Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cranston Wins USA Double

All the participants
Daniel Cranston made history in Michigan by winning both the U.S. National title and the league crown.

Eleven players from nine states made it to the Grand Rapids area on August 4-6. This group included six current and former Team USA World Cup members. Action began on Friday afternoon with second-round matches of the inaugural American Subbuteo National League (ASNL). The draw for the Open and Veteran nationals was held on Friday evening.

Daniel Cranston (left) receiving the ASNL trophy
from ASA President Dario Passadore
Due to a few last-minute withdrawals, the Open draw had to be redone on Saturday. It produced a monster “group of death” from which Mike Tillman and Dario Passadore qualified for the semifinals where they faced an inspired Tim Tumminaro and the favorite Daniel Cranston, respectively.

The Veteran tournament then took center stage. Played in its usual knockout format, Erik Haefke, Peter Alegi, and Paul O’Donovan Rossa reached the semifinals along with in-form Passadore. The Veteran semis were dramatic. O’Donovan Rossa beat Passadore on shots [Watch here]. Alegi edged out Haefke 4-3 after Erik’s potentially tying goal came an instant after the final buzzer! [Watch here].

Bryan Arnold (left) and Joe Legatz
The Open semis were less tense. Cranston defeated Passadore 5-2 and Tillman beat Tumminaro 5-1.  In the championship game, Cranston had to pull out all the blocks to stymie Tillman’s comeback . Thanks to a 3-2 win, Cranston claimed his third national title and his first since 2011.

The Veteran final went to sudden death extra time. Momentum seemed to be with Alegi after he drew level with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. But O’Donovan Rossa chipped the Grand Rapids TSC player in the first minute to win his first Veteran title. [Click here for results]

Grand Rapids TSC president, Paul Pate (left),
at the trophy ceremony with
Veteran champion Paul O'Donovan Rossa
At the traditional Saturday supper, the two champions enjoyed a well-deserved celebratory drink from the trophies.

But the weekend was not over yet.

Sunday morning featured the last rounds of ASNL matches and a 5-man WASPA Courtland Cup. At the end of an exhausting third day of play, Cranston completed his impressive league campaign with 19 wins and 1 draw for 58 points out of a possible 60. Tillman placed second with 45, and Alegi third with 42. [Click here for results.] Max Ambrosio won the Courtland Cup.

Grand Rapids TSC would like to thank everyone who made the long journey to Michigan, and especially Tim Tumminaro and ASA President Dario Passadore for making important contributions to a successful and enjoyable weekend.

Keep on flicking!