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After KOBRA went GLOBAL in November, we then notched up another first when in December we entered the retro-scene called the 8-bit Lounge. More than another dimension, we were worlds away from the forum mood at the time. The gathering spirit there was friendly, welcoming and laid back – just like Tony, the event organiser who even helped us out with a spare tv. The evening felt like a mix between a pub, a club and and arcade. The location was itself a pub, where incidentally both myself and Jon had worked many moons ago, though it felt more than that. There were DJs too, mixing retro sounds and tunes to create quite a unique toe-tapping, head-nodding atmosphere. Steve later quipped that he even scored goals in time with the rhythm of the music!!! The vibes were clearly two-way when later chatting with DJ Leon, he said how he’d picked up on the enthusiastic cheers and jeers coming from our corner of the room! Then with the array of consoles including a Gamecube, a Dreamcast, a couple of PS2s, and of course our three amigas, this obviously gave the arcade feel. Could’t tell you which game it was but I had fun playing some beat ’em up on the Dreamcast which was being projected onto the wall. I even won a fight or two! Steve had the excellent idea of using one of the three Amiga’s for non-KO2 stuff so to offer his hard-drive selection of games. I’d say there was a good 30-40 people present, coming for a range of reasons, some here for the gaming, some for the music and some for the friendly social side of the event.

The Boddingtons was tasting very good, even though it probably wasn’t that good for my KO2! This didn’t matter though as tonight’s emphasis was on the friendly, rather than the competitive.

Garry C 5 – 6 Jon G
Simon K 2 – 1 Garry C
Garry C 3 – 7 Steve E

It was really good to see Jon again, the first time since the UK Champs. In October he’d become a Dad for the second time after the birth of his son, Daniel. No doubt he’d been busier handling nappies than joysticks lately, and that probably explained why unusually I lead for a good portion of the first half. Back at 4-4, in the dying moments of the first half, I rounded his keeper to seemingly slot the ball home the into an empty net only for the ball to crash back off the bar and to safety!!! I’d seen that before but it certainly doesn’t happen very often. In the second half I looked at least worthy of a point I thought when a champ does, what a champ has to do, and took all three points in the virtually the last attack of the game! So near, yet so far – was this to be my theme for the night? Nevertheless I was playing well, I felt, and this continued into my game with Si. My only memory of this game, however, was the too defensive clangers I dropped. Goal side of this attacker, I somehow failed to connect with the ball, leaving a 1v1 situation for Si to clinically punish. Not for the first time, the man with the [world’s] best defence wins the game! My round concluded with an Evil display of finishing. Despite starting the match brightly carving out some great opportunites, conversion evaded me, and soon this game was beyond me too.

Jon G 4 – 1 Garry C
Garry C 5 – 4 Simon K
Steve E 5 – 3 Garry C

My second round match with Jon was also tight, remembering it remained 2-1 for such a long period but again I couldn’t make my attacks count before Jon pushed ahead to once again secure the points. There was no shame in this of course, given the level of opposition, but I was certainly staring the wooden spoon fully in the face after four straight defeats. To my relief, I felt lady luck’s pendulum swung back my way against Si. I was suddenly getting the breaks and even Si dropped the odd defensive howler. 5-2 up late in the second half I seemed to be cruising, but despite Mr King’s late fight back, I just clung on to my solitary victory. Phew! Not sure if that spurred Si on because he notched up result of the night in the closing game. Not only did you emphatically beat Jon, but you did so with double-digits, 12-4!!! Glad that was his last game! hehe Ste had already claimed the title in time with the music before we played our last game. He certainly didn’t miss a beat against me, always with a comfortable tempo to complete the double over me. As we said before, we were attending more in a organisational role that as players, but nevertheless well played on this title.

We played a number of friendlies with others there, and there were two guys who arrived late on and were clearly having a good time, playing each other, while we played our tourney. “I was 2 years old when this game came out!”, Craig enthusiastically told me during the one game. Reaching the parts other tourneys don’t reach alright…

Anyway, our visit to the 8-bit Lounge was a fitting end to a memorable year. Being KO2’s 20th anniversary year it was always going to be special of course and I’m sure everyone has there own highlights. Chatting with Ste the other night we looked back and recalled a few of our own. We’d been honoured to welcome two international guests. In April Volker’s Weekend took place including our first drinking-forfeit tourney! And Costas brought the sunshine and much fun in July with a return of the Helland fixture!. There were other KOBRAs and KOOHLs before and after but in May we completed our trilogy of hosting the UK Championships with my co-organiser Steve E deservedly taking the crown! In October myself and Si made the unforgettable trip to Dusseldorf for a wonderful KOA World Cup. And November’s launch of KOBRA.tv still makes us laugh! Great memories from a great year. Here’s to more of the same for all of us in 2011….. Happy New Year!

Full Results
Garry C 5 – 6 Jon G
Simon K 3 – 5 Steve E
Simon K 2 – 1 Garry C
Steve E 5 – 4 Jon G
Garry C 3 – 7 Steve E
Jon G 5 – 6 Simon K
Jon G 4 – 1 Garry C
Steve E 3 – 3 Simon K
Garry C 5 – 4 Simon K
Jon G 6 – 9 Steve E
Steve E 5 – 3 Garry C
Simon K 12 – 4 Jon G

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