Steve E,8,John W,1,
Jon G,6,Steve E,5,
Robert S,2,Steve E,4,
Steve E,4,Wayne L,4,
Steve E,5,Mandhir S,2,
Darren G,2,Steve E,8,
Greg N,1,Steve E,3,
Nick H,2,Steve E,5,
Steve E,6,Garry C,3,
Steve E,3,Andy E,1,
Steve E,6,Mark W,4,
Steve C,3,Steve E,3,
Andy H,1,Steve E,2,
Steve E,3,James B,4,
What an unbelievable weekend. Im still on a high from it! For a while it seemed like this UK Champs wasnt going to be up there with the others but due to the late influx of players, the KOA once again made a memorable event possible! Without any of the people attending, none of this highs nor the lows, the laughter and the excitement would simply not have happened.
Upon getting to the Hotel first thing the room was open and a shedload of people were walking into the Conference room - Knowing that our previous venue had been double booked I was a little worried! The guy at reception removed them and then there was no tables!
We got the laptop communicating with the projector but the screen was black on the laptop - so huge thanks to Greg for making it viewable on there as well. i would imagine that without this it would have caused a few headaches! Also, huge thanks to BountyBob for his fixture software. I was saying to Gaz that once everyone was in there it was up to all of us to make it work (basically my way of deflecting any blame
) and without the worry of the laptop breaking...and even if it did, Marks superb program would have saved anyway meant I could concentrate on enjoying the tourney. Also, I think I gave Gaz my share of organisers syndrome
Unsure where my good performance came from, but its like I was saying about Noodles the other week...you play the good players enough times and you'l eventually get up there. I re-iterate again...Noodles should be shit hot after Italy.
First game for me was on my own equipment (always nice when using a familiar screen
) against John W. It was a game in perfect synch with most of my games during the tournament where the initial goal (or goals!) were hard to come by and consequently the more the game went on, the more I was worried.
I was winning 2-1 with half time on the horizon and then John W missed a guilt edged chance...he simply had to knock it into the empty net but his new joystick showed it maybe needed a few more games to get into the groove first. After that the final scoreline wasnt vindictive of how close the game was. Unlucky John.
Next up for me was JonG and I wasnt too confident, but having played a close friendly game I was saying to myself that I want to play people like JonG plenty of times so I can eventually equal his skill level (regular wednesday tournies Jon?? hehe). At 3-1 down I wasnt too downhearted because I just loaded up a mindframe that iv been losing by greater margins in jff's and came back plus id be kicking up the field. With it 5-5, the keeper fluffed one of Jons diagonals and he scored it into the empty net. I didnt even have time to try my Kick Off routine - stunning game though with no complaints, little did I know that these two extra points for him, so early in the tournament would be pivotal (i guess we could say that about most games though)
Like a cat out of water I took the bullit by the horns and my next game was against Rob! At least I think it was...I distinctly remember Gaz having an epic encounter with Kobra man and so to balance out of the games I would have to take something from Rob.
When we played in Feburary I was berefit of confidence and tried to wing the game. With the final score 3-2 I thought that maybe if I had more belief I may have done better? Possibly. It was nice that I had gone from a banana skin to an oil slick! To be honest, this gave me more of a confidence boost that I was deemed a threat! Rob did lots of attacking and my keeper was on good form. With the cushion of a few goals to my advantage I managed to enjoy parts of the game and not be nervous as crap
I remarked that I was dreading playing Waynie because I know I was lucky to beat him in Rome, and once again took advantage of his low morale to win at the London International in February but this time id' be facing a Waynie that wasnt hamstringed with a frustration. Instead this would be a free flowing Waynie who wouldnt be over reliant over any part of his game - Instead it was me who was reliant on my routine to get me a 4-4 draw! Cracking game to a player who I dont like playing...I just love playing because dating back to our first games at Sids stadium they have always been memorable!
Some of the games I am having trouble remembering I have to say, just looking at the results Im suprised I managed that win against Sid because he had a cracking tournament and as Waynie will do - he's getting better and better with the Greek stick. As with himself, Gaz and SimonK...on any given game we can all beat each other. Its just a little luck that a player needs to take the ascendancy.
Before my game with Gaz, Waynie said that to prove that KOBRA stick together, Gaz would have to let me win
But we might support each other when playing other players, when we square up to each other no love is lost and we battle battle and battle!! When Gaz took the lead I had to do that (in that order as well) to claim a win...if you saw the results you might think Gaz let me win due to an own goal but given that Gaz always had one eye on the timetable and every other issue as well in organising, I took advantage of moments where his concentration may have broken. Its impossible to say which way these games will go.
Had a great game with MarkW as well where Houlier joined his team in a last minute transfer amidst xmas celebrations the night before...so first thing Sunday morning I signed Roland Koeman
Nick was very unlucky in our game I have to say, he was bottom and on a low edge so the last thing you want is a dodgy goal keeper which is exactly what he got. But scoring two goals when confidence is low is a great positive - besides, he hadnt gone to McDonalds at this moment so he was in dire need of sustunance!
