Ok I have to hold my hands up and apologise as your roving reporter of all things Team Picker Cup related. Between going on holiday in October and then having work commitments I haven’t given the match reports my full attention, so I haven’t been able to replicate the reporting of 2012 where each game was written about in great depth. I have to concede that I will not be able to allow the same quality time to it this year but I hope that this post will give you all an idea of how the tournament has progressed so far as we near the all important final.
The tournament will actually overrun into 2014 due to game postponements, plus it is because it is larger competition with 12 entrants.
So here is your summary if you’ve been away, not paid attention or simply rely on my posts (sorry!):
The first four matches of the TPC were ‘last 16’ games or in this case, ‘last 12’, so they were treated as qualifying games to enter the TPC proper in the quarter finals. The first encounter was between the two Gareths, where Big G made a marker for his rivals with a fine win over Gaji. Next up it was Rich V Dan in the battle of the newbies. Rich dumbfounded all when passed up the opportunity to have one of the recognised keepers but his decision was justified as he triumphed by a single goal to reach the quarter finals. Game Three was a rematch between Chris and Callum, who met in the quarter finals last year where Callum claimed victory. This time Chris took the place in the next round as his served up a hearty dish of revenge for his opponent. Meanwhile in the last qualifying game, played at later date, debutants Greg and Karl met for that final place in the quarter finals and the Merthyr Magician also stamped a statement of intent by making the next round to face Pugh.
In the first of the quarter finals last year’s finalist and favourite Billy battled against good friend Big G, but his final game was to be his last as he was vanquished by his uber-competitive Ely-ite. Meanwhile Joe, who lost to Big G in the quarter finals last year, was against Chris in the battle of the organisers. Once again Chris mustered the firepower needed to overcome Joe and deny him his first TPC win. Greg made it a dream debut in the TPC as he pushed Pugh, whilst Rich failed to maintain momentum from the qualifying round as Daryl did enough to reach the semi finals.
We are currently half way through the semi finals, with perhaps the strangest TPC game coming between the played match between Chris and Big G. Chris opted for the two keepers and actually had 6 players compared to Big G’s 5 – however he boasted the two recognised playmakers Dan and Pishty (number imbalance was due to a organisation issue). The result was staggering; 20-6 to the team with lower number of players and was the most one-sided battle in TPC history. So Big G is this year’s first finalist and he will await the victor between Daryl and Greg from the other semi final.
I’ll be providing a full report on both the third place playoff and final so watch this space for further updates! Pictures from all previous games will also be posted up in the Facebook group.