Tuesday, 6 January 2015

David Baxter wins in South Queensferry

Kevin Christopher, David Baxter and Mike Burns
The first Subbuteo event of 2015 in Scotland took place in South Queensferry on Saturday 3rd January as 17 players including 4 former Scottish Champions and a raft of Scottish Internationalists converged to fight it out in the inaugural Christmas Baxter Subbuteo tournament for the grande trophy and the prize money for the top 3 players! The tournament, run by Scotland’s and possibly the UK’s top organisers was named in honour of one David J.C Baxter without whom no-one in this country would still be playing our crazy game. As Dave was returning to Scotland for the Christmas period it seemed a fitting tribute to name this event after him.

Of the 17 players who turned up, 3 had never (or not for a very long time at least) played in an event before so it was good to see Vince Fitzpatrick, junior player Connor Douglas and female player Ashley Allen make their competitive bow in a WASPA event, hopefully they can be encouraged to keep coming back for more. 2 or 3 late call offs hampered numbers a little but 17 is still very strong.

The day started off in strange fashion, the original start time of 12pm was delayed as the dude who was opening up the Bowling Club decided to go to the bookies beforehand to put a tenner on the Hibs v Hearts match then someone bought him a pint because it was his birthday. However, he turned up not long after and things got underway around 12.30pm.

Swiss System was order of the day and the first round draw saw none of the so called big guns come up against each other as unfortunately our two Scouse guests from Yorkshire Phoenix drove all the way up only to play each other in the first round! Former Scottish Champ Brian Daley came to the event with high hopes of winning. Notable results from the first round would be Kevin Christopher defeating Malc Lees and Vince Fitzpatrick getting off the mark with a 3-1 win over Baver Bari.

Hibs v Hearts was now on the large screen TV and the match was in full swing as the majority of the roomed were screaming for a Hibs win. The bar being open and the drinks flowing added to the excitement of event!

Into the second round and the winners start meeting each other. Dave Allen and Mike Burns clashed at the top, Dave Baxter came up against Vince and Kevin took on the might of Brian Daley. Mike edged a 2-1 victory to stay on course for a 2nd consecutive WASPA victory. To the outsiders shock of the round would be Kevin “scraping” a draw against Brian. However to those that know the Ronnie O’Sullivan of Subbuteo, this is no shock as we are well aware of his capabilities, if truth be told it was Brian that was lucky to escape without a defeat as he equalised with more or less the last flick of the game! Vince came down to earth with a bump as Dave Baxter gave him a 6-0 tanking to give him a massive goal difference advantage. Its tough at the bottom as debutants Ashley and Connor were now finding out, Ray who hasn’t played for a while just couldn’t started at all and an off colour Baver sunk to a heavy defeat against Malc Lees.

The third round is when it really starts, the top bombers start coming up against each other in make or break ties and there was excitement in the air as the pizzas were imminent! Dave Baxter turned over Mike 2-0 in the top clash. Leading 1-0 for a long time Mike tried to push for an equaliser but it was realistically never coming and Dave capitalised on the The Rangers like defending by Mike to finish the game as a 2-0 winner. Neil Christopher came up on the blindside in the first 2 rounds to push himself into contention. Neil was aiming to emulate his brother and get a result against Brian Daley but alas his flair was not enough as Brian won 2-0 to push himself back up the table. Kevin, Dave Allen and Connor all won their respective matches to make things pretty congested at the top going into the last round.

Before the final round started though the pizzas arrived and this was what everyone, especially Craig Lynch was waiting for. Seven 14” unbelievable pizzas from La Favorita turned up on time and piping hot. These pizzas have to be tasted to be believed and as a couple of people didn’t want any it meant more for everyone else and they were scranned up in double quick time. The rocket and prosciutto that came in a separate packet was supposed to be applied to one of the pizza’s but weren’t sure which one so Terry Brown took charge of the situation and just applied it to all of his pizza slices, this led to Terry proclaiming “GRANDE PROSCIUTTO!!!” After this, the empty boxes were cleared away and order was brought back to the room after the pizza banquet.

