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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 7

Match Day 7

The Clubhouse

Paul and Steve to and fro in their drawn match.

Paul and Steve to and fro in their drawn match.

A few rescheduled fixtures made for another packed draw at The Clubhouse. Raffaele and Big Steve were both back from their overseas junkets, meaning they could begin their tasks of catching up games. Raffaele had brought back a shipment of custom Subbuteo Parramatta TopSpin balls and these found their way on to the pitches for their first appearances. Raffaele drew Paul in his tournament opener, while Big Steve lined up against Adrian. Both Paul and Adrian were testing out new figures – Paul an as yet unpainted set, Adrian his new Subbuteo Parramatta replicas. Raffaele was returning from the World Cup, ready to use some of his new knowledge picked up from the world’s best. He played out a very tense encounter against Paul. Paul found his new bases a little heavier on the touch and so took a while to get used to this. In the end a single goal was all that could separate the two, Raffaele taking the victory, with a long discussion on a small rule technicality being the highlight of the closing minute. Meanwhile, Big Steve was taking the upper hand in his clash with Adrian. Midway through the first half, Steve found space behind Adrian’s defines and lined up for the shot. Adrian made a brilliant save. Unfortunately it was Steve’s white based figure that he saved, the ball sailing unopposed into the opposite side of the goal! Early in the second half, Adrian managed an equaliser as he grew more familiar with his new bases, but Steve’s class told out in the end, with two very well taken goals (using an orange ball now!) to round out his win.

The second round of games saw Dave take on Fabrizio and Steve back up against Gordy. t least that’s how it would have been, had Gordy turned up. Instead, he messaged through a feeble excuse about illness blah blah blah instead of actually facing up to his challenges. So Fabrizio’s dad, flown in direct from Italy to compete in the upcoming International Open in Melbourne, had a practise hit-out with Big Steve while his son gave Dave a lesson on shooting. David’s defensive positioning has improved considerably and he was able to keep Fabrizio at bay for long stretches. Fabrizio, however, only needed a few chances due to his conversion rate when shooting, some of the goals with outrageous chips, leading to a 5-0 victory.

Raffaele lined up against Dave in the next round, with Paul and Adrian clashing on the other table. Adrian had the early running, his second new trial bases for the evening giving him an edge when dribbling. His shooting, however, left much to be desired and his numerous shots never really troubled Paul. Paul then wrestled control and showed Adrian how it was done. The final of his 3 goals, in particular, was a master lesson on delicacy within a packed goal box. Meanwhile, Raffaele completed an identical 3-0 scoreline against Dave, whose outdoor goalkeeping skills were helping him pick Raffaele’s shots, frustrating Raffaele’s desire for complete domination.

Raffaele (on the left) battling for midfield possession against Fabrizio.

Raffaele (on the left) battling for midfield possession against Fabrizio.

The final match-ups were the evening’s highlights. Steve and Paul continued their decades old rivalry. A see-sawing battle saw Steve take the lead, only for Paul to equalise by half time. In the second half, Steve again got his nose in front but Paul was not going to be dismissed easily and earned a dogged point with another equaliser before full time. On the other table, the Italians went head to head. Before long, Fabrizio had stamped his authority on the game and was 2 goals to the good with some dominating play. Even the Italian language couldn’t hide Raffaele’s frustrations at his own play. However, in a remarkable turnaround, Raffaele found first one goal, then an equaliser with one of the most outrageous shots from the attacking goal line as Fabrizio attempted to smother him and his chances of scoring in the final seconds before the half time break. With each player both dominating and crumbling at different stages of the half, the win could go either way, while another draw was definitely on the cards. In the end, it was, again, Fabrizio’s chip shooting that gave him the edge. What he had against Dave, he repeated against Raffaele, carving out just a few chances but finishing them with delicate precision. This half, there was to be no collapse and he took the game 4-2.

Another excellent evening’s play, with 3 of Subbuteo Parramatta’s 4 representatives getting solid practice in before the International Open (while the 4th was phoning in some very interesting results in some friendly matches he was playing against a highly revered ‘mystery’ coach!). So, Fabrizio and Paul head the table, though, with only one game left for him to play, those behind Paul, with games in hand, will now be keen to reel him back in.

