Tuesday, 2 February 2016

South Africa: action in Johannesburg and Cape Town

New Years Challenge 2016 Report
Bawden Park, home of Robertsham Callies FC hosted their first Subbuteo tournament on the 31st of January 2016. A good field of 10 players participated in the first tournament of 2016, proudly hosted by the Johannesburg Table Football Club.
The participants were split into two groups of 5 players with the top 2 qualifying for the semi-finals. Group A saw favourite Clifford Graaff advancing as winner over Julian van der Merwe who was unlucky to concede a  very soft goal against Clifford in the deciding group match.
The only Lady playing, Nita Hermens, showed considerable improvement to claim a well deserved third spot in Group A and had her male opponents under pressure.
Group B was an extremely tight affair with favourite and junior, Jayden van der Merwe, progressing unscathed through to the knock-out stages. The runner-up was contested via a penalty shoot-out by three players who ended on the same points and goal difference. Abraham Siame held his nerve to register penalty shoot-out victories over Ernie Botha and Xolani Ndaba.
The first semi-final pitted father and son against each other and Jayden scored two early goals to edge his father, Julian van der Merwe, by the odd goal in three. Although Julian scored his consolation goal just before full-time, his younger son progressed to the final.
The second semi-final saw Clifford defeat Abraham by three goals to nil which was a  commendable performance by newcomer Abraham Siame who delighted all present with his wild celebrations after qualifying for the knock-out stages. Julian claimed 3rd place with a close penalty shoot-out victory over Abraham.
The final once again saw perennial adversaries, Clifford and Jayden contest top honours. Unfortunately, Jayden's  rustiness after an elongated November and December break, proved detrimental to his performance and Clifford's clinical passing and possesion helped Clifford down junior Jayden with three unanswered goals. A very pleasing aspect was the comeraderie and support from all quarters displayed in all the games. All players were also treated to a lunch courtesy of the Johannesburg TFC and free soft drinks during the entire tourney.

Cape Town New Year's tournament
Games were played in a sweltering heat, which may well have been a factor in the low turnout. It was not planned in advance, but everyone ended up playing exclusively with original Subbuteo equipment, which was quite fun for a change! In the end, Cliton Gahwiler finished on top of a group of three. Grant Lewis was runner-up and Mike Ryder was third.