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Ten players celebrating ten years of KOBRA… what were the chances!?  Organisers organise but players make tournaments so big thanks to all who attended and helped support what was n special milestone for us, right up there with the national and international events we’ve hosted.

SPEED CUP
By way of a warm-up and good excuse to explore the latest CV practice mode feature, we each had 90 seconds to score our fastest goal.  The records tumbled with times we didn’t even think possible during the qualifying round.  And with lightening speeds of 3.08s and 3.10s respectively Simon and Cornelius progressed to the head-to-head Speed-Off Final!  Time trials equals time pressure of course and in front of the expectant crowd, both players were feeling the heat, and despite heroics moments earlier, neither could score to save their life haha  Who knew that the cup winning times turned out to be worst of the competition but a win is a win as they say and first honours went to Cornelius with a not so spectacular 47.62s.  Get in!

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LEAGUE
It was a thrill to experience the buzz of tournament kick off again, especially in a 10-man x1 league, where every match mattered…and here’s how mine went…

Garry C,8,Mick C,4,
What a debut! First match of his first KOA tourney, Mick was on the front foot right from the off, taking an instant lead, and always one goal ahead until a second half flurry of lobs made this look much more comfortable than it was for me.  Welcome to the KOA and hope to see you around. Must also mention the illuminated competition pro – impressive!

Mark V,3,Garry C,5,
Both Vella bros are great guys and my match with Mark was another bumpy ride for me, despite what the league table says.  Two goal margins are nothing in KO2, especially after the first half dismissal of Cox for my profession foul by uncharacteristically card happy ref, J. Daniels.  His bad day didn’t quite spoil mine and only a late goal gave me the two goal cushion to see me through.

Garry C,3,Simon K,1,
Sparring partners since time began, it’s like a local derby when we play, and we’d both probably have taken a draw beforehand. I certainly would after going 0-1 down in a scrappy doo game, though managed to level by HT, and sneak another second half before Si’s clearance ricocheted off his own defender to fall perfectly to give me an easy tap-in to secure all three points.  Hard lines man.

Garry C,4,Ian K,2,
Good to see Ian again, first time since our UKC’14 encounter so knew this would be tricky game – and it was! If I remember correctly I fought my way into a lead when I was awarded a penalty, and a chance to put some daylight between us.  Not so! After saving the penalty, Ian scored soon after, and was on the up whereas all I wanted was the whistle.

Lee W,2,Garry C,3,
Great to meet Lee (and Jane too) for the first time and he gave me a match alright. Fast out the traps he was 2-0 within 30 seconds and bossing the game.  Parking the bus, I got my men behind the ball, desperate to change the flow of this one.  It worked and I managed to claw back 2-2 by HT.  Victory was still anybody’s and it wasn’t until after 8 minutes, when Barber just outpaced Cox to bend an edge-of-the-box shot past Fisher for my closest run 3 points of the night.  Tough on you mate, your passion for the game is evident, and welcome at any tournament.

John V,1,Garry C,7,
The Vella bros also have such fantastic sibling rivalry and I’m sure our match will pale into insignificance compared to his league victory over his bro.  One of my memories of the night was hearing him provide a running score-line commentary of his match with Mark. Great to have you with us and good on you for shouldering the UKC responsibilities this year.

Garry C,7,Cornelius H,3,
Similarly this match is much overshadowed by your stay with us, a real pleasure, but how quick did it go. Fastest 48hrs on the planet, I reckon!  And eventful too – from near car breakdowns, to the Alkis goal/own-goal mystery, from not quite making it to the Jewellery Quarter (next time!) to live music at the Hare and Hounds (aka The 8bit Lounge), from Burgers with crisps to Cobras with shots, and soreheads and Rocky bars and farewell fuss for Minnie, it’s all been fab.  And hope we can do it again some time!

Andy G,3,Garry C,1,
Sporting gesture of the night must go to Andy. He scored right from the kick off with my defence absent yet offered to re-start the game when it transpired I was inadvertently playing ‘blitz’. Respect! We restarted, both unbeaten at this stage, knowing this could have title implications, with me locked down and locking out from every angle that Andy’s attacks rained down.  0-0 at HT was so far so good.  Fisher was on form too and I began to imagine my own Leicester City moment lol  It wasn’t to be, and Andy secured a quick brace and although I did get one back, Andy was on course for victory and the title. Great to see you again mate, appreciate you making the journey up – you’re a gent and scholar of the game.  Very well played.

