Friday, June 23, 2006

The Lead Cup – Elimination Round

The Lead Cup is structured so that 6 competitors advance from the round-robin pool play. The top two pool winners go straight to the semi-finals, whilst the other two pool winners play off against the top two pool runner-ups, to decide who goes to the semi-finals. As there were several ties on points, a points count-back and a sudden death strength test were required to decide the final six and their placings. So, the draw is as follows:-

ELIMINATION ROUND
MATCH A: Caran d’Ache vs Pilot
MATCH B: Zebra vs Cross

SEMI-FINALS
SF 1: Winner Match A vs Papermate
SF 2: Winner Match B vs Pentel

The Elimination Round Competition

Commentators expected Match A to be close with Caran d’Ache and Pilot both having won their pool strength and blackness tests. On the other hand Match B seemed likely to surprise with Zebra and Cross having shown different areas of strength in their pool play. Bookmakers were as unsure as the spectators, and odds changed by the hour as they scrambled to ensure they had adequate cover for all eventualities. Brave gamblers stood to win or lose fortunes.

With the elimination round matches being played back to back, the fans were expecting a veritable daylong feast of sport, and they were not disappointed.

Match A kicked off with Caran d’Ache narrowly winning the blackness test, but Pilot immediately came back and narrowly won the erasability test. The smear resistance test then produced the first wide margin, with Caran d’Ache winning convincingly. So going into the strength test it was basically neck and neck, and stayed that way throughout the test. The competitors were still tied at the end of normal strength test play, so competition went into extra time. But even that was not enough to break the deadlock as every time Pilot threaten to pull away, Caran d’Ache reeled them back in. So finally the strength test was declared a tie, but spectators and commentators alike felt that Pilot was slightly ahead. In the end then it was the clear win in the smear resistance test that separated the two, and gave victory to Caran d’Ache with 11 points over Pilot on 12 points. The Japanese left the arena dejected, as they really did like their chances of defeating the Swiss and advancing to the semi-finals.

With Match A having been the close contest that was expected, the spectators were abuzz with the possibilities of Match B. The blackness test opened with a draw, and the erasability test was equally close but Cross were the narrow winners. Just like Match A, the smear resistance test was the first to produce a wide margin, with Zebra winning to keep their hopes well and truly alive. The strength test was again a closely fought contest, but Zebra established a narrow lead and managed to hold onto it, eventually winning the test and therefore match, finishing on 7 points and defeating Cross who were on 9.

And then there were four!

The semi-finals are:-
Caran d’Ache v Papermate
Zebra v Pentel

The only thing that was certain was that a Japanese competitor would reach the final.

1 comment:

Matt, Pleasantville NY said...

My Money is soooo on Pentel.
I have a huge box of it. My personal favorite refill. My bookie will be in touch.