A week has passed since the Australian Grand Prix, and while it wasn’t the biggest we have held, it certainly had a great vibe.
It was a tough event in some regards, with the heat across both days being especially draining, and some of the best players in Australia thrown in together with Singapore’s Vikas Chandiramani, and our cousins from across the ditch in New Zealand.
As Adrian Elmer said elsewhere on the web, the World Ranking system and the Aussies in it, threw up some interesting clashes.
A huge thanks to all those in the LOC who helped out: Adrian Elmer and his fantastic design skills, school-teacher voice and head referee duties with Eliot; Adrian & Katelyn Grunbach, ably helped by Johnny Ball and Jonty Brener to decorate the venue as best we could; Eliot and Jonty taking the lead with table set-up, again helped by whoever was free; the Hipfingerz and Sydney guys for being there to assist (special thanks to Tony for his coffee machine!!)
We also had fantastic support from Sydney FC who provided a voucher for Sydney FC home match — and despite our best efforts, Adrian Elmer declined the award, and it was given to the Vagabonds Hipsters who played in the team event — Geoff Sirmai, Greg Werner, Louie Dettre and Jonny Ball. Lucky they’re all Sydney fans.
Another award was made by the LOC to the youngest player who stayed the course and played across both days: Tim Phokos, who was given the Futbol Cult voucher. Many thanks to Anthony Siokos for his donation.
One of the unheralded (on the weekend) stars was Louie, who put in another huge effort to run the streaming, despite some glitches here and there because of the vagaries of the internet. The lure of the green pitch was too much and he played on Sunday. Thanks to Geoff, Benji and Tony for assisting with commentary in the latter phase of Saturday.
And where would we be without Paul Mercer who worked like a trojan to fix some issues with the results spreadsheet, which let us run the tournament.
The action on the table was very dramatic.
Peter Thomas claimed back to back AGP titles, but was pushed all the way in the semifinal by clubmate Benji Batten, and was taken to extra time in the final by Rob Green before scoring a dramatic golden goal.
Each group had its own dramatic scores. In Group One, young Tim Phokos caused a major upset by beating Nick Brill 1-0, but was unlucky not to progress because of goal difference. Nick then went on to make the semi finals.
In Group 2, Frank Cozzarin got the wins that mattered despite a 6-0 loss to Eliot Kennedy, and moved to the Round of 16.
Group 3 saw Kostas Barbaris come back from a long hiatus to also get the points to make the next phase, while in Group 4, Adrian Connolly overcame Adrian Grunbach to move on.
Greg Werner benefitted from regular game play to make it out of Group 5, while Adrian Elmer upset the form book by topping group 6 after a 2-0 win against Daniel Lombard. In Group 7, Steve Dettre also surprised seeded player Fabrizio Coco with a 2-1 win.
In Group 8, Benji started well with a 2-0 win against Rob Green, but both ended up qualifying for the Rd of 16.
In the women’s event, Beth Eveleigh stamped her authority with a 4-0 win against debutante Katherine Patten, while Imojjen Elmer kept pace with her, the title only being decided on goal difference to Beth.
In the U16 event, Katelyn showed the benefits of regular matches at the Falcons to take the crown.
In the Open knock out rounds, the two surprises were the elimination of Eliot Kennedy by Rob Green, and Nick Brill shrugging off his slow start to the day by beating Steve Dettre in extra time.
In the quarterfinals, Benji beat Vikas and Nick kept powering on with a win against Luke Radziminski.