Match Day Seven
Jordan v Fabrizio, Mat v Paul M, Daniele v Steve, Costa spectating
Subbuteo Parramatta concluded their league with a 3 table, 10 game blitz held at The Games Cube in Parramatta. Daniele and Jordan both had a number of games to complete, so both had 4 game Subbuteo benders. Jordan opened his account with a narrow loss to the Costa, who was able to use his new bases for the first time. Daniele dispatched Paul Stockbridge in their opener before Daniele faced a tricky fixture against Paul Magee, both players aiming for second place in the final standings. However, Daniele was in fine form and took the match with a convincing 3-0 win. Jordan’s goalkeeper got a workout, making a number of saves, though he succumbed to Steve Diasinos 4-0. The next round of fixtures through up some cracking fixtures. Fabrizio arrived from his day trip to the Royal National Park to take a 5-0 win in an entertaining game against Jordan – the league’s winning player against it’s least experienced Subbuteo player. Paul Magee and Mat Barrie played out an intense 1-1 draw. A close call was sportingly given to Paul by Mat, and Paul scored from the subsequent play. The end result was a good indication of the game, though, and demonstrated the great sportsmanship that is often reciprocated between players.
Steve and Daniele, meanwhile, were playing out the match of the evening. Daniele took an early lead and looked to be on track to repeat his earlier efforts. Steve, however, is never one to be flustered and soon found his way into the game, scoring a deserved equaliser before the break. Daniele went ahead again in the second half but Steve, determined to pick up the point which could help him into the top tier of the league, remained calm and precise and again scored an equaliser. And so the result ended 2-2, both players taking the point from an outstanding clash.
Jordan then rounded out his evening with his first point of the league in a very good natured 1-1 encounter with his fellow Subbuteo novice, Paul Stockbridge. Following Steve’s draw with Daniele, Adrian knew he needed a result against Daniele to have any chance of staying ahead of Steve, whose fixture against the always improving but still very inexperienced Costa was a foregone conclusion. Adrian played well to keep Daniele at bay and provide the odd glimmer of hope with the occasional counter-attack. However, midway through the second half, after 20-odd minutes of stout defending, a soft-mistake led to the game’s decisive goal from Daniele, who took the points with the 1-0 victory. Meanwhile, Steve’s exertions against Daniele must have been coming back to haunt him. Though he peppered Costa’s goal, nothing would go in, a mixture of soft finishing and some great goalkeeping. Costa managed two forays forward during the entire game – and decisively buried one of those shots. 1-0 to the team painted in the 2004 Greek, Euros winning uniform – a victory that could not have been more Greek had it been scripted!
A final catch-up game between Daniele and Dave saw Daniele reinforce his 2nd place standing. However, just below him, as the dust settled, an incredibly tight table was to be found. As an indication, Steve Diasinos finished in 7th place. A win against Costa in that fateful final match could have seen him finish 3rd! The league also pointed to the future with introduction of 3 brand new players.
Northern Falcons didn’t play any of their outstanding fixtures due to absences, but their standings in relation to the next phase of the league couldn’t be altered by those games, so these will be caught up in the near future.
Final League Standings
Match Day Eight
Match Day Eight saw the two leagues come together for the first time. The top 3 players from each league (not including Subbuteo Parramatta’s guest marquee player, Paul Magee, who is unable to take further part due to work commitments) moved into the First Division, the next 3 from SP and the next 2 from NF moved into the Second Division, and the next 3 from SP and 2 from NF made up the Third Division. All players will play each other within each division. For the first group of matches, Subbuteo Parramatta made the trip up to Northern Falcons HQ at Chatswood.
Steve v Mat, Dave v Daniele, Simon v Paul
NF’s Simon made a winning start with a 3-0 result over SP’s Paul, though Paul did discover, later in the evening when packing away his figures, that he had gone into the match with only 10 players! SP’s Mat and Steve renewed rivalries, Steve edging this one 1-0 after their 1-1 draw in the SP league. SP’s Adrian had trouble adapting to the Extreme pitches and NF’s Steve put in a commanding display to blitz him 3-0, while SP’s Daniele got over NF’s Johnny by the same score. SP’s Dave put a solitary goal past NF’s Tony in a tightly fought contest.
The two 3rd placed qualifiers for the 1st division, Adrian and Johnny, then faced each other following their respective losses. A dour first half finished goalless before Johnny came out with renewed attacking intent. Unfortunately, this left him more open at the back and Adrian scored two counter-attacking goals inspite of Johnny’s domination of possession and field position. Mat picked up a 1-0 victory in another tight tussle against Dave in the Second Division, while SP’s Steve rounded out a good evening for himself with a 2-0 win over Tony.
In the final round, NF’s Eliot put jet-lag aside in a dominant display against Johnny, putting 5 well taken goals past him. NF’s Harley and Tony battled out yet another draw in the Second Division, which is clearly going to be a very tight league. Meanwhile, in the match of the evening, NF’s Steve and SP’s Daniele renewed their long rivalry. The game was as tight as could be expected with neither player flinching in the first half. Early in the second, Daniele finally managed a small bit of space to have a shot. Steve saved it easily, only to then drag the ball back into his own goal with his ‘keeper to give Daniele the advantage. Not to be discouraged, Steve was soon back on level terms with a fine on-the-run goal from a corner which drew a hearty congratulation even from Daniele. Not to be outdone, Daniele then went back ahead with his own impressive, trademark on-the-run goal to take the advantage back. Steve pushed hard for the equaliser and, with a few minutes left, finally found a couple of centimetres of space through the middle of Daniele’s defense and made no mistake with his shot. The final few minutes were a flurry with both players desperate to take all 3 points, resulting in some heated discussion of close calls. In the end, however, each had to settle for a point in a classic battle that neither player deserved to lose.