It truly is a night where all teams come out of the woodwork, always unpredictable, always jam-packed.
Lets start with a bit of history “The 'Friendship Cup' donated by Mr. Bill Gibson, the Leicestershire (UK) secretary was introduced in 1979. Mr Joe McCarthy, the Gibraltar Darts Association secretary at the time and Mr. John Trinidad travelled to Leicester to collect this brilliant cup. The first team to win this cup was a five-man team from St. Theresa's Social Club”.
With 10 teams participating out of the 12 teams in the league it sure was an eventful evening.
The 1st upset of the night however was induced early on in the 1st round by the St. Joseph’s team and yet again against the veterans of the game the R/J Cosmos.
In an enthralling match where the R/J Cosmos team took a healthy 2-0 lead, the St. Joseph’s team managed to level the game at 2-2 and the decider to be played by Alan Kimberley (R/J Cosmos) against Nicholas Barbara (St. Joseph’s). An under performing Alan Kimberley was just not up to the job and Nicholas simply took full advantage and gave St. Joseph’s the win.
The final saw yet again last year’s teams, College Cosmos & St. Joseph’s (previously known as Rock Cosmos).
The individual player order for each team was drawn on two separate sheets and each opposing team does not know the order of play of the other team’s players (yet another exciting point about the Friendship Cup). In an unexpected twist the St. Joseph’s team decided to play their strongest player 2nd “El Crack de el equipo” – as they put it, Dyson Parody (they had been playing him 1st all night).
Whether this move was intentional or not, it proved to be the wrong decision as it turned out Dylan Duo was also drawn 2nd for the College Cosmos and that meant the two hound dogs of each team had a full blown face off.
In team events one always tries to guarantee points not challenge them. In past experiences many a team has fallen to this pitfall, in playing strong players against strong players on a 50/50 chance that your player might win. That’s exactly what a team should not do and this time it worked in favour of the College Cosmos team.
The 1st game of the final featured an irregular Henry Zapata (College Cosmos) against Takahashi Schimidzu but Henry managed to pull through and win 3-0.
The 2nd game was played by Dylan Duo against Dyson Parody. Although Dyson started strong and won the 1st leg, Dylan persisted and took the game 3-1. Making it 2-0 for the College Cosmos team.
The 3rd and what we now know was to be the final game, was won by Justin Broton against the hero of the night for the St. Joseph’s team, Nicholas Barbara. The game was won by Justin 3-0
Having won 3 of the possible 5 games, the College Cosmos team took the final to become the “The Friendship Cup winners 2006/07”.
It was a good night for the College Cosmos team, they only lost 1 single leg in the whole event and they retain the Friendship Cup, which they also won last year.
1st semi final line-up (standing) St.Joseph’s, (front) Rock Cosmos