Greg is a great player but something wasnt clicking right in this tournament. Fresh on the heels of winning Koohl 10 it just didnt work for him this tourney - I'v had this happen too and its difficult to describe. In the previous UK Champs I was a little disappointed with my finish. (but those disapointments are quickly discarded because its special...very special to be part of these events and Id happily finish bottom just to be part of it). Hope to see you around my house a lot more bud for Pizza, avoiding the cats and classic tournies!
My game with Steve Camber will be a game I'll remember for a long time! By the end of the tournament I was in a state of disbelief as to how well I was doing but I was indeed flagging a little. I was very hungry but I started to get a little supersticious and so decided id eat after I played all my games. In the game with Steve I never actually took the lead but with it 3-2, I managed a great goal from the byline and let out a great 'yesssssssssssssssss!!!' when it went in. A loss with Jon, A draw with Steve and a win over Rob - I was very happy with these results, but could I avoid the Beard?
Before that I had a tricky encounter with I think AndyH where it was squeaky bum time for a while with it being 1-0...then when I made it 2-0 I could rest easy..until he made it 2-1!!! Fucking hell, this game took ages to finish and I really thought I was going to lose it but I held out thankfully. What happened next illustrated just how close this league was taking place...
The deciding games were going to be on the big screen but due to the implications, which games would be on the fucker??? It was impossible to determine. So I took the bullit by the horns and thought fuck it, lets play this game! As it turned out, both my game with James and Steve vs Rob had implications but we couldnt both play on there plus due to Rob and Steve both with a chance of winning it depending on who won, it was fair that their game was on the screen.
For my game with James, I knew it would be more difficult that the cup encounter we played - In that game he could have easily been 3-0 up in the opening stages but due to his rustyness, the little nuances that are critical in Kick Off were slightly awry, but as the tournament wore on he was getting back up to the old James that we knew from UK '06. Either before or after, it really meant a lot when I heard Rob say that I was not only an oil slick but I was a contender! Within this battle I was in esteemed company...Kick Off players who are legends, the people who were there from the beginning. Iv always looked upon the early days with envious eyes but with the 'classic' players returning, it really felt like a tournament from old or my perception of it at least. hehe
When playing James it was great that we had an audience although this makes me nervous as fuck - plus was it me or did it suddenly get very cold?? It may have been the reaper to claw my hands away from a possible UK Champs. Indeed when I was losing 2-0 I thought it was going to be a whitewash and was thankful that my embrassment wasnt up there on the big screen for all to see. But then I made it 2-2!! come on!! Then...nothing...
I have absolutely no recollection as to what happened next. A vast array of nothingness is slightly punctuated by James 'Yes!! Come on Me!!" Which i thought was great - to see me pushing such a great player was very special.
But apart from that nothing...honestly. I thought I had clawed it back to 3-3. After being 3-2 down (or maybe 3-0 down?) I dont know. It's as if I got abducted by Aliens or something or maybe the real SteveE came back
after an imposter won all of my other games lol. So I can only go on by what others have said...but, if I had held out for a 3-2 win. IF IF IF IF IF...I would have been the UK Champion. Now for me, that is simply fucking incredible. I cannot describe this! Im struggling to think of some superlatives to describe how good it was to finish 4th..but not only to finish 4th but to be in with a shout and with it going to the last game! (even though after my last game I was out of it).
When I lost it was great to hear James say I was a good player.
Although I didnt win a medal I wasnt too fussed because it was just great to be part of this epic title challenge. But more than that, it was great to have fun with everyone who attended.
So so unlucky Steve and Rob...you guys played a fantastic game on the big screen and you would have both been worthy winners. SteveC didnt even lost a game! It was just that final game that did it for you. If only one of those draws had been a win and like in all games...I bet this could so easily have been the case. Rob? You were my tip for the title and you nearly did it..clawing your way back not once..but twice and then taking the lead with not long on the clock. Wow, although you didnt win it you should be very proud of being part of such an enigmatic final game.
I could sense that Jon thought he had blew it...but many a strange things happened on this memorable day and as with all final days, what seemed 100% possible before the tournamnent, then seemed impossible by the end! In the final game I was willing whoever was losing to claw back to a draw and even after Steve brought it back to a draw he nearly scored an own goal! The drama! But from the jaws of defeat, the trophy had a very worthy winner and it stayed in Birmingham as well!
Well done to everyone Gaz for the way we have worked fantastically well as a team in the run up to the tournament and then making sure we had time for cup games and also the draws which really added to the atmosphere as well as making sure everything was working well, Rob for doing the double tables which was a great idea (didnt think it would be possible given the size of the room) and his knowledge for what works on the day as well and getting more players, SteveC for the projector help, Greg for getting the laptop viewable, BountyBob for the Fixture Handler and Spyros for getting Greek Sticks for myself and Waynie...some of that Greek charm certainly helped my performance
In short, well done to everyone within the KOA!!!
After three...all hail the KOA...all hail the KOA!! (only me then!