Tag Archives: daniele lombardi

The Paella and The Plate

panoramaThe extra long weekend saw the opportunity to sneak in some extra Subbuteo and 11 players turned out to take advantage. With players competing for The Paella Plate, a Spanish theme was used for the tournament, with play preceded by lunch of paella, tortilla and vino, then players each choosing a Spanish club to represent in the Swiss format competition. 10 players competed, while newcomer, Bay, elected to watch and play a few friendly games to get himself acquainted with the rules and techniques.

Highlights of the day’s play included AGP U/15 champion, Jonty Brener (Villarreal), win one of his first senior matches in the first round, Harley Ullrich (Espanyol) scoring one of the goals of the day with a low, drilled far-post rocket from a tight angle, Adrian Elmer (Hércules) picking up his first competitive points against Fabrizio Coco (Athletic de Bilbao) in 18 months and Dave Sultana (Celta de Vigo) firstly scoring his first competitive goal, then picking up his first competitive points with another goal in a 1-1 draw in the following match.

final standings

final standings

After 3 rounds, 3 players were level on 7 points. So, heading into the 4th and final round, Daniele Lombardi (Atletico de Madrid) was ahead on goal difference from Steve Dettre (Valencia), who he would face, and Eliot Kennedy (Barça) who was paired with Neil Brener (Málaga). Daniele came out victorious in the first of those match-ups 2-0, including a trademark goal on the run to finally settle the very tight match, while Neil’s ‘keeper was in inspired form, keeping Eliot out for large swathes of the match. While Eliot picked up the result to keep him level with Daniele, he was unable to beat Neil’s ‘keeper enough times to rein in Daniele’s superior goal difference. Meanwhile, both Tony Credentino (Deportivo de La Coruña) and Adrian, hoping to slip past Steve into a minor placing, cancelled each other out in their tight 0-0 draw, relegating them both to mid-table obscurity.

Maybe it was the food, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the holiday, but the afternoon was one of the most relaxed tournaments in recent memory, with all players competing sportingly in great spirits. Many thanks to those who played, making it a great afternoon.

group photoFor full results, click here.
For more photos, 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.

IMG_7806 edit

For full results and tables, CLICK HERE

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 6

Match Day Six

New Trafford

An unpleasant Tuesday evening’s weather greeted Mat and Daniele when they met in the CBD, to make the venture to the New Trafford complex. The evening started with Daniele’s back complaints which found Mathew thinking to himself that he may be able to possibly skank a point from their match up. Would this be the case, or would a rejuvenated Napoli line-up, fresh from the 1980’s via the 2015 Subbuteo World Cup (Maradona equipped with ‘fro) play through injury and prove to be the favourites they were entering into the match.

Play got underway, minus David in the early stages, so Mat and Daniele had to play fair for the first half until David had arrived. Daniele soon showed dominance, with some classy build up play and Mat struggling to get any real possession. Only some last ditch defensive flicks from Mat, coupled with some nice saves kept the score at 1-0 at half time. Daniele’s goal came from some sustained pressure, and scoring with about 5 minutes left in the half. David then arrived at half time, and the game could resume with referee as per the norm. The 2nd half was a much more even encounter, with both players having some decent chances. The score was maintained until the end, with Mat putting a late equalising chance wide of the mark. Daniele 1-0.

Match 2 saw David take on Mat in what was the first match-up between Manchester UTD and Newton Heath at Old Trafford. This proved to be a good match-up, Mat trying a new formation, and David finding his best form of the competition. Mat jumped out to an easy lead and continued to pile forward. Some impressive pressing and marking flicks from David prevented Mat from getting any more clear cut chances on goal, creating some easy work for David goal keeper. As Mat continued bringing players forward, a mistake saw David quickly sweep up-field. And with his first shot of the match score an equaliser in the bottom corner. A good reward for some great defensive play. They went into the break at 1-1. The 2nd half saw more of the same, with Mat creating many chances to shoot poorly and wide. Eventually he got a late goal to take out the match 2-1.

