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Farangutans advance to Final

Chiang Mai Pool League: Luck of champions

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Farangutans advance to Final

Ross Brockie

Farangutans Football Club (file photo)

It had been hyped as one of the biggest games in Faran-gutan history and finally it was to be played. Four weeks of cancellations had left everyone a little bit frustrated.

The game to end all games was scheduled to kick off at 4.30 pm. At 3.30 p.m. we were called and informed that the game would start in half an hour!

On arrival at the pitch we were alarmed to discover that the opposition were sporting almost identical kits to our own. We were duly informed that we would have to wear the fetching red bibs that had been laid out – on top of our jerseys – in 30 degree heat. “Why us?” we whined, but there was nothing to be done and we had to get on with it as our captain steadfastly informed us.

The game started at a brisk pace with the men in red retaining most of the early possession. A shot by Arek on five minutes saved comfortably by the keeper and a shot wide from Ross on eight minutes set the tone. Tempers flared on fifteen minutes after a bad challenge on the Farangutans keeper by the oppositions striker after a neat ball through and a brave save by Mark.

The Farangutans continued to press up front supported by several excellent runs forward from Rick and Miguel in mid-field. On twenty minutes a neat turn and shot by Ross was expertly saved by the opposition keeper and a minute later Arek was again denied.

On twenty-five minutes Miguel was brought down in the box and awarded a penalty. Unfortunately he spurned the opportunity to put the Farangutans in front. The breakthrough came on thirty minutes after a cross from Arek was missed by the defender, and fell into the path of Troy who calmly slotted it home. 1-0 and well deserved. Five minutes later, however, the whites equalized and chaos reigned again. An offside call on a Farangutans play stopped everyone in their tracks except for the referee and a quick thinking striker who ran away with the ball and scored while everyone looked on. Half time 1-1.

The second half continued where the first had left off, with the boys in red (bibs) having most of the possession. On fifty-five minutes they were rewarded when the keeper could only parry a shot from Arek into the path of Ross who coolly netted for the lead.

The game continued at a frenetic pace with the whites pushing for an equalizer and the reds hoping to extend their lead. On seventy minutes the whites were rewarded with a penalty. Their number seven duly converted. 2-2

With five minutes to go, a cross from Rick forging down the left was met by Arek at the far post and his pin point header looped over the keeper and into the far corner of the net. As fine a goal as you’ll see in any league anywhere, and a fitting effort to see the Farangu-
tans into the final. Final score 3-2

Chiang Mai Pool League: Luck of champions

Pat Black

Shaun showing off his custom-made footwear.

Given a little luck, probable champions Half Moon Pub overcame a difficult hurdle at The Wall, as Chiangers and Bangers gave themselves a mathematical chance of the title by thrashing The Local in last week’s Chiang Mai Pool League.

In a see-saw battle of skill, top of the table Half Moon Pub recovered from losing the first game to surge into a 4-1 lead, but “The Brickies” fought to square proceedings at 4-4 before unluckily conceding the final frame with a foul on the black.

With just three games left to play this season, the league leaders stand three points and seventeen games ahead of second placed Chiangers and Bangers, who rebounded from a 0-1 deficit to hammer The Local 8-1, and create an outside chance of catching The Moon.

Half Moon will now face the unpredictable Rock Hard Bistro, lowly Number 1 Pub and The Local in their run in, while Chian-gers and Bangers encounter difficult ties against Enjoy Place, Blue Sky Bar and Blue Sky Garden.

Despite losing 3-15 on aggregate over the last two matches, The Local emphasized the fun they’ve had this season and remained up-beat about their chances in the race for runners up.

Skipper Mark of Blue Sky Bar was also keen to mention the social importance of the game at Happy Bar, as his fellow contenders for second spot eased into a 4-2 lead at the break. Happy pulled a game back through a cleverly played snooker by Gip, which let Don in, but the Bar polished off the remaining two frames to stay one point behind Chiangers.

The Wall still have a realistic chance of runners up, and Friend’s Corner are in with a distant shout after beating Number 1 Pub 6-3.

The only positional change in the league last week came from an exciting mid table clash between Rock Hard Bistro and La Villa. After sharing the singles, Rock Hard raised their hopes by taking the first doubles, only to see their rivals win the rest and leapfrog them in the table.

Hero of the month is Shaun of December Bar. He has continued playing pool despite a broken leg sustained from a freefall skydiving accident. It might take him awhile to hobble round the table these days, but he had enough determination to win both his games against Out Back, who can’t seem to end their wretched run of five defeats on the trot.

In the final match scheduled for last week, in form Blue Sky Garden must have been itching to go into action, but their match against Enjoy Place was postponed until the following Wednesday.

Many teams in the league are quick to comment on the table or playing conditions at away venues, and there does appear to be evidence of home advantage when we take a look at the league ladder.

The Wall is the only member to have won more games away than at home and Rock Hard Bistro are 50/50. All the rest show a home advantage, especially Friend’s Corner (9-4), La Villa (8-4), Blue Sky Garden (7-3) and December Bar (6-1).

Anyway, the same applies to all away sides, and perhaps it’s simply time to practice more with chopstick-sized cues and 100 decibels of heavy metal background music.