On a day that saw teams disappear into thin air (e.g., LesGaulois), where new alliances formed (e.g., BSL-LeCoq), and brand new teams emerge out of the blue from the ashes of another (e.g., Hotspot for Sunbelt), we witnessed a heavily Winking Frog infiltrated British Club (a.k.a. "British-Frog") snatching the Top Trophy without even conceding one single goal on the whole day (something the mighty Cosmos would have envied!). Congratulation to returning NIST Teachers maestro Adrian spearheading the team to their much sought-after championship.
This felt much like that other memorable alliance between Anglo-Franco of Aug/2006 (exactly a year ago), where they were surprising but triumphant victors again.
At the deep end, with Hisoa San long gone and Mori San away for holidays, we found BU Japan re-starting their BadCup! streak once again, grabbing the last place trophy for a 2nd month in-a-row, and the debutantes Hotspot narrowly missing out on the BadCup! on their "first-ever" entry in the Vets (by the way, many thanks to Preben for raising the squad on the brink of the moment).
Below are just my brief observations on each team during the day:
In a united team that none of the players were genuine British Club members, the collaboration between British Club and Winking Frog bore a tasty fruit — this month's the Top Trophy!
After numerous 2nd place finishes and their recent string of top class performances, Derek the Frog and his Winking Frog crew finally got the chance to taste a Vets championship this month, albeit in alliance with the British Club.
NIST's Adrian marks up one more notch, a 6th time, on his list of Vets championships.
British Club, in partnership with another team in the League, wins the championship again in the month of August (repeating their Aug/2006 championship with Anglo-Franco) — a trend we will be closely monitoring in upcoming seasons.
Germans: brought a very strong team to this month's competition, and were able to steal points away from the British-Frog in a draw in the Group Stage. However, they could not hold the British-Frog when they faced them in the Grand Final.
Anatolia: strongly finished the Group Stage at the top. In a highly contested match against the 4th place Germans in the SFs, came excruciatingly close to reaching their 1st Grand Final — to no avail! They still finished the day with their "first-ever" silverware in the Vets after taking down Irish Xchange in the 3rd place match.
Irish Xchange: as the defending Champ!, put on a mediocre performance overall, while showing moments of brilliance throughout the day, for example, beating the eventual Grand Finalists, Germans, 1-0 in the last game of the Group Stage.
BSL: In the absence of some of the stronger teams this month, BSL not only escaped winning the BadCup!, but they even brought home their "first-ever" silverware — the Plate! (5th overall) trophy.
Hotspot: For a last minute incorporated team in place of now disbanded Sunbelt, had a respectable showing by finishing the Group Stage at the very bottom, but not winning the BadCup! in their first outing at the Vets.
BU Japan: still had a lot of fight in them to finish the Group Stage one before bottom; however, couldn't escape the BadCup! for still having to play in the BadCup! final against the Hotspot.
It seems like the August competitions are what the British Club lads thrive on, because we usually have the least number of teams in the running due to the summer holidays. Strong teams like Cosmos, LesGaulois, Debsirin or Vikings were missing in action again this month which allowed British-Frog run away with the Top Trophy.
Players like NIST's commanding Captain Adrian at the helm, Derek the Frog in the goal, plus Winking Frog's Joe and Paul ploughing the midfield seeding the goals, and British Club's Julian and Wayne sniffing for any and every opportunity upfront, other teams didn't stand much chance.
With a bit of luck against Anatolia in the first match, they took the Group Stage at their own stride, and never looked back after that, skillfully disposing Irish Xchange in a penalty-shootout in the SFs, and clinically finishing off Germans in the Grand Final.
Stuff of the legends! Congratulations.
Here's the complete scores of the day ==>
Already eagerly looking forward to next month's competition.
Picture 1 — All the silverware, raring to go!
Picture 2 — BSL's Roland and Ian discussing the strategy (on how not to win the BadCup!) for today's tournament.
Picture 3 — British-Frog ready to head out.
Picture 4 — Anatolian Turks brought one of their strong squads in recent times.
Picture 5 — BadCup! defenders, BU Japan, in their distinctive Ronaldinho Orange.
Picture 6 — BSL Veterans, with a couple of ringers from LeCoq French, enjoyed the day throughout.
Picture 7 — Hot off the docks, the League's new debutantes, Sunbelt come, Hotspot Spotters.
Picture 8 — British-Frog's formidable squad, while Derek the Frog pulling his usual pranksters.
Picture 9 — Defending Champ! Irish Xchange came short this month, bowing out to British-Frog on penalty-shootouts in the SFs.
Picture 10 — Mad-rush for liquids between the matches.
Picture 11 — British-Frog's Julian take time off for a nice rub-down from Kh. Sila.
Picture 12 — Midfield tussle in the last Group Stage game of the day between Irish Xchange and the Germans.
Picture 13 — British-Frog and Irish Xchange measuring each other before their SF clash, and, of course, Derek the Frog is on the beers like a fish in the ocean.
Picture 14 — BU Japan and Hotspot Spotters pose for a nice one after their Play-Off match.
Picture 15 — Hotspot lads, dive into the beers, happy not to earn the dubious distinction of BadCup! winners on their 1st entry.
Picture 16 — Grand Final's kickoff.
Picture 17 — British-Frog (in red) and Germans (in red!) stop for a friendly photo-op at the end of the Grand Final.
Picture 18 — The crowd is packing up for the day.
Picture 19 — BU Japan had to rush to a close friend's farewell party, but not before being handed over the BadCup! of this month.
Picture 20 — LeCoq's Christophe and BSL's Roland share the Plate! (5th overall) trophy this month.
Picture 21 — Anatolian Turks's skillful Captain Yilmaz picks up their "first-ever" silverware, the 3rd place, after 6 previous entries in the Vets.
Picture 22 — Germans's Raphael somberly joyful in their 2nd place finish, highest since Jun/2005, more than 2 years ago!.
Picture 23 — Eralp the Organizer is talking up the achievements of British-Frog this month.
Picture 24 — British Club's Wayne proud to lift this month's Top Trophy.
Well done to everyone who played on Sunday, it was a great team performance and fun.
The first game against Anatolian Turks was a bit dodgy, we were still trying to sort out shape and suitable positions, but super Derek pulled off countless saves (I've heard he just imagines the ball is a keg of Tiger beer).
After the Turks, I don't think we were really threatened, even the defending champions Irish Xchange didn't give us any problems, and we saw them off on a penalty-shootout.
It was a fantastic achievement and a first to go the distance without conceding a goal. So, a hearty "well done" to the defence and goalie. Everyone gave massive performances (shame Cosmos weren't there!).
I look forward to seeing you all again whichever team you are playing for. Have a good month and rest those tired legs.
From: Eralp Team: Organizer Date: 16/Aug/2007
A great performance from the British Club indeed, albeit heavily Winking Frog infiltrated :)
August is turning out to be a staple "British Club championship" month every year!
Looking forward to next month's for Vets, and next year's for British Club ;)
Feel free to e-mail to me if you would like to voice your take on the above summary, or would like to obtain the original resolution pictures.