Match 3 had David and Daniele facing off in the final match of the evening. Daniele soon got to a 1-0 lead. Again Daniele continued to pile forward. This match he couldn’t seem to get the ball off the felt when shooting. David made 3 impressive “Phantom” saves without even getting his hand on his keeper. The score line was maintained until the break. The 2nd half saw Daniele continue the pressure and score 2 more to take out the match 3-0.

(report by Mat Barrie)

Mat 0 – Daniele 1
David 1 – Mat 2
Daniele 3 – Dave 0

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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

Diasodrome

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.

Where Are We Playing?

Mat: There’s a message on my phone from Steve saying, “Can you give me a call?”
rings Steve, talks for a few seconds
Mat: Hey, Adrian – Steve wants to talk to you.
hands phone to Adrian
Adrian: Where are you guys? You said you’d be here in 5 minutes – 20 minutes ago. We need to get started!
Steve: Yeah, you don’t want to know where we are. But we’re gonna be a bit late. We’ll be there in half an hour.
Adrian: What?!! OK – will you be going anywhere near your house on your way here? We need an extra set of goals. Long story.
Steve: Ummm… well… I… Look… it’s all Gordy’s fault. We’re actually at Good Games in Chatswood. When I picked Gordy up and asked him for directions, he convinced me the comp was on here, not at Parramatta.
Adrian: Wait – doesn’t Gordy live in North Parramatta?
Steve: Yeah – we probably could have walked from his place, but we drove to Chatswood instead. It’s all Gordy’s fault!

Those who had been privy to all the trash talk within the Subbuteo Parramatta training sessions and online conversations in the few weeks leading up to the first inter-club tournament of the ATFA era knew that this chain of events would now be enough ammunition for taunts for a good three and a half years – at least. Subbuteo Parramatta members have been known to walk away from the game completely rather than face another bout of sledging, so the big question that arose out of today’s tournament – more significant than the results, more pressing than the foundations of inter-club rivalry that were laid – was: Will Steve Diasinos and Gordy Dudley be able to stand the future onslaught? Only time will tell.

Adam, Mat and the little table that couldn't.

Adam, Mat and the little table that couldn’t.

The day had begun inauspiciously – wanting to use 4 identical pitches, Adam Reynolds volunteered his, attached to its table. The main problem was the incompatibility of the solid-as-a-rock table and the front door, found at the top of 3 flights of stairs, of The Games Cube. After he and Mat Barrie had hauled the beast up, 20 minutes of forcing, thinking, twisting, turning and swearing weren’t enough to find a way to get it inside the venue. There was nothing for it but to turn around and drag it all the way back down. A hasty alternative board was slung together, but needed some non-screwed in goals. Adam and Mat took off to Toongabbie to get some, Fabrizio Coco cooled his heels sitting on Strathfield station having missed his train, Steve and Gordy made the long car trip to their home ground, and a hastily rescheduled tournament
We can't all be No. 1 - so either Mat or Eliot is wrong! All the players from the afternoon.

We can’t all be No. 1 – so either Mat or Eliot is wrong! All the players from the afternoon.

began. Let’s not lay the blame for ALL of the day’s woes on the Subbuteo Parramatta boneheads, though. A complete lack of interest from the once proud and mighty Northern Falcons meant that they had to rope in a few outside extras and still failed to fill their two team quota!

While initial omens were worrying, once play got underway, the day was simply brilliant. Parramatta A started against Falcons B, with the Parramatta players teaching relative newcomers Neil and Jonty Brener and, playing his first ever game, Todd Giles, how to make their way around a subbuteo pitch in good natured matches. While the results all went as expected to give Parramatta the first win of the day, foundations were laid for the future progress of the new players.

By the time of the second game, all the errant Parramatta players were on board so that they could face the might of Falcons A. Adam snuck a late goal past Eliot to go to the half time break at a very respectable 2-1 down, before succumbing to the Kennedy onslaught in the 2nd. Falcons’ guest marquee man, Paul Magee, had a calm and measured win over Mat. The other two games were crackers, with Gordy and Louis Dettre playing out a see-sawing 2-2 draw. Meanwhile, Steve, having been relegated to Parramatta B for his earlier misdemeanours, was drawn against his arch-nemesis, Steve (Dettre). Another great game saw Big Steve take the lead early in the second half, only to be pegged back by Mini Steve with a few minutes to go. With 2 wins to the Falcons, they took all 3 points.