Dave Baxter could at worst finish 3rd so was guaranteed to be in the money. Brian would have to defeat Dave to give himself or Kev any chance of winning. Neil, Mike, Connor and Dave Allen, all on 6 points had a chance of getting a trophy and some prize money if they took care of business and hope other results went their way. In the first session of the fourth round Mike beat Neil 2-0 in what could only be described as “scrappy”. Mike had laid down a marker and was now in contention for the prizes but it still depended on what happened in 3 other matches in the final session. In the top match, Dave beat Brian 1-0 to finish with a perfect 4 wins from 4 and zero goals conceded and take the title, this result meant Brian was out of the prize money. Kevin beat Dave Allen to take an amazing 2nd place and consign Dave’s trophy hopes to the dustbin. 3rd place ultimately came down to what Connor could do against Craig Lynch. Connor ultimately won 1-0 with a fantastic goal but it wasn’t enough to finish in the money as Mike just pipped him on goal difference, it was an exciting end to a great day of Subbuteo where sportsmanship was in abundance and Rule 1.1 was never broken!!!

Hot Club took the top two spots in a superb Subbuteo showing coming ahead of Yorkshire and Perugia’s finest. Although, for Dave Baxter to win his own tribute tournament is a bit silly!

Some special mentions have to go to the following…
· Astonishing Pizzas
· EVERYONE for turning up and making it a great day
· Brian and Connor for coming all the way up from Liverpool for the day
· Connor for finishing above Brian!!!
· Terry Brown for fighting through the pain barrier to play, great to see the big guy back on his feet after his bad injury and being ably assisted by his Sportslagers

On now to the Crème Egg Open sometime around Easter, date to be confirmed!

Full results below

Round 1
Connor Bowden 0-2 Brian Daley
Ashley Allen 0-0 Connor Douglas
Baver Bari 1-3 Vince Fitzpatrick
Mike Burns 4-0 Richard Douglas
David Baxter 4-0 Terry Brown
Kevin Christopher 3-1 Malcolm Lees
Neil Christopher 1-0 Craig Lynch
Dave Allen 4-0 Ray Davis

Round 2 
Dave Allen 1-2 Mike Burns
David Baxter 6-0 Vince Fitzpatrick
Kevin Christopher 2-2 Brian Daley
Neil Christopher 3-0 Ashley Allen
Andreas Drewer 4-0 Connor Douglas
Baver Bari 2-7 Malcolm Lees
Connor Bowden 1-0 Richard Douglas
Andreas Drewer 0-0 Craig Lynch

Round 3 
David Baxter 2-0 Mike Burns
Neil Christopher 0-2 Brian Daley
Kevin Christopher 1-0 Andreas Drewer
Dave Allen 3-1 Malcolm Lees
Terry Brown 0-2 Connor Bowden
Craig Lynch 3-1 Vince Fitzpatrick
Connor Douglas 0-4 Richard Douglas
Ray Davis 0-4 Baver Bari

Round 4 
David Baxter 1-0 Brian Daley
Connor Bowden 1-0 Craig Lynch
Richard Douglas 2-1 Baver Bari
Vince Fitzpatrick 1-1 Terry Brown
Michael Burns 2-0 Neil Christopher
Kevin Christopher 1-0 Dave Allen
Andreas Drewer 0-5 Malcolm Lees
Ray Davis 0-3 Connor Douglas

Final placings
1 David Baxter
2 Kevin Christopher
3 Mike Burns
4 Connor Bowden
5 Brian Daley
6 Dave Allen ...
7 Malcolm Lees
8 Richard Douglas
9 Neil Christopher
10 Craig Lynch
11 Andeas Drewer
12 Terry Brown
13 Connor Douglas
14 Vince Fitzpatrick
15 Baver Bari
16 Ashley Allen
17 Ray Davis

(report by Mike Burns)