Match Day 10
Players in each of the three divisions went into the final match day with the table permutations swirling around their brains. The title for each division was still up for grabs with jostling for the minor placings also still in the balance. And so 12 players headed to Good Games in Chatswood for the grand climax.
Unfortunately, Division Two turned into a non-event. Before the evening. Mat Barrie, with two games to play, was the only one who could overtake Steve Diasinos, should he win both fixtures, but he could also finish last if he lost them, such was the tightness of the division. But, alas, a last minute trip to Melbourne for work had him stranded out of the state. The matches were rescheduled for the following week but, again, this proved impossible due to life getting in the way so, with a heavy heart, Mat had to declare the fixtures forfeit. This meant that Steve did get his title, while Harley and Tony each glided past Mat on the table. A slight anti-climax to what, regardless, was an incredibly tight division, with 4 of its 8 completed games ending in draws. Many congratulations to Steve Diasinos.
In the Third Division, Hermann Kruse was in pole position. Only Costa Kamarados could catch him, but would need some favours from others to help him get there. Hermann was on song, though, slotting 4 past Paul Stockbridge before getting the job done in a tight 1-0 tussle with Simon Cole. Ultimately, this was all academic, though, as Costa was held to two draws by the same opponents, meaning Hermann took the title convincingly. Many congratulations to Hermann Kruse!
The First Division still had 3 players in the running. Daniele got off to the perfect start with a tight 1-0 victory over his nemesis, Fabrizio. This also gave Eliot the glimmer of hope he needed. This was dampened, somewhat, when Daniele, having the Subbuteo night of his life, slipped 2 goals past Eliot in their clash, with Eliot only able to find the back of the net once. With one round remaining, all three were still in with a chance for the title. Club league champions, Fabrizio and Eliot, faced each other, while Daniele had the, theoretically, simpler task of facing Adrian. In keeping with the evening’s them of tight, tense tussles, Eliot got the better of Fabrizio by 2 goals to 1. On the other table, Daniele got to a 2 goal lead against Adrian and seemed to be cruising to the title. Adrian, however, pulled a goal back midway through the second half and piled some pressure on for the remainder. But the nervous Daniele held out – 3 wins from 3 games, an unbeaten record in the division and victories against his two nearest rivals meaning he claimed the title emphatically in the end. Many congratulations to Daniele Lombardi.
And so a very successful Spring League, the biggest yet, drew to a close. With brand new players competing, experienced players fighting tight battles, and a middle tier that is growing in skill collectively and beginning to push the top players, the league had everything that could be hoped for. Many thanks to all the players, to those who opened their homes as venues, and to our two great friends in Good Games, Chatswood and The Games Cube, Parramatta, all of who made this the best league series in the 21st century era of the Australian Table Football Association.