2v2 on each table. Action from the doubles game.

2v2 on each table. Action from the doubles game.

Next up was the day’s most fun game – the doubles. Pairs were drawn randomly from within each club, then opponents drawn via the usual teams process. Gordy and Daniele Lombardi put one past the Brener father-son duo with Adam and Mat subbing in in the second half and repeating the feat, while Raffaele Lombardi and Mini Steve took out a narrow victory over Todd and Louis (with Paul as sub). Two matches won gave Parramatta the victory in the overall game but Big Steve and Eliot finding the back of the net and keeping Fabrizio and Adrian Elmer at bay saw them record a hard-fought, and well enjoyed, match victory.

Next up were the reverse singles, beginning with Parramatta B against Falcons B. All 3 Falcons had improved noticeably over the course of the day and accounted for themselves well. Parramatta took two close wins to go with a draw across the 3 matches, to take the points in the game, giving the club an unassailable lead before the A team clash.

Despite the result having been rendered academic, there were some intense rivalries that were being renewed, so there was no love lost between the A teams. The showdown saw both clubs follow orthodoxy in the match ups, with the top seeds playing each other, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4. Adrian battled Louis and scored a goal each half to take a 2-0 victory. Daniele did likewise in his match-up against Paul with an unanswered goal in each half. However, to even up the scores, Raffaele went down to Big Steve in a tight tussle and Eliot let out his largest celebratory yell of the day when he finally breached Fabrizio’s defences, having failed to do so in a few previous encounters. With 2 results each, the game was drawn, leaving the final points tally at Subbuteo Parramatta 10 : Northern Falcons TFC 4.

The victorious Subbuteo Parramatta teams, resplendent in their new club jerseys.

The victorious Subbuteo Parramatta teams, resplendent in their new club jerseys.

Of significant note was the fact that, following the end of play, and in the ensuing posting of photos and thanks all ‘round on Facebook etc, little mention was made of the actual result! The great day’s play, the doubles fun, the nature of playing in teams instead of as individuals and the all ‘round camaraderie were what was discussed. A great success and, hopefully, the first of many inter-club tournaments to come. Many thanks also to The Games Cube in Parramatta, our ever supportive and accommodating hosts for the afternoon.

For photos of the tournament, click here.
For full results, click here.

The Curse Of The Second Pie

Subbuteo Parramatta went on the road for this FISTF/WASPA tournament, heading down to club member, Raffaele Lombardi’s home town of Berry. The glorious sunlit day filled the room for the players to face off – some of the old regulars against some old champions who’ve recently returned to the game, as well as some novices to bring renewed enthusiasm.

Group 1 turned out to be where a lot of the action would be – both grand finalists as well as the repechage winner fought out the group stage. Daniele Lombardi was overwhelmed in his matches against Peter Thomas and former Australian junior champion Will Johncock. Their encounter against each other was a cagey affair, ending 2-1 to Peter.

Group 2 saw Eliot Kennedy down Adrian Elmer 2-0 in the first match, Adrian defending doggedly for the opening 15 minutes before letting himself down with some poor play and 2 conceded goals in the opening couple of minutes of the second half. New boy Mat Barrie then did the same to Adrian, Mat’s reading of the game serving him well until Adrian finally managed to break through midway through the second half. Eliot’s experience was too much for Mat in the final game.

Opening round games - Paul vs Adam in the foreground, Steve vs Raffaele behind.

Opening round games – Paul vs Adam in the foreground, Steve vs Raffaele behind.

Group 3, the only one with 4 players, was also the group that could go down to the wire, which it did. An opening 1-1 draw between Steve Dettre and Raffaele Lombardi could have gone either way, with each player having a golden chance to take the game in the final minute alone, a draw, however, being a fair reflection. Paul Magee got warmed up with a win over the other new boy, Adam Reynolds. Steve accounted for Paul in the second round, while Raffaele dispatched Adam. In the final games, the biggest celebration of the day happened when Adam scored his first ever competitive goal – a well placed finish against Steve – though Steve kept control, winning the game. Paul knew he needed to beat Raffaele to progress to the knock-out stage but, in the end, had to be content with the repechage after Raffaele saw him off 2-0.

