After a hard-fought 11-7 11-7 straight sets win against The Fist & The Furious, the Westside Wombats have bounced back from consecutive Lantern Rouge (last place) finishes to take home the Peter Norman Trophy at Fistivus XIV! It appears to be “all or nothing” for this team of feisty wombats, although their results seem to be greatly aided by the number of German fistballers they can secure to play for their team. This time they had two – Tobi Kläner and Luisa Neu, who were both in Melbourne at the time of the event. Kläner, a Bundesliga fistballer back home for TV Brettorf, played at a restrained level to not show up the competition, yet still impressed the captains enough to take home the Best & Fistest player on the day.
The Fist & The Furious once again had to settle for the bridesmaid role, but were gallant in defeat against a team sporting significant star power. Despite going down in straight sets, they never looked out of the match until the final point, showing tenacious defense and excellent teamwork to constantly put the Wombats on the back foot. Perhaps the penultimate Fistivus for 2015 – Fistivus XV – will be their time.
A combined Das Fist/Fist Club (dubbed “Das Fist Club”) team finished in third place, above the Fistroy Lions by a measly 0.7% in point differential. Unfortunately this final result was marred by a minor controversy, with the final match (between Das Fist Club and Fistroy Lions) being abandoned due to the tournament running over time. Das Fist Club were aided in the first match by German fistballer Lukas Klinger (of club SV Walddorf), but had to go it alone once Lukas was called away to his place of employment. Despite the mix of players, Das Fist Club competed hard all day and deserved their final place. Das Fist and Fist Club will split the points, but the higher finish could help Fist Club keep their fingers on the Roger Willen Plate.
The once powerful Fistroy Lions looked out of sorts this time around, despite some occasional moments of fistball brilliance. Lapses in concentration and some injury concerns seemed to hamper the boys in the maroon, blue and white. Bay City Fisters had trouble getting it going all day, despite some excellent efforts by their Australian representatives in Carl Creasey and captain Brent Lehmann, and had to settle for the Lanterne Rouge.
So, after 5 rounds of the 2015 F-League, three teams can still win the inaugural plaque on the Roger Willen Shield – Fist Club, Fistroy Lions and The Fist & The Furious. If any of these three teams win the final tournament of the year, they are all but guaranteed to take home a share of the shield. It is expected to be an exciting finish to a great year, and should be a grand send off to the Australian National Team, who head to Argentina for the World Championships the following week.
Check the Results & Fixtures page for the full standings.