Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Winter Challenge a flicking success!

Saturday the 17th of August saw the successful hosting of the South African Table Football Association’s Winter Challenge. History was made in local table football circles when members of all three local table football clubs, namely Panorama TFC, Randburg TFC and Pretoria Flickers, were represented for the first time in a tournament.

A total of 21 participants flicked off in a Junior and Senior section. The junior section had three groups where the winner and runner-up progressed to the knock-out stages. The top two group winners progressed automatically to the semi-finals and the remaining 4 players competed in a barrage round for the remaining semi-final berths. Alex Rodrigues, who won his 4 group games convincingly, carried on his good form and defeated Fraser Kilian by 3 goals to 1 in an entertaining semi-final. Jayden van der Merwe, from Pretoria Flickers caused the first upset when he accounted for a previously undefeated Fraser Kilian by the odd goal in a tense eliminator. The junior final proved to be an extremely good advertisement for junior table football with the quality of play proving to be of a very high standard. After a tense and goalless final, the dreaded penalty shoot-out resulted in which Jayden held his nerve to edge out Alex by 4 goals to 3.

The senior section also proved to be a tight affair with some great action and goals showcasing a very successful tournament. Clifford and Fernando won their respective groups and were paired against their Pretoria counterparts in Chesseray and Adrian. Fernando needed a penalty shoot-out to oust Adrian in a very tense game and was joined by Clifford who outlasted Chesseray in a free-flowing game.

The senior final saw old adversaries, namely Clifford and Fernando squaring off again in a very entertaining and exciting final. In the end it was Clifford who proved victorious by 2 goals to 0 after a very tough final.
The tournament was concluded with a Champions clash between Junior champion – Jayden, against the senior champion – Clifford. In a very entertaining Final Clifford edged out Jayden by the odd goal in three. However the quality of play by Jayden was extremely impressive and big things are expected from Jayden in the future as his playing maturity level is way ahead of his age.

The post-tournament epitaph will once again reflect a very successful tournament where new friendships were made and as always, enjoyment was the buzz word with participants leaving with broad smiles.
Once again, thanks must go to Bryan Shekyll for allowing us to make use of the very impressive Randburg Soccer club-house.

(report by Clifford Graaff)
After the tournament, the junior & senior winners played a friendly. Clifford Graaff (right) beat Jayden van der Merwe 2-1

Superb group picture

Junior final between Jayden van der Merwe and Alex Rodrigues

Junior and senior finalists

Open final between Fernando Rodrigues and Clifford Graaff (0-2) with Bryan Shekyll as referee