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The morning after the night before…. day 3 of our KO2-athon started s-l-o-w-l-y! The first half was a mixture of part sleep/part zombie/part consciousness, but a few coffees seem to ease things, whilst recalling the night before lifted everyone’s spirits.  What really got me back on track was Stevie’s full english breakfast. And we’re really talking FULL here. All the trimmings including some very tasty black pudding! Cheers matey.

No sooner had we finished it was 12 noon or should I say HIGH NOON! 😈 Kick off time for the most important fixture between local rivals, Birmingham City and Aston Villa. My son, Joe, joined us for this, and sat on the Blues’ settee (with Ste and me), and Volker bravely sat with the Vile fan!  Tbh on paper Villa were clear favourites, and I’d have settled for a 0-0 beforehand. As it happend the Blue boys put in a damn fine performance and deserving of a point at least, until that damn late 82nd minute “penalty”. GUTTED! Us Bluenoses were down but we weren’t out….

Slowly but surely we set things up for KOOHL 18 – our fourth tourney in three days , and a tourney after that night before!  I bet it was the same for the other guys but the room seemed to move more than it should every time I got up from my chair. KOA soldiers, we were, battling on as we did.

My opener against Volker was a real struggle and if this was to go by then the tourney ahead would be like a mountain. Volker’s superb defending blocked the majority of my efforts and the few times I created an opening, I lacked the sure touch to convert it. 0-0 with HT approaching, Volker conceeded a penalty and somehow this seemed to change everything. Like the other guys I’m sure, my senses were dulled from the night before but that penalty seemed to unlock something.  I regained some fluency and finally the goals came, as I secured a 4-2 victory. Against Steve I experienced some uncharacteristically clinical finishing, winning 9-4!!!

Despite the hangover it was as if the only part of my brain that seemed to be fully functioning was the KO2 part!!!! Without even trying (or thinking) about it, I seemed to gain control of the right player at the right time, and everything began to click into place. I was getting that bit of luck too in all the right places. Against the defensive king, Simon, I managed to find the goals I needed to come from behind. Si questioned how much I deserved to win that match. ‘Don’t talk to me about stealing a match – that one was for Birmingham!’

Boy, I was grateful for the final whistle against  Volker who became ultra effective using 433! Slender though it was the 5-4 win kept things going nicely for me. I was half expecting some payback against Evil but still the goals were flowing. After claiming another victory and an 8-5 one at that, I had to pinch myself afterwards, just to make sure this run was really happening!?!  I’d already secured top spot before my final encounter with Si so I had a no-pressure game to finish. My carefree (lucky)approach continued to reap rewards and 5-4 I was leading when with 10 seconds to go Si got the goal he deserved to deny me a 100% winning title, albeit over just 6 games. Maybe I should play more often in a hungover and sleep-deprived state, or at least seek out opponents in the same shape!  Without reading anything into this, I can’t imagine a more surreal tourney success!

FULL RESULTS:

Steve E,3,Simon K,3,
Garry C,4,Volker B,2,
Garry C,9,Steve E,4,
Volker B,2,Simon K,5,
Steve E,6,Volker B,1,
Simon K,3,Garry C,5,
Simon K,6,Steve E,6,
Volker B,4,Garry C,5,
Steve E,5,Garry C,8,
Simon K,1,Volker B,1,
Volker B,3,Steve E,10,
Garry C,5,Simon K,5,

KOOHL18reduced

Before the fifth and final leg in Volker’s Weekend in Brum (and my final report, you’ll be glad to hear, the host-with-the-most delivered the goods once more. Chicken legs, burgers and hot dogs (sausages via Volker) were on offer as we sat outside in the afternoon sunshine. The atmosphere was ultra laid back and everyone was totally at ease. Afterwards Donna and Joe resumed their monopoly and Rock Band(The Beatles) session, whilst we took on our final kick off challenge.

Vw tasty

 

After over-performing (or the others under-performing?) in the earlier tourney, this was a more much even contest. One thing that struck me about this tourney was the number of draws. I drew half of my games, and looking at the table, Si managed to draw two thirds of his!  Overall 5 out of the 12 fixtures ending with honours equal. 😯 Gotta be a KOA record or close to it? Not sure of the details but the tourney progressed with the final match between myself and Ste being the title decider. Again, not sure exactly how but I squeezed over the finish line with the narrowest of margins, 4-3. You may not have triumphed on the KO2 pitch this weekend mate, but you were truly champion off it. Thanks once again mate for all that you and Donna did for us in making this such a special weekend. Simply unbeatable!

Looking back I think we’d each clocked up something like 30 competitive games in less than 72 hours, so we were more than ready for a breather now. As we bundled everything (including me!) into Si’s van for the journey home, a rainbow emerged in the sky! Somewhere over the rainbow, there’s a Kick Off tourney, and most likely it’s a KOOHL one! There’s certainly friendships, I’ll treasure, that’s for sure.

vw rainbow

Back at mine, myself and Volker were more than a little weary by now but also cool with it too. We were caught in two minds. The prospect of an early 5am rise for the airport run was looming! Then again, we hadn’t managed to take in some live music yet. Early night or local gig – something had to give? And, once more, it was the sleep!! We went to the nearby venue, The Tower of Song, which has an ‘open mic’ on a sunday night. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but, man, I was so glad we made the effort because it was the most perfect ending to a brilliant weekend. What a chilled vibe, with musicians aged from 20 something to 60 something, jamming along with each other; one would start, another join in, and it’d spontaneously grow from there. Folk, country, blues, I was loving it all.

live-music

FULL RESULTS:

Volker B,1,Garry C,4,
Steve E,2,Simon K,2,
Steve E,3,Volker B,2,
Simon K,3,Garry C,3,
Volker B,3,Simon K,5,
Garry C,6,Steve E,6,
Garry C,6,Volker B,1,
Simon K,3,Steve E,4,
Volker B,5,Steve E,4,
Garry C,3,Simon K,3,
Simon K,2,Volker B,2,
Steve E,3,Garry C,4,

KOOHL19reduced

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