The 24th October saw five regional champions and ten other hopefuls, along with ever present stand-in player Dave Symonds, take to the pitch to play ball. All knew that over the next four games we would see the 2015 Dreadball National Champion crowned.
Sixteen players was the perfect number for a final over four games as it would lead to a clear winner after the final game. The random draw from the start guaranteed one of the regional winners would be eliminated in the first round as Mike (Eastern) faced Pete (Southern) in the first major clash of the day. At the end of the first round eight players had had their hopes of being the National Champion dashed. Among them was Mike who narrowly lost to Pete, Dale the North Western Champion and Chris the Welsh and South Western Champion.
At the start of the second round Leon (Reigning National Champion and winner of the London and South Eastern Regional) faced off against the killing machine Rob F (for those of you who have not played or seen Rob play he has one simple goal, kill everything). Unfortunately Rob’s brute force approach was no match for Leon and Rob was eliminated. It is worth noting at this point that Leon had only played a total of 8 rushes, 5 of which were his. The question was now looking like who could stop Leon from retaining his title.
Now things get serious, with only four players left in contention the battle for the championship game was on. Leon would face Richard and Pete would face Gareth. While at the other end Dave would see if he could preserve his 100% record of no wins and a -14 Strike Difference. In the end two very close games saw Leon and Gareth triumph and advance to the final, while Dave would slump to this third whitewash of the day.
With both of quarter finals going the full 14 rushes we knew that we would be in for a good final. Elsewhere six other players were still with a chance of claiming a top three finish as the final parings went out there was only two questions on everyone’s minds. Who would win? And would Dave achieve the perfect tournament?
In 10 short rushes the answer was clear. The King was dead long live the King. Gareth defeated Leon in the tenth rush with a 7 point win. While the other players rounded off their games for the secondary prizes Gareth was able to relax and enjoy the final few rushes of these games. Dave, regrettably disappointed us all by avoiding the 7 point loss in his final game and so the perfect record was gone.
The final standings were:
So with the final rush bringing to an end this year National Championship Gareth had defeated all comers and left the other competitors contemplating what might have been.
I would like to thank everyone that attended any of the UK regionals, the venues and clubs that hosted us as well as those how ran the events. Next year will be bigger and, if I get my way, with one or two more special events and maybe even one for continental Europeans to keep an eye on.
The DreadBall Regional Tournaments will return in 2016!