It’s been said in many places by many people but this was an awesome tournament. I was particularly impressed with the format which allowed lots of games for even the worst teams.
Anyway – our games as far as I remember them, one week after the event.
Blackjack 5 – Scouting for Goals 0
The first game of Swiss Rounds is always going to be a drubbing for the lesser teams, but we did well to hold on for 7 minutes and not get pushed around too hard by the big boys. The combination of physical size (Rik/Toros chap) and speed/shooting (French chap) totally undid us!
Scouting for Goals 5 – Rusty Rims 0
Back up to +/-0 goal difference with a whooping of our own. Not much to report beyond the scoreline. There were two women on this team, but instead of adopting our usual ‘No, please, after you‘ chivalry, we took no prisoners!
Les ….. (French Team) 4 – Scouting for Goals 2
The close games started here, and this was a good one. They were a lot faster than previous teams, but all pretty small, so me and Lucas used our abundant frames to good effect. They deserved the win, but the last goal was pretty flukey, spinning and bobbling around Lucas’ back wheel. Earlier on I had a coming-together with on of the speedier ones, and bent my l/h crank.
Scouting for Goals 3 – Degeneration 3
A hard-fought and occasionally bitter game, with a few vocal complaints from our opponents. We were trying our hardest, but I don’t think we were playing dirty. (Usually we come to tournaments and get pushed around ourselves!) They seemed a bit nervy in possession, and at least 2/3rds of their team had major organisational roles, but still managed to ramp up the goals. Probably our best result at the tournament, as these guys qualified for the Euros.
Soyo Polo Co 5 – Scouting for Goals 4
This was the first result we were honestly disappointed with, as it really could have gone either way. Both teams must have defended abysmally for the score to ratchet up one-by-one. I expected Chris to be their best player, dominate possession and score the goals, but he adopted more of a set-up/assist role which left space for the other guys; something we failed to do. As the final game of the day, this one bumped us into the losers tournament on the following day. Lucas mentioned something about if we had won this one we would have gone top-30s, which would have been incredible. Time to get my drank on…
We arrived in a timely manner on Sunday morning, and waited patiently for our first game. I hadn’t gone in goal at all the previous day, so announced to my team mates I would be doing (a bit) more of that…
Scouting for Goals 3 – Sickburn 2
I don’t remember much about the game, apart from it being very close and me hitting Stu (another Birmingham player) in the face with my mallet. At the time, I thought I had just hit his finger (which is what Matt said) but apparently it rebounded into his cheek. I still feel guilty about that, especially as I scored past him immediately afterwards!
Scouting for Goals 2 – ? 3
I forgot their team name, but they played in yellow and had and Irish chap who intercepted 90% of my feeble passes. We gelled very poorly in this game, and deserved to be knocked into the losers bracket of the losers tournaments (the shame…)
Poloski Poles 3 – Scouting for Goals 2
Another close one, but by now our spirit was broken. Lucas played his best attacking game of the tournament I thought, and had several near misses/saved shots.
Overall, I was pleased with our performances, and thought we played our strengths really well. Lucas was solid in defence, and chased people away from goal well. LJ was a lefty menace and regained possession more times than I can remember. I scored plenty of goals (around 19, I think) and held possession well. I also think our communication was pretty good.
I think for us to improve, we need to further develop our individual roles/strengths and learn how to stay focussed on grinding out a result. After the first couple, all of our games were really close so every goal, save and missed opportunity really counted for a lot. As happy as I was to score loads of goals, I should have spread possession around more to make our attack a bit less predictable. Also, LJ shouldn’t have got drunk before that Soyo game…