Millennium Series Bitburg 2012
I completely appreciate that Bitburg was a good few weeks ago now. I obviously intended to write this at a sooner point but to be honest I’ve been distracted by doing other things.
Because I feel that both of those blogs have covered the trivialities of the event I wont really go into those, so I guess this will be quite a short write-up and specifically focus on Tigers and our games.
One thing that is worth noting based on a point I raised in the St Tropez writeup, is that the Millennium decided to allow field walking across all fields at two times on the Thursday this event. This is a serious improvement since the introduction of Thursday training slots, and I’m glad that the Millennium took note of customer feedback and isn’t just thinking about their bottom line, as per the usual portrayal.
We were holed up in the Dorint again this year and it’s arguably the best hotel complex we’re in each season, I feel sorry for anyone who ends up being overcharged and slapping into the Eifelstern. We weren’t fortunate to be in a chalet this year, but were in an apartment half way up the hill which had similar views of the lake and surrounding area. The drive to and from the site is well worth it, and being self-catering is a bonus too, the Eifelstern’s food is just not that good at all is it now.
So, on paper we were feeling confident going into this event, we had one of the better draws, with us being the second seed team, and the top seed, Empire Venice, only being one place above us in the rankings. Then the 3rd and 4th teams in the group were ranked 24th and 25th.
First game was against Empire Venice; we completely expected this to be a tough game, as being ranked one place above us, in theory, we should be pretty evenly matched. They do have a couple of guests, Bobby Aviles and Nick Slowiak, and their pro experience really does shine through. You give those sort of players any wiggle room then they’ll punish you for it, whether they’re up on bodies or the chips are down for them. We did our usual event trick of losing the first point off of the bat, we didn’t get outplayed massively, but still, we need to work on getting our heads in it quicker. Points went back and forth a couple of times and we threw more away than they actually deserved to get it felt. I got shot sloppily in a close-down situation and they swung that point around and then lost a 1 on 1 really badly a few points later, getting shot on the loader whilst posted. I sat myself the last point after that 1 on 1 as I’d been playing a bit shit that game. Overall it just felt like with the momentum of most points, we were on top, and it was ours to lose. We came away with a 4:2 loss.
Second game was against Roosters. These guys were owed some for Paris last year where they cheated their way to knocking us out in the first round of Sunday. They also annoyed Steve and were being dicks over a simple choice of which pits they wanted before the game. Once again, we lost the first point, but won the second and then lost the third. Now at 2:1 down this point happened, which ended up being a no-point. Replay of that point, and we won it as convincingly as we should’ve if the ban and 1-4-1s hadn’t flown around before. Then at 2:2 with a few mins left on the clock the boys sat on their hands and even though they were bodies up, failed to capitalise quickly enough and score the point. The game went to overtime and everyone got dead pretty quickly, they seemed to walk through us that point. If I criticised us for throwing the first game away, this one was even worse. Especially with my infraction, you can’t help but think, what if…
We worked out our scores and with how the rest of the groups was standing, we actually stood a chance of going through to Sunday with 1 win, so long as we got a 4:0 win against Polar Bears on Sat first thing in the morning. Polar Bears were however currently sitting on top of the group, having won against Roosters 4:1 and then Empire Venice in another overtime game which ended 4:3. We spoke to Bobby on Sat afternoon and compared notes on what Roosters were doing to help them out, and he gave us advice on where the Polar Bears had been breaking to and where their strong Legion guests were. With this help and a good night’s sleep we were desperately relying on that strong win, but also for Empire Venice to win their game against Roosters, for us to stand a chance at making Sunday.
Unfortunately, we managed to get a 4:0 result, but it wasn’t in our favour. We tried to control the two Legion players on the dorito side and even in the points where we shot them both and left that side empty, we just didn’t manage to take advantage and ended up losing the majority of the points quite convincingly. They dominated from the start and it’s obvious that the layout suited their game, as they not only topped our group but went on to win the event.
I guess this is another case where you just can’t underestimate teams. The two bottom seeds from our group went through to Sunday, knocking us and Empire Venice out, and Polar Bears ended up going from being ranked 24th to now sitting in 5th.
We got pissed up on Sat to commiserate ourselves, but also to celebrate Steve’s birthday – sorry we couldn’t have given you a trophy as a present…
Well done to Relentless who managed another podium finish, things are looking solid for them this season, it looks like they’ll finally get that deserved Div 1 spot!
So, that’s Bitburg all wrapped up for another year. I’ll see you all at the London Masters, I’ll be the guy wandering around looking a little lost being at a Mills event without even owning a players card – sad times…