May 17th 2017
It was just the old fellas this comp day, and Rik. No juniors fancied the early morning cold !
This was to be Derek’s last comp before he headed off to Victoria and retirement. He will know cold when he gets there!
The first round kicked off with Shane doing well against our No.1 Rik, getting a very credible 1-1 draw. Derek got out his brand new Brighton team with the perodi bases which was to prove fortunate for Gus as it took him 15 minutes to get to grasp. 4-0 was the half time lead, but Derek was starting to get the feel, and the game ended up 5-1 with Derek having a great second half.
Round two had the two black n white teams of Juventus and Newcastle go head to head in a very tough 2-2 draw, Gus managing to claw back against a determined Giuseppe. In the other game, a big upset, with Derek’s new Brighton defeating Rik (worlds #8) 2-1. Derek wasn’t going to play his last Brisbane comp without making an impression.
Round 3 had Derek and Shane fight out a hard but goalless game, and Rik bounced back with a 3-0 win over Giuseppe, which indicated our champ was finding his form.
Round 4 Had further evidence that Rik was just going through the gears dismissing Gus 3-0, whilst Giuseppe had to work hard to beat Shane 2-0.
Round 5 was unusual in that all four players (Rik had a bye) could make it into the semis. Giuseppe and Derek drew 0-0 and despite Gus’s dominance of the first 20 minutes he was looking like the player to miss out conceding in the first minute. The metalwork being struck on several occasions. However, Gus’s persistence paid off and he not only managed a late equaliser, but a very late winner. Thus Shane missed out by the narrowest of margins.
So the final four had Derek up against Rik, his first ever semi final and against the worlds # 8. He had beaten him however in the round robin so there was a chance. Rik however thrives on the big games and made sure of his umpteenth final in a row with a solid 3-0 win. Well done Derek though, shame it’s farewell. The other semi turned out to be a minor epic. Gus and Giuseppe were fighting tooth and nail, Gus taking the lead and Giuseppe equalising midway through the second half. It was balanced on a knife edge as it went into extra time. Gus seemed to find an extra gear and piled the pressure on, Giuseppe held out and nearly won the game in extra time but it went to penalties. Giuseppe won the toss and made Gus shoot first. Gus scored but then so did Giuseppe. Then Gus missed his next two whilst Giuseppe scored his next two with exceptional cool and accurate composure. So Giuseppe went through to meet Rik in the final.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to video this final, as it was to be probably the best final in our 2 and half year history. Rik had won 3 in a row prior to this final and had beaten Giuseppe 3-0 in their round robin game. However, Giuseppe had been playing as well as he had ever been playing and had a determined look about him. And so the battle commenced. Giuseppe started the brighter and had Rik on the back foot, Rik though as ever was dangerous on the counter, and Giuseppe had to be on his toes. Eventually though Giuseppe pounced like a leopard on a rare mistake by Rik and scored a cracker. Giuseppe still continued to keep majority of possession but Rik’s quick counters kept the game super tense. Giuseppe pounced again and it was 2-0 with the current champion looking down the barrel. With about 7 minutes remaining Rik got one back which heaped the pressure on Giuseppe who looked to have the trophy coming his way. Then, with two minutes left, like all great champions Rik got the equaliser. A frantic finish to the game failed to see any more goals so it was into extra time. Back level Rik had to be the favourite despite Giuseppe’s good form. However, the good form seemed to find a new level, and before you knew it Giuseppe had struck twice like a viper, the score 4-2. Rik was not finished though, and with 2 minutes left got a life line 3-4. With the clock ticking away the frantic pace of the game made it seem like only seconds left. Rik worked himself into a shooting position and but for a few mm it would have been penalties. The bleeper went, it wasn’t to be 4 in a row, Giuseppe was back, after a 7 month absence from the trophy. What a final, a great game played out by two great competitors. Rik though tried his hardest couldn’t beat a determined Giuseppe today and was thrilled for the victor (you don’t get that often in any sport).
Another fantastic day on the green cloth, sad to see Derek go after just joining us, we wish him well.
|Round 1:||Round 2:|
|Round 3:||Round 4:|
|Rik B- Derek H||3-0|
|Gus G- GiuseppeT||1-1(1-3P)|
|Rik B-Giuseppe T||2-2(3-4ET)|