The Cardiff GP is becoming one of the most popular events on the FISTF calendar. 116 individuals took part on Saturday 22nd November with the Open category being won by Austrian, Wolfgang Haas and the Veterans by fellow countryman, Robert Lenz. In Sunday’s team event Valletta Lions were victorious in a field of 21 teams. Two teams travelled from Scotland – Glasgow and Tayside. Unfortunately Glasgow were at a disadvantage having only 3 players – Tom Burns, Colin Day and John Halpin. Three nations, Austria, Scotland and Wales took the opportunity to play in a mini International tournament.
Tom Burns reports from Cardiff:
The draw for the Glasgow players was reasonable with all having a decent chance of advancing beyond the group stage. I was fortunate enough to have an easy start against Paco Fernandez and had a 6-0 win. My next match was against Greek, Chris Aggelinas of A S Hennuyer and I lost 4-0. I played poorly, conceding 2 soft goals but he is a very good player. Colin probably had the toughest of the groups with Phil Dacey of Cardiff and Spaniard Antonio Montano who is one of the world’s best Vets. He lost 7-0 to Montano and then had a real ding-dong battle with Dacey eventually going down 3-2 although he missed a great chance to level at the death.
Making his debut at a major event, John’s first match was against experienced Lucio Cannuchio and lost 8-0. He then played Matt Atkins of Kent and a very close encounter ended with Atkins shading it 1-0.
I progressed to the barrage where I played Fred Vanton of Brussels. Despite dominating large spells of the match and taking the lead, I lost 2-1. Vanton went on to reach the semi-finals. Colin made it to the semi-finals of the Plate where he was edged out 1-0 by Yorkshire’s Paul Lawrenson.
The team event was always going to be difficult as we were a man down. We were drawn with Tiburones of Spain and Cardiff A. We played Cardiff first and I was up against David Lauder. Despite taking the lead and dominating I contrived to lose 3-1. I was very disappointed since I felt the result was much against the run of play. Tiburones are an excellent team with two Vet World Cup winners. I played Ferran Coll and despite a reasonable effort went down 3-1, the Spaniard’s superior defending being a deciding factor.
All the Glasgow players went on to represent Scotland in the International friendlies against Wales and Austria. Steve Bennett, Andy Beskaby and Dave Baxter of Tayside made up the rest of the Scottish team. We had a good 3-1 win over Wales. Steve won 7-0 against Davies/Lewis whilst Colin had a great 5-1 victory over Barnes/Samuel. I went down 5-3 to Phil Dacey in a rip-roaring match.
The Austrians are an awesome outfit. Wolfgang Haas won the Open title and Robert Lenz and Gunther Bamberzky played in the Vet final. We lost 3-1 and it was Colin who had our one victory against one of the Eppensteiners. I lost 7-2 to Christian Haas. We therefore finished second which was the best we could have done. We all had a great weekend and would thoroughly recommend it to all our club members.