Adam takes on Steve in the group stage.

Adam takes on Steve in the group stage.

The repechage semis saw the experience of Daniele and Paul win out over the new players, Mat and Adam though Mat, again, showed a deft defensive line and made Paul work hard, while both players brought an enthusiasm to the dy and willingness to learn that will see them progress quickly. In the final, two very different styles fought out for supremacy with Paul’s calculated precision rubbing up against Daniele’s flamboyance. Paul took the lead, while Daniele had thought he had equalised with a deft shot before realising he had a figure off-side. In the second half, Daniele pressed hard and finally found the net with a swift series of flicks on the run to bury the ball. As the game looked like heading for extra-time, Daniele took the lead, another swift manouvre and powerful shot giving him the repechage title.

In the barrage rounds, Steve took a comfortable 2 goal to the half-time break over Adrian, but Adrian got into the game much more in the second half, pulling one back and coming close a few more times. Steve’s experience, however, showed through as he made sure of his place in the semis with a 3rd. Will defeated Raffaele 3-1 to take the other semi, meaning the 3 seeded players were in the semis, joined by the the former junior champion playing his first tournament after an almost 20 year lay-off.

While Steve had his moments, Peter took an early goal in their semi, which allowed Peter to settle and dominate. His third goal, in particular, was an absolute screamer, scored by a deep, defensive figure piercing the smallest gap to get a venemous shot on target. Meanwhile, Will was pushing Eliot all the way, Eliot unable to turn field position into scoreboard dominance. 1-1 at full time meant the first (and only) extra time of the day was needed. This turned into an almost non-event, though, as, barely had the extra period started and the audience settled in to watch the tussle, than Will scored a well taken golden goal winner, giving him a rematch against his group opponent, Peter.

Peter piles on the pressure against Will in the grand final.

Peter piles on the pressure against Will in the grand final.

Having learned a few things from their earlier encounter, Peter played a perfect opening and was 3-0 up inside 5 minutes. An earlier comment about an extra pie that Will had eaten at lunch came back to haunt him as he appeared unable to move in the face of Peter’s quickfire attacks. He did finally settle, though, and was able to head to the half-time break without conceding again. Midway through the second half, however, Peter put the result beyond doubt with a knock-out blow 4th goal. Will did get some possession and pulled back a well-taken consolation, before Peter rounded out a convincing performance with 2 more to take the game 6-1.

A fantastic day of Subbuteo, played in sublime surrounds with great sportsmanship on display at all levels. It was great to see new and returning players throw themselves at the challenge with enthusiasm, while the regulars continued their onfield duels with each other with both competitiveness and camaraderie.

To see the full results click here.
To see more photos, click here.

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Subbuteo Parramatta WASPA Tournament Results

To give some of Sydney’s player’s travelling down to Melbourne for the Asian Cup some much needed practice, Subbuteo Parramatta organised a low-key WASPA tournament. 5 players (3 of whom will be heading to Melbourne) competed in a league, while another new player, Dan, came along to watch and learn, and played a couple of friendly matches.

Intense concentration from Robert and Raffaele.

Intense concentration from Robert and Raffaele.

Early games saw Adrian beat Raffaele in a competitive match for the first time, while Robert, over from Sweden for the Asian Cup(s), got off to a smooth start with a 4-0 victory over Daniele. Daniele held out for a 0-0 draw against Adrian while Fabrizio, playing with his own Italian U19 champion winning figures which he recently had sent across from Italy, got over Raffaele (who was trialling his own new figures) 2-1. In the day’s biggest surprise, Adrian managed a 1-0 victory over Fabrizio. Unfortunately, the battle of the Lombardi brothers didn’t offer it’s usual verbal fireworks as the two battled it out in tense near-silence, Raffaele finishing with a 1 goal advantage. Heading into the final game between Robert and Fabrizio, both players had a mathematical chance to win the tournament, while Adrian also looked on with interest as a victory to Robert would secure him 2nd place. By the middle of the second half, Robert had secured a two goal lead. However, Fabrizio was making it uncomfortable. Continue reading