehow though, after 2-3 literally unbelievable saves and hitting the post the same amount of times, Daniele was forced to enter the break without a goal and 1-0 down.
The second half started much as the first ended with Daniele again peppering Steve’s goal, and he was rewarded very early in the half with a fabulous equaliser. With both players not looking to settle for a draw, this opened the game up fabulously – Steve with a few chances (mostly half chances) and Daniele again peppering Steve’s goal. The post and bar (numerous times) and some more uncharacteristically good ‘keeping were frustrating Daniele. As he continued to search for a deserved winner though, he was left dangerously short in defence. Steve grabbed the most of this with a few minutes remaining, nailing a solid strike from a tight angle into the top pocket to steal away a memorable 2-1 victory.
So a win-a-piece for each of the three combatants for the evening leaving all with a smile!
I’ll leave you all with some words of true wisdom from Paul which I feel didn’t just sum up the night, but accurately depicts our feelings towards this brilliant game of ours: “having the opportunity to meet interesting characters and good-hearted people in Subbo trumps results”. Love it.
(report by Steve Diasinos)

Paul 3 – Steve Di 1
Daniele 2 – Paul 0
Steve Di 2 – Daniele 1

subbuteo parramatta spring league table match day 4

for full results and table updates, click here.

Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League – Match Day 1

Match Day One

The Clubhouse

I’m not going to lie. It was my greatest ever Subbuteo moment. The ball had stopped just outside the 6 yard box, near its left corner. Steve’s ‘keeper was just 3 or 4cm from the ball ready for the block. The only figure that had a clean run on the ball was deep inside my own half with a few centimetres of wiggle room between defenders. I lined it up, flicked. The figure glided down the pitch. Struck the ball sweetly. Cut the angle perfectly. Chipped the ‘keeper at point blank range. Cannoned into the top right corner. I yelled. “Did that go in!??” From my angle, I couldn’t quite tell if it was the goalposts or the back of the goals that had rattled. But it had looked good. Steve was frozen. Jaw dropped. He eventually confirmed. Nothing but back of the net. The only problem with having your greatest ever moment is that things can only go downhill. After holding on to the lead for three quarters of the game, Steve put his equaliser past me with 40 seconds left on the clock. Bastard.

The Subbuteo Parramatta Spring League swung back into action with the opening match day of the 2015 edition. An expanded field of 15 will battle it out over the next few months, with multiple venues needed to handle all the fixtures. At The Clubhouse, after a few introductions, meeting some new players, things got underway well. Imojjen, making her début, showed that she already has a strong grasp of the Subbuteo Parramatta spirit – it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s how well you can sledge Gordy. In her opening match against Todd, she conceded an early goal before settling her nerves and putting in a solid showing, the score finishing at 1-0. On the other table, it was generally agreed that Gordy and Steve played their tensest, highest quality match against each other, with Steve also taking a single goal advantage to full time. The second round saw Æowyn sub in for Imojjen to face Dom, fresh from his second place in the AGFA Cup on the weekend. The years of experience told with him winning 5-0, though not without having to make a save or two of his own as Æowyn got a couple of shots on target. Meanwhile, Gordy and Adrian played out another tense match, with Adrian winning by another solitary goal. In the evening’s final two matches, Dom settled quickly and ended up putting 3 past the ever improving Todd, while on the other table…

Steve in training for Match Day 2

Steve in training for Match Day 2

Having robbed Adrian of his moment of glory, Steve finished the evening by really stretching his hosts’ hospitality, stealing half a pavlova.

(report by Adrian Elmer)

Imojjen 0 – Todd 1
Dom 5 – Æowyn 0
Todd 0 – Dom 3

Steve Di 1 – Gordy 0
Gordy 0 – Adrian 1
Adrian 1 – Steve Di 1

Toongabbie West

Mat and Fabrizio battle out the season opener in the foreground while David watches Adam and Paul's clash at the far end.

Mat and Fabrizio battle out the season opener in the foreground while David watches Adam and Paul’s clash at the far end.

Over on the other side of the railway line, an equally enjoyable evening played out. An inspired scoring spree by Paul Magee set the tone for the action. Paul raced to a 3-0 lead against Adam before Adam could respond, but Paul closed out the match for a 4-1 win. On the other table, Mat Barrie was benefitting from a rusty Fabrizio, who missed a raft of chances to go in 0-0 at halftime, Mat’s ‘keeping skills getting a real workout. But the patient build-ups eventually paid off and, though Mat did create a couple of chances, Fabrizio took a 3-0 win. David Rudd was making his competitive return after a decade off and, despite two losses, showed some flashes of skill. Steve and Fabrizio shared the spoils in their match-up. Steve opened the scoring in the opening minute with a cracking long shot, but made silly defensive mistakes with the freestander, allowing Fabrizio to score the equalisers. Steve then gave Matt (who, by virtue of alphabetical order, had a horror opening night’s draw!) his second 3-0 beating. Meanwhile David managed to push Paul all the way before Paul could claim his second win.

(report by Steve Dettre)

Mat 0 – Fabrizio 3
Fabrizio 2 – Steve De 2
Steve De 3 – Mat 0

Paul 4 – Adam 1
Adam 2 – David 0
David 0 – Paul 1

Full results and current table can be viewed by clicking here.