The fairy tale is complete! The Fist & The Furious are the inaugural F-League Champions in 2015, and took home the Roger Willen Shield after an incredible Fistivus XV.
So let’s now reflect on the the Thunder Road Brewing F-League Season, and how it all went down.
With 6 tournaments held across Melbourne and Geelong in 2015, we had 4 different PNT winning teams (The Fistroy Lions, Fist Club, Westside Wombats and The Fist & The Furious) the first-ever PNT threepeat (Fist Club), and 5 different teams at some point ‘winning’ the Lanterne Rouge for last-place.
Appropriately, the only team to not finish last at any tournament this year – The Fist & The Furious – were rewarded for their consistency by being the first club to have their club name engraved into the Roger Willen Shield, after finishing on top of the F-League ladder at the conclusion of the season.
However, it was far from an easy victory. In order to win the Roger Willen Shield, perennial bridesmaids The Fist & The Furious had to complete a fairytale run home by winning the Peter Norman Trophy for the first time in their history in the final tournament of the year (Fistivus XV), coming from behind in the final after losing the first set to beat a gallant Fist Club in three sets, thereby pipping Fist Club by only percentage points for the Shield after finishing tied on 62 points each!
Amazingly, the Giant Wooden Spoon (working title) would also be decided in a ‘thriller’, with Das Fist somehow avoiding the dubious honour by recording a third place finish in the final tournament to finish ahead of the Bay City Fisters, with the Fisters taking the last place trophy after also finishing tied on points at the bottom of the ladder, but with a worse percentage.
Despite being well-placed to pinch the Shield before the final tournament, a severely undermanned The Fistroy Lions could not shake off the inexperience of their ring-ins in the final tournament despite a spirited effort, and moved back to a respectable third place for the year. Appropriately, the Westside Wombats finished 4th in the final tournament to cap off an up-and-down season, also finishing in 4th place for the Shield after winning one PNT, having one Best & Fistest winner and two Lanterne Rouges for the year.
Australian National Team superstars Jason Beelders (The Fist & The Furious), Bryce Griesheimer (Fist Club) and Carl Creasey (Bay City Fisters) all took home a Best & Fistest Trophy during the year, with Beelders winning an unprecedent two B&Fs in the year to surely be the short-priced favourite for the Klemens Kronsteiner Medal (to be announced early in 2016). The other three B&F winners were international imports Maxi Vogel (Das Fist), Lucas Traverso (The Fist & The Furious) and Tobi Kläner (Westside Wombats), with each helping the locals to lift their game to another level.
We must again thank the Thunder Road Brewing Company for being wonderful supporters of fistball in Australia and for letting us name them as the sponsor of the F-League. Without their support, we would struggle to raise enough funds to keep this sport going in Australia, and in many ways they are one of the reasons we have a team going to Argentina this week to compete in the World Championships. So we implore all fisters and fist fans to go out and buy some Brunswick Bitter on tap, and help support fistball!
The F-League will return in 2016, so keep your ears open and your fists warm…