Just as last year drew to a close so our 2011 tournament activity opened with a return to the 8-Bit Lounge. Though it almost didn’t happen! We arrived at the pub to meet Alex of Thee Moths outside who’d just been told the whole event was off!! All due to to the mystery disappearance of co-organiser, DJ Leon? The five or so of us there began chatting about a new date and just as it seemed we were about to call it a night, in walked Leon! 8-Bit Lounge reloaded….

With Si having to pull out, this time around we were the three amigos – and with one less amiga too, after Steve’s hardware malfunction the night before. On top of that we had the return of the floodlight failure, though we managed a workaround, resulting in B&W KO2, and with shades of ’66 Ste changed that the teams names to England v West Germany. hehe We kidded ourselves that our mission for the night was to encourage/attain/abduct a 4th player by all means necessary! The first guy I approached firstly didn’t like football, and secondly didn’t like fast-paced video games!!! Not a good start.

Perhaps due to this recruitment distraction, I regret that I didn’t take more notice of the performance by Thee Moths , and only in fact remember the one track, a pulsing, droning oboriginal-like sound that built to a attention stopping cruscendo! Anyway, other players came and went but we weren’t giving up that easily and later a bunch a three guys came over, and two of whom played a friendly together. Despite having not played before, their fun was obvious, especially the ribbing they were giving each other. Their enthusiasm was contagious and we were thrilled when they accept our invitation for a knock-out competition and just as we were due to kick off, another newcomer, Tom, decided to join in. As everyone around here knows, scoring KO2 goals as a newcomer is some challenge, so us three regulars offered to play without keepers against newcomers to make it more interesting!

Quarter Final
Jon G 6 – 5 Garry C
Dan N 0 – 1 Tom P

(Steve E and Jon G received a bye)

Semi Final
Tom P 1 – 3 Steve E
Rick S 6 – 7 Jon G

Jon G 2 – 1 Steve E

The draw done, my QF battle was against Jon! The ex-UK Champ started well, calving out an early lead but I felt I got stronger as the game went on, but the goals just wouldn’t come including a gilt-edged diagonal run across and into the box where I completely failed to connect with the ball when I was a ‘cert’ to score. Still, I took some consolation with a 5-6 defeat and looked forward to spectating the remaining matches. Tom, applying his Sensible Soccer skillz of old, edged his QF against to complete the SF line-up. Sure, you’d expect the experienced players to prevail but taking your foot off the gas can be a dangerous game. Both Ste and particularly Jon had their moments, especially with the unfamiliarity of playing without a keeper, but both made it through to the final. They had hoped to put on a goalfeast for our newcomer friends but surprisingly Fisher claimed man of the match, and with a paltry 2-1 final score, Jon claimed his the 8-Bit Fun Cup honours!

The fun wasn’t quite over when Rick and Dan decided to play one last friendly, complete with keepers this time. As each player entered the penalty box, shouts of ‘SHOOT’ echoed around the place followed immediately by various insults as Fisher prevailed! Perhaps inevitably the score remained 0-0 and it eventually went to penalties. Even with spot kicks, there’s a knack of course to getting the direction and power just right. Although they were getting closer the score remained 0-0 after the first 4 kicks and, hilariously, Dan somehow managed to hit the crossbar not once, not twice, but three in three times and still didn’t score. Everyone was in stitches! He had the last laugh however when he converted the last two to seal his first unofficial KO2 victory 2-1 on penalties. Sweet! The guys had been great sports but the truth was they’d added to the fun of the evening for all of us.


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