Steve E,3,Garry C,4,
In this the final league game of the night, second place honours were up for grabs and Evil assertively challenged me to play from across the rooms!  He was up for this one, and so was I.  Ste went 1-0 and 2-1 up, I think, and I could feel this match slipping away, but the pendulum swung my way second half as I bounced back to  2-4.  Evil never says die though, scored and closed the gap to one, but thankfully I’d done just enough for victory.

It was quite a thrill to finish runner up with W8-D0-L1 in what was a tough league.  Personally I’d have taken any top half finish beforehand but maybe Kobraman is back !?  Fair to say, I had the roll of the dice on the night, with so many games coming up with a six just when I needed it.

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Back of the net!

FUN CUPS
Determined by league positions, with midnight approaching, we then drew for the Gold (1-4th) , Silver (5-8th) and Bronze (9&10th) Fun Cups for the night’s finale….

BRONZE CUP
With the added drama of another ‘Battle of the Bros’ John and Mark fought tooth and nail once more. Mark was seeking to avenge the defeat in the league but John wanted the double and everyone knew about it haha with live goal commentary audible whereever you were.  Well played John on taking this title, great to have you both on board.

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SILVER CUP
This one had more twists than you would ever believe. Cornelius aka Keanu aka “the guy from Austria” haha was Terminator Ko2.  He couldn’t lose, even when he lost!  He lost to Mick in the semi-final who then needed to leave due to time constraints so instead Cornelius had another bite of the cherry competing with fellow losing semi-finalist, Ian.  You’ve guessed – Cornelius lost again but Ian, possibly subject to some weird Jedi mind tricks, then needed to make a sudden departure of his own.  So in agreement with genuine finalist Lee, Cornelius got a bye into the final!!  By this stage it felt as if he was unstoppable. Lee, however, had other designs plus a world cup score to settle haha, and there was no question on this title.  6-0 to Lee, well won mate.

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GOLD CUP
Maybe fewer surprises here but just feel the quality.  Andy navigated his semi against Garry, 4-1,  to set up the Good vs Evil final.  No disputing the winner here either with an impressive 12-4 scoreline to crown a league and cup double richly deserved, best attack and best defence on the night, an epic performance on the back of an epic Bournemouth to Brum round trip.  Very well done mate.

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And so the night was over, 10 players, 5 titles, and the competitive yet friendly vibe was perfect, thanks to great bunch of ko nuts!   Cheers again to everyone, 10 years up, and here’s to 10 more…

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Then: Gaz, Si, Jon & Steve (28/02/07)

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And now: Ian, Mark, Ste, Si, Cornelius, John, Mick, Andy, Lee, Gaz (25/02/17)

Full League Results:
Mark V,0,Simon K,6,
Steve E,8,John V,1,
Garry C,8,Mick C,4,
Cornelius H,2,Andy G,5,
Lee W,3,Ian K,2,
Steve E,11,Mark V,1,
Garry C,3,Simon K,1,
Cornelius H,5,John V,2,
Lee W,4,Mick C,5,
Ian K,3,Andy G,8,
Mark V,3,Garry C,5,
Cornelius H,0,Steve E,7,
Lee W,1,Simon K,5,
Ian K,5,John V,2,
Andy G,6,Mick C,3,
Cornelius H,5,Mark V,3,
Lee W,2,Garry C,3,
Ian K,3,Steve E,8,
Andy G,6,Simon K,3,
Mick C,3,John V,0,
Mark V,4,Lee W,8,
Ian K,3,Cornelius H,3,
Andy G,3,Garry C,1,
Mick C,4,Steve E,5,
John V,3,Simon K,4,
Ian K,3,Mark V,1,
Andy G,7,Lee W,4,
Mick C,4,Cornelius H,2,
John V,1,Garry C,7,
Simon K,2,Steve E,5,
Mark V,3,Andy G,9,
Mick C,4,Ian K,5,
John V,2,Lee W,5,
Simon K,2,Cornelius H,3,
Steve E,3,Garry C,4,
Mick C,9,Mark V,2,
John V,1,Andy G,9,
Simon K,3,Ian K,2,
Steve E,5,Lee W,7,
Garry C,7,Cornelius H,3,
Mark V,1,John V,2,
Simon K,6,Mick C,4,
Steve E,1,Andy G,4,
Garry C,4,Ian K,2,
Cornelius H,2,Lee W,4,

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One thought on “And here’s to 10 more…

  1. Pingback: Keep right on in Manchester | Press Fire to Play

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