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Veni, Vidi, Vici

Mat takes on Richard on the near table, with Adrian C battling Dave at the back

Mat takes on Richard on the near table, with Adrian C battling Dave at the back

Western Flickers’ Adrian Connolly was heading to Parramatta for a week of business, so the Subbuteo Parramatta club held a WASPA tournament to give him something to do while he was away from home. Adrian had sharpened his skills at the Victorian Championships the previous weekend and was looking to put them to use. Meanwhile, the Subbuteo Parramatta club was using its new clubhouse at Good Games Bella Vista for their first ever Opens WASPA tournament.

With 5 players making their way to the midweek competition, a straight league was settled upon as the best way to go. The opening round saw Adrian C take out a 2 goal victory over Richard with Adrian E doing the same against Dave. In the second round of games, things got really tight – Richard and Adrian E slugging out a 0-0 draw and Mat peppering Dave’s goal, only to see everything saved or hit the woodwork. Then, in the final minute of the game, with his first shot of the game, Dave slipped one past Mat’s ‘keeper with the ensuing victory dance telling the full story! Dave followed this up with another 1-0 win, this time over Richard, while Adrian C continued to build an impressive run with a 2-0 victory over Mat. The 4th round fixtures saw a very tight 0-0 between Adrian C and Dave, while Adrian E got over Mat by the solitary goal. This left Dave, Adrian C and Adrian E all on 7 points with one round remaining. Unfortunately, Dave had the final bye so wouldn’t be able to take the title, leaving the match between the two Adrians as the virtual final.

(l-r) Richard, Adrian C, Mat, Dave, Adrian E

(l-r) Richard, Adrian C, Mat, Dave, Adrian E

In the final games, Mat picked up his first points of the tournament with a goalless draw with Richard. Adrian and Adrian squared up and the game, as was typical of all the evening’s matches, was an incredibly tight affair. However, late in the first half, the Melburnian made a beautiful incisive flick and shot on the run, putting the ball into the goal with the Sydney-sider not even behind his goal line. Holding on to his lead for the rest of the fixture meant that Adrian C would return home with the title, having seen off all his Subbuteo Parramatta opponents.

For full results, click here.

For more photos, click here.

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.

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For full results and tables, CLICK HERE