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Tuesday, 13 March 2018
2018 March – Illawarra TFC Fast 15 WASPA
As a warm-up to the FISTF Satellite event the next day, the “FAST 15” WASPA had eight players competing for the title, split into two groups while some of the juniors had warm up friendly matches. With games lasting only fifteen minutes (AGFA Cup style) and sudden death penalty shots for all drawn games, it created a fast, fun and competitive tournament.
Group 1 was stacked with the traveling Western Flickers players all the way from Melbourne, obviously attracted to the beautiful harbour side venue location like true pelicans! Also in the group competing in his first ever comp was local Illawarra resident and Glasgow Rangers tragic Alec Anderson who turned up in his bright red fish n chip van stacked with his large collection of Subbuteo playing figures old and new along with his board and several pitches he brought for us.
First round saw new boy Alec have a respectable one nil loss to current “season” World No.1 Benny Ng. The other game proved to be the crucial one in the end with Anthony Madiona drawing one all with teammate Steve Wright after 15 minutes. That produced the first sudden death penalty shots scenario with Anthony eventually taking it out and getting an extra point for his efforts.
Second round saw Benny get a comfortable three nil win over Anthony while Alec despite getting a great chance to score his first ever goal went down narrowly to Steve one nil. Going into the third group games, scores went to form and Benny comfortably went through to the semis with Anthony joining him due to the earlier shots victory over Steve.
Group 2 had the fourth “Western Flicker” Arjuna Hanafi join host and new Kiama resident Richard Wilson along with Sydney TFC players John Palamara and Raffaele Lombard who made the short trip from nearby hometown Berry. Raffaele grateful for not having to make the almost four hour round trip he normally takes to play his club matches in Sydney this time. Rumours have been circling in the local press recently that Illawarra TFC are about to make an approach to sign Raffaele for next season (think of all the time and petrol money you will save Raffaele! *wink wink*)
First round saw Arjuna, having made a mad dash earlier in the day to get to Kiama from Sydney while on work business, went down to Richard four nil while Raffaele put two past teammate John.
Second round saw Raffaele again put two past Richard while in a tighter affair nothing could separate John and Arjuna after 15 minute so it went to sudden death shots in which John held his nerve to gain the extra point.
Last round were more comfortable seeing Richard put three past John and Raffaele not giving any slack to Arjuna putting seven past him in the fifteen minutes.
The Semi finals provided two very tight and intense tussles in true cup knock out style. First off Raffaele despite the large amounts of possession and shot count could only score the one goal past the gallant Anthony Madiona. The other semi went to the wire. In a free flowing match, Richard had a couple of chances early on but then Benny Ng started to pile the pressure on late with a number of chances only to have them thwarted by the metal fingertips of Richards goalie. So it went to shots where Richard first had his effort comfortably saved by Benny. Then despite the fine form of Richard’s goalie during the 15 minutes, Benny picked a gap under the raised keeper and cheekily rolled it under his legs to score and win the match after the first penalty attempt.
The final pitched two of the favourites and the “promoters dream match”. Benny versus Raffaele, Melbourne versus Sydney, the current “season” World No.1 versus the man who could be number 1 if he didn’t have to travel so far to play WASPA tournaments for his current club *hint hint*. Despite a tense start in the end it was Sydney coming out the winner, Raffaele pulled away midway through the match and ended up the three one victor.
Original report with results here