(report by Adrian Elmer)

Raffaele 1 – Paul 0
David 0 – Fabrizio 5
Raffaele 3 – David 0
Fabrizio 4 – Raffaele 2

Steve 3 – Adrian 1
Adrian 0 – Paul 3
Paul 2 – Steve 2

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for full scores and updated 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 3

Match Day Three

Toongabbie West

Fabrizio took on Todd In the evening’s first game at Toongabbie West. Fabrizio’s went to half time leading 3-0 against his far more inexperienced opponent. Todd was showing some good flicking skills but was struggling in his attack and sense of positioning. In the second half, Fabrizio was able to close out the game with another two nice shots from the corners of the shooting area. Todd then took on the host, Adam. The first half saw Adam take a 1-0 lead, scoring with a nice shot from distance, something that has become a trademark for Adam. Adam lead confidently but Todd had a couple of good chances to draw. The second half was pretty much the same as the first one but Adam pushed forward to score his second goal and then, near the final whistle scored his final goal with a shot from just outside the penalty area, which he cut nicely onto the post and into the goal to close the match with a 2-0 result. The final game saw Adam take on Fabrizio. From the begin until the end of the match Fabrizio pushed Adam into his area, trying to score as many goals as he could. He finally scored a lucky goal where Adam positioned his defender perfectly but the ball still managed to roll into the goal. After a couple more chances, Adam finally created a chance to draw level, but a post and then the bar of Fabrizio’s goalkeeper somehow kept the ball out, leaving the score at 1-0 at the end of the first half. In the second half, Fabrizio had some more chances to score at least 2 goals but 2 posts, 1 crossbar and a couple of nice saves from Adam left the result at 1-0, though that was enough for Fabrizio to get the 3 points.

(report by Fabrizio Coco)

Fabrizio 5 – Todd 0
Todd 0 – Adam 3
Adam 0 – Fabrizio 1

The Clubhouse

Gordy went into a panic attack around midday on Match Day Three – how could he face the might of both Paul and Mat in one evening. A quick excuse of some work function was scrounged together and his apologies were sent. Keen to improve on the automatic 4-0 result that a forfeit might give each of them, though, the two quickly agree to having the games rescheduled to a later date, meaning Gordy will still have to face the music. For tonight, Mat and Paul were still itching for a game, though, so made their ways to the clubhouse for their single fixture. It turned out to be well worth it. Mat took an early lead with a bold shot, only for Paul to equalise before half time, keeping the game in the balance. The second half was more of the same though, this time, Paul was able to put away his chances while Mat couldn’t. Paul’s change of polish since last week enabled his Superfooty bases to move much more cleanly and his more composed play gave him a 3-1 result.

This time Eliot doesn't score against David, the ball flying back off the crossbar.

This time Eliot doesn’t score against David, the ball flying back off the crossbar.

On the other table, Adrian faced Eliot in the first fixture. Adrian was determined to keep Eliot out and was disciplined in defence. Eliot dominated possession but couldn’t find a way through. A few counter-attack chances developed for Adrian as the half progressed and Eliot left gaps in his defence as he pushed for the goal but neither player was able to break the deadlock. After the break, Eliot redoubled his efforts and piled on the pressure. Adrian’s ‘keeper was now called into action and a series of good saves kept him in the game. With just over 5 minutes left, Eliot finally got his reward and scored to his great relief. The game finished at 1-0. David then lined up against Eliot and the opening minutes were very promising for him, as Eliot seemed to lose his intensity for the second game. David pushed Eliot around in the attacking half, but couldn’t quite carve out clear scoring chances. It took Eliot 7 or 8 minutes to regain his composure and begin pressing David. His ability in front of goal finally paid off and a quick fire 4 goals saw him take a stranglehold on the game by half time. The second half found David lift, keeping his defence more organised and holding possession better in the midfield. Eliot scored one final goal, however, to make the final result 5-0. In the final game, schoolboy friends David and Adrian faced each other competitively for the first time in nearly 30 years. In a predictably tense game, Adrian dominated possession early, but didn’t create any clear chances. David then came into his own and only some poor final touches meant his great build-up play went unrewarded. In a classic sucker punch, Adrian broke the deadlock 30 seconds after David missed his best chance at the other end, Adrian countering swiftly and delicately chipping David’s ‘keeper with his shot. The second half saw Adrian continue to press but David defended well, until a fatal mistake with his travelling ‘keeper left Adrian in front of an open goal with a simple tap-in to take the game 2-0.

(report by Adrian Elmer)

Paul 3 – Mat 1

Adrian 0 – Eliot 1
Eliot 5 – David 0
David 0 – Adrian 2

The table at the completion of Match Day 3

The table at the completion of Match Day 3

For full results, 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.