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Now in it’s 13th year, the KO2 UK Championships has a proud history yet this year’s turnout was it’s lowest, with concerns it could even be the last.

 

v Mark E

I have to admit to feeling out of touch with the scene myself but despite this made a late decision to attend. And yes, it was the right choice! Chatting away, playing a few warm-up games with Mark, I learnt his last KO2 action was way back in 2009. Now that’s what I call a comeback! He still put 6 goals past me in our first friendly, then I scored a rare, sweet free kick in the rematch, before Mark clinched the decider.  Whatever happened next, this best of 3 provided both of us with at least a few highlights.   As it happened, our official battles went my way but there was much less between us than the scoreline suggests. Great to see you back in action mate.
Garry C 4 v 0 Mark E
Mark E 4 v 7 Garry C

v Chris D

Chris added an international dimension to the event, coming all the way from Norway to attend. Respect! He’s a good bloke and on the rise with his Kick Off but maybe unfamiliar with some of my less advanced moves and tactics, though credit to him for taking defeat with a wry smile.  In our first match I was 3-0  up before Chris got into gear to level it 3-3. I’d have taken the draw at this point but somehow nicked a late lobbed winner.  Unlucky mate.  Chris’  gameplay will no doubt progress by the time we next meet when I’m sure results will be different! Good luck on your KO journey mate.
Garry C 4 v 3 Chris D
Chris D 4 v 6 Garry C

v Mark W

He might not have hit top form this year but he was elite off the pitch. Without organisers we don’t have tournaments of course, and Mark did us all proud. Even amid the scoreboard failures, Mark rose to the challenge with an old skool white board and nifty smartphone app combo.  Result! The turnout may have been low but the gathering spirit was high. You should be proud of that mate, and know that your efforts are much appreciated.

Garry C 5 v 2 Mark W
Mark W 3 v 2 Garry C

UKC 2014 Scoreboard

Who needs a laptop anyway…

v Steve C

Win, draw or lose, it’s always a fun encounter with Camberman and got to say I rode my luck in this one too. Thankfully my keeper stood very tall to combat the inevitable aerial assault. Like my match against Chris I forged a 3-0 lead only to be pinned back 3-3 before edging another narrow victory. Phew!  Adding to the talking points, was the latest KO2CV feature, the Territory Stat, neat HT/FT displays of where the action lies showing who’s bossing the territory battle! Great work as always, Steve.
Steve C 3 v 4 Garry C
Garry C 5 v 2 Steve C

v Robert S

There’s always plenty of action in a match with my  next opponent. I was fortunate to play a rusty Robert in the first round which ended 6-1 in my favour and kinda summed up my whole UK Championship. While I was chuffed to claim runner-up position (especially after thinking there was more chance of finishing second bottom)  it goes to show how  a little goes a  long way sometimes, thanks to some kick off lobs,  corner routines, and some attack-minded lockout play.  Reality returned when a refocused Robert evened things out with a deserved second round victory over the UK’s No#2 haha
Garry C 6 v 1 Robert S
Robert S3 v 1 Garry C

v Andy G
Two great battles against a great player! This guy can play and whatever locking out tactics you try, he finds a way. I think I held Andy at bay until the second half in the first encounter but Andy took control early on in the second. Relentless attacking, deft penalty box control and elite finishing make him a class act. 100% wins, 100% UK Champion, and a gentleman to boot. Very, very well played mate
Andy G 5 v 3 Garry C
Garry C 2 v 6 Andy G

During the day I was spectator to some very entertaining matches too, notably the Steve 4  v 3 Robert , an incredible Andy 8 – 7 Chris goal-athon and a memorable finale to the championship Mark W  4 v  4 Chris D with some heroic defensive blocks and smart finishing on display.

And before time was up,  the Golden Goal Cup. He who scores first, wins! From the opening kick off lob (if you dare), every attempt on goal is a potential match winner, prompting plenty of vocal support from the terraces! We’re talking speed Kick Off here with matches barely lasting minutes and usually mere seconds so before we knew it, Mark W went head to head with Andy in the final. This relatively new tradition was decided, for the first time, by a rather unlucky golden own goal that saw Andy claim the double.

So that was that and another UK Championship was over. Despite arriving feeling almost an outsider, I ended the day positively touched by the camaraderie and the generous gathering spirit. Thanks everyone! And I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that. The UKCs dead? You gotta be kidding. Long live the UKCs!

IMAG0463

UKC Class of ’14: Chris, Garry, Mark, Steve, Mark, Robert and Andy

 

UKC 2014 Table

FULL RESULTS

Chris D 2 v 5 Andy G
Mark W 4 v 4 Chris D
Andy G 7 v 4 Steve C
Mark W 3 v 2 Garry C
Steve C 0 v 4 Chris D
Robert S4 v 0 Mark E
Mark W 1 v 9 Andy G
Chris D 4 v 6 Garry C
Steve C 4 v 3 Robert S
Chris D 2 v 3 Robert S
Mark E 0 v 3 Mark W
Garry C 2 v 6 Andy G
Andy G 8 v 7 Chris D
Andy G 6 v 3 Mark E
Andy G 4 v 0 Robert S
Mark E 3 v 7 Steve C
Mark E 2 v 7 Chris D
Mark E 4 v 7 Garry C
Steve C 3 v 4 Mark W
Garry C 5 v 2 Steve C
Garry C 5 v 2 Mark W
Robert S1 v 1 Mark W
Robert S3 v 1 Garry C
Chris D 5 v 6 Steve C
Mark W 2 v 0 Mark E
Andy G 9 v 1 Mark W
Andy G 5 v 3 Garry C
Chris D 6 v 1 Mark E
Mark E 0 v 3 Robert S
Steve C 1 v 5 Andy G
Steve C 3 v 4 Garry C
Garry C 6 v 1 Robert S
Robert S2 v 3 Chris D
Chris D 7 v 1 Mark W
Mark E 4 v 6 Andy G
Robert S2 v 6 Steve C
Mark W 2 v 4 Robert S
Mark W 3 v 5 Steve C
Steve C 7 v 1 Mark E
Garry C 4 v 3 Chris D
Garry C 4 v 0 Mark E
Robert S4 v 6 Andy G

 

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