(click on the underlined links for short, slo-mo video snippets)
The Subbuteo Parramatta club hosted its first combined FISTF Challenger/WASPA Tournament on the premises of The Games Cube in downtown Parramatta on Saturday, November 15, 2014. A strong field with many of Australia’s best players assembled alongside the devoted but not quite as skilled and a couple of first-time competitors.
Splitting into four groups with a FISTF ranked top seed in each, the players went at it from the outset. Notable efforts were made by newcomer, Louis Dettre, who, in his first ever tournament, was drawn against two of Australia’s most experienced players – Steve Dettre (his father) and Robert Green who was in the country for a month from his adopted homeland of Sweden. Louis did well to have his father panicking at 0-0 at half time in their opening game before experience won out 2-0. Gordy Dudley slipped into the quarter finals by virtue of his superior goal difference over Daniele Lombardi. Group winner Eliot Kennedy could only manage to put 7 past Gordy, having previously beaten Daniele by 8 unanswered goals, giving Gordy the edge when he and Daniele played out a goalless draw. Peter Thomas was drawn with two of the Italian contingent, easing past Raffaele Lombardi and Giuseppe Tardiota. Raffaele got the upper hand over Giuseppe in their head-to-head match, putting him through to the quarter finals. In the 4 player group, the opening few results meant that Adrian Elmer needed to beat newcomer Andrea Gandolfi by 3 goals to guarantee a place in the quarters, while Steve Diasinos and David Simpson could still both go through depending on their head to head result. In the end, Adrian managed 5 against Andrea after Andrea had put up an excellent first half display to hold him to just one goal, while Steve took the game, and 1st place in the group, with his victory over David.
The quarter final pairings made for a couple of straightforward games and a couple of nailbiters. Peter had a comfortable run against Gordy and one of his more outlandish goals was captured in super-slo-mo. Adrian made Robert work hard but the result was never in doubt as Robert dominated and took a 2-0 victory. The two Steves fought out a classic as Steve The Younger, whose game has come on incredibly over the course of the year, pushed Steve The Elder to extra time after a 1-1 regulation time result. In the sudden death period, Steve The Younger gave up possession with his travelling ‘keeper midway through. Steve The Elder managed to get the ball into the shooting zone with his 4th flick, but a great defensive flick from Steve The Younger made Steve The Elder’s shot almost impossible. With the most delicately placed flick, however, Steve The Elder found the millimeters wide gap to get just the right angle and see the ball trickle in the inside of the goal to take the victory. The other quarter final was probably the day’s most exciting game, in spite of a distinct lack of goals. Eliot and Raffaele went at each other for 30 minutes without finding the inside of the goal. The posts and crossbar, yes, but not the back of the net. A further 10 minutes was still not enough to split the two as passions rose further, so shots were called. Both players found their shooting form had left completely as, with a full crowd gathered ’round, every shot of the initial 5 each went either wayward or was saved. As the sudden death phase of the shootout began, Eliot finally found the net to take the upper hand. Raffaele, however, was not about to lay down and drew level with an equally well hit shot from wide. Eliot then slotted his second and the pressure was back on Raffaele. This time, a fingertip save from Eliot’s ‘keeper was to deny Raffaele and Eliot finally took the honours and the last place in the semi-finals. Continue reading