Sunday, 2 December 2018

Clifford Graaff retains the SA Championships Title!


Saturday 24 November 2018, Pretoria, South Africa:
The 2018 edition of the South African Championships was hosted by Pretoria Flickers Club - an event which turned out to be special in more ways  than one. The event attracted 16 entries with visitors Pedro Araujo (PORTUGAL) and Nich van der Berg (NETHERLANDS) adding an international feel to the day! The field also included 2009 SA Champion, Sean Morgan - making his first competitive appearance since 2010. A very special effort from newly elected SATFA Chairman, Clinton Gahwiler - making the trip from Cape Town for this event!
Preceding the event, Gary Downs from Pretoria Flickers Club made two very special presentations - firstly to Ramona (PFC Chairman, Julian vd Merwe's wife) for her patience and sacrifices throughout the year during PFC's monthly events. Then secondly, a customised wooden plaque was presented to Clifford Graaff in recognition of JTFC (Johannesburg Table Football Club) being the oldest Subbuteo Club in South Africa - JTFC are well into their 11th year of existence!

It was decided to have a 5 match "Club Challenge" between Pretoria and Johannesburg to start the day. After the draws and match up's were concluded, it
was PFC who triumphed by 3-2 over JTFC. The playing field was then separated as follows - 10 players in the open Section and 6 players in the Plate Section. There were so many memorable matches in both sections - too much to mention all, but below are the summaries from each section.

Open Section Summary
Clinton Gahwiler (CTCSC) was leading the standings after 2 Rounds of play - thanks to a 1-0 victory over Sean Morgan (JTFC), followed by another 1-0 victory over Jayden vd Merwe (PFC). Round 2 also saw a shock 1-0 victory for Gary Downs (PFC) over Chessray Jooste (PFC). As the day progressed, it was clear that the "heavyweights" would soon be squaring up to each other. As the draw would have it, in Round 5, some massive results shaped the day - Sean Morgan dispatching of Bevin Reed (PFC) and Pedro Araujo (Portugal) beating Jayden vd Merwe by 1-0 effectively put an end to Pretoria's chances of delivering a National Champion. The "tie of the round" saw Clifford Graaff (JTFC) dispatch of Clinton Gahwiler (CTCSC) by 2-0. This then meant that Clifford and Sean were top of the standings heading into the final Round 6.

Then, we saw 2009 finalists Sean Morgan and Clifford Graaff play out to a 2-2 draw, with Clifford getting the equaliser with the last flick of the match! Clinton then recorded a 3-0 win over Chris Dimmer to tie Clifford on 9 points overall. However, due to the "head to head" ruling, Clifford Graaff secured his second National title due to the 2-0 victory over Clinton Gahwiler earlier in Round 5.

Final Standings - Open Section
Clifford Graaff (JTFC) - 9
Clinton Gahwiler (CTCSC) - 9
Sean Morgan (JTFC) - 8
Pedro Araujo (POR) - 8
Jayden vd Merwe (PFC) - 6
Bevin Reed (PFC) - 6
Gary Downs (PFC) - 6
Chessray Jooste (PFC) - 4
Carl Bollweg (JTFC) - 2
Chris Dimmer (JTFC) - 2

Plate Section Summary
Kegan vd Merwe (PFC) elected to play in the Plate Section - due to a back injury he sustained at work, during the same week of the SA Champ's. However, it was Imtiaz Ahmed (PFC) - playing only in his second full season in Pretoria - who was really impressive. The Plate Section also included visitor, Nich vd Berg (NETHERLANDS).
On the day, two players posted unbeaten runs - Imtiaz Ahmed and Conway Julie (PFC). Conway's unbeaten run was preserved thanks to a hard fought 1-0 victory over Stanton Nortjie (PFC) in Round 3. When Sherwin Reed (PFC) posted a shock 1-0 victory over Kegan in Round 4, the Plate Section also ended on a dramatic note (much like the Open Section did) - as Sherwin tied Imtiaz and Conway on 5 points overall, forcing the Plate Section into a 3-way shoot-out.

3-way Shoot Out :
Sherwin Reed (5) - (4) Conway Julie
Imtiaz Ahmed (1) - (2) Conway Julie
Sherwin Reed (2) - (3) Imtiaz Ahmed
In the end, all 3 players recorded a win each, and the organisers decided to have a 3-way split for the Plate Section honours - awarding each player with a prize of their own!

Final Standings - Plate Section
Imtiaz Ahmed (PFC) - 5
Conway Julie (PFC) - 5
Sherwin Reed (PFC) - 5
Kegan vd Merwe (PFC) - 4
Stanton Nortjie (PFC) - 3
Nich vd Berg (NED) - 2

In the end, a well supported and totally enjoyable end to the Subbuteo year as far as Pretoria Flickers Club is concerned!
Congratulations to Clifford Graaff on defending his SA Championships title!
Well done to the Plate Section players for delivering a memorable event as well!
Thanks goes out to Gary Downs and his wife Carol-Lynne Downs for providing lunch to all participants on the day.
A BIG thank you to Carol-Lynne and her company DN Accounting Solutions for sponsoring the prizes on the day - could not have done this without you guys!

Finally, thank you to all who attended PFC's hosting of the 2018 SA Champ's. Looking forward to Johannesburg 2020!

The PFC facebook page will be updated shortly with photo's & news content at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PFC-SA/519566284755728

(report by Julian vd Merwe)