EUL16:4 Lähte review
Lähte saw the return of Ultimate League for its penultimate stage. Oranges and Nuts have been the major forces in the league so far, but a few surprises were in store. With league leaders struggling for form Vaarikad and Baklažaan stepped up to the plate and even without some of the team leaders on the field made it count on the big day.
Round One saw Baklažaan take a commanding 5-0 lead over Nuts, and a comeback has come short as Nuts missed the chance to come within a point just before the game clock sealed a loss. The Kiwi and Vaarikad game next was a close run with just one point between the teams in the first 13 points, but then Vaarikad stopped Kiwi, not allowing the game to go to a universal. Oranges were first to take on PickUp team and the Annoying crew had a strong march to a 10:3 win.
Round Two started with Nuts rekindling some of their form to a 10:5 win over Kiwi. A great encounter between Baklažaan and Oranges came next. Oranges took a 6-2 lead, but soon found themselves 6-7 behind. An offence and a break re-gave Oranges the lead, but Baklažaan did not break in their stride and with the same combination of offence plus break won the game. Vaarikad met Pups next and came close to repeating a league win record to steal the game with a 10:2 score line.
Round Three and the Kiwi were once again in great form, but once again were a little unlucky to lose to Baklažaan by just a point 6:7. Pickups had another bad start against Nuts finding themselves 1:6 down very quickly, but Nuts started raining in with mistakes and a resurgent Pickups side came close to their first win with the game clock stopping them at 6:8. Vaarikad faced Oranges having never beaten them in the past three tournaments. Vaarikad were 5-7 behind but then kicked up a gear and took a memorable win.
Round Four started with a meeting of Kiwi and Pups in a game full of turnovers, but Kiwi held on to the lead throughout the game to a 5:3 win. The so far unbeaten Baklažaan and Vaarikad played next with the tournament on the line. And Vaarikad dominated the game to an 11:6 win. Oranges vs Nuts was yet another big and charged game, though this time the teams were contesting the third place. In perhaps the longest game the teams were always within a point all the way to a universal point where Oranges triumphed to keep the league leaders position on a bad day.
Round Five was a completion of the day so far. First Baklažaan finished their great day with a point gap hitting win of 12-5 over Pups, who had a tough day competing due to several dropouts. Nuts were again 4:1 up, but with another breakdown in play fell to a bad 10:6 loss against the roaring Vaarikad. Vaarikad completed a day of five out of five, which is a good return from being last in Loo. And in the last game of the day Oranges took a 10:4 win over the castaway Kiwi side. Thus strengthening their position in the secondary league decides – wins and score difference.
Kiwi have been relegated to the last place in the league, creating a curse of green in the league. In a cruel twist, as Vaarikad won the tournament they also lost all theoretical chances to win the league, as the orange league leaders became unreachable to the pinks. Baklažaan maintain a mathematical opportunity to win the league, but their main challenge might just be protecting the third place medals from the up surging Vaarikad, who are just two league points behind them. Despite being on a downward spiral Nuts are still close. Six points ahead of Baklažaan and only one point behind Oranges.
So with teams as close like never before at the start of the last day – the Saturday of Easter weekend in Rapla will see a league final tournament showdown.