Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Final Tables - The Real Winer

Well, they say it could happen to a bishop  - or maybe even a Pope

There was joy unconfined for Thijs DeBont when, due to a calculation error whereby the goalscoring points from the Semi-Finals were mistakenly omitted, he was found to have won the Grand Champion Title - by one point!

But Josh did win the Round 2 Competition considered by many to be a real test of prediction skill.

The staff responsible for the error have, of course, been fired. 

All the data you could want is now online including:

All points won from goals scored - and lost by yellow cards- Semi-Finals, Final and 3rd/4th
Alternative Table For Round 2 - Right and Wrong 
More comprehensive Grand Totals Table
Goalscorer points included in Round 2 Table

So congratulations to Thijs, Josh and Richard for their wins.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Final Chapter

So it ends. The most exciting World Cup Predictions Competition to date. And what a finish!

Right up to the final whistle Thijs DeBont could still have won. Even in extra time had Argentina scored and sent the game to penalties and Germany won, Thijs would have had the three points he needed. Or if Bastian Schweinsteiger had scored a second for Germany Thijs could have overtaken Josh at the close.

But Josh Lease's amazing run was sustained and he not only won the title of Grand Champion but also won Round 2. Congratulations Josh!

We must also congratulate Richard Rye for his Round 1 performance - if his Leaving Cert results are as good his family will be even more pleased!

But we must not forget those who briefly or otherwise held the lead in the various tables only to fade. People like Aideen Kearns who for a good part of Round 2 looked like she could be the Grand Champion. Others like Conor Ralph also nearly made it. 

Winners of the last World Cup competition Leah Cassidy and Raymond Bannon acquitted themselves well again. Lilyan Ralph also came close to glory in Round 2.

But maybe the story of Round 2 was the amazing last minute performance of Joe Kearns who with a last gasp managed to lift himself off the bottom of the Round 2 table to finish just ahead of Roger Lorens! 

And lastly, a story from the Vatican. It was rumoured that as the game ended loud guffaws were heard from the quarters of Pope Emeritus Benedict. Pope Francis still has work to do on his channel to the Almighty.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Thrilling finish in store - not the football.

Unlike the bore-fest last night between Netherlands and Argentina, our competition is a real nail-biter! 

In the Round 2 competition Lilyan Ralph has the slenderest of leads, half a point, over Josh Lease and is only four points ahead of Conor Ralph. And given the way the scoring has gone it is safe to say that anyone within about 10 points of the lead could still win.

In the Grand Total table it is a clear race between Conor, Josh and Thijs. With Lilyan, Aideen, Manuel and Leah 20 or more points off the pace the winner will come from the three above.With two games to play in the competition a slip now could be fatal!

So even if the teams in the competition fail to live up to expectations this competition is always exciting.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

After the first Semi-Final

The idea of predicting the goalscorers was to add a little extra interest and maybe win a few extra points for a few people. We didn't reckon with a German destruction of Brazil 7-1! Those who got the scorers right (see that table here) hit the jackpot.

Aideen Kearns and Manuel Garcia Ochando managed to get 18 points each from the goalscorers yesterday largely thanks to the efforts of Kroos and Schuerrle .

As for our tables Josh Lease still has a lead in the Round 2 table but has slipped to one point behind the new Grand Total leader Conor Ralph. Conor's sister-in-law, Lilyan is now in second spot on the Round 2 table so Micheal is living in fear of finishing behind both his wife and his brother!

Tonight's game could see some changes at the top although Thijs will need his Argentinian goalscorers to come through for him as he and Conor Ralph have exactly the same predictions except for one Argentinian! But since Thijs will not want Argentina so score at all against Netherlands he may be 'conflicted'.

But a draw after 90 minutes could push Lilyan to the top of the Round 2 table - unless we get 8 more goals tonight and then anything could happen! 

Note: Apologies for the odd fonts for the players names we will try to fix for the next round.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

They are calling it "The Fourth of July Effect" - the extraordinary rise of Josh Lease in our tables. That would be fine if it were only on the 4th July that he garnered points but he has been consistent in this round. Two results right yesterday and not too far away from two perfect scores.

But while there is joy on the West Coast of the US, all of us football, soccer, lovers are in mourning at the death of Brazillian football as we knew it. Yesterday's performance by Brazil was not only an insult to the tradition of Pele, Rivellino, Tostao and their generation, it was also an insult to all of us who are passionate about the game and the way it can be.  

We have had some bad refereeing in this World Cup, not much thank God, but yesterday's display was as bad if not worse than that in the France v Nigeria game. 

The saddest part is to have lost such a team as Colombia and their style of play.

But back to our competition!

With tonight's predictions only an exact score prediction can move the likes of Aideen, Conor and Thijs closer to Josh. They then have to hope for great results in the last four games to have any hope of overtaking Josh at the last stage.

And get ready for predictions for the next round - where you have to pick goalscorers!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Yesterday we speculated as to whether Herbie and Josh had let their hearts rule their heads in predicting draws for Switzerland and USA. Well whether it was the heart or the head both benefited from great performances from Switzerland and USA. Josh even got both results right!

Sadly neither of their teams won in extra time although both can be very proud of the performances. Brave efforts from both.

Good old US know-how - is that Josh's secret? He has now climbed to the top of both tables after Aideen had a particularly bad day. She is considering legal action against Chris Wondolowski of the US who, had he taken that chance at the end of regular time, would have given her all 10 points on a US win. But if Aideen feels bad today imagine what Chris Wondolowski must feel like today! 

Following the revelations about Cameroon match-fixing we have had a request from FIFA to submit our prediction stats.  They want to see if any of our entrants benefited greatly from any of the Cameroon match results. FIFA may want to talk to a few people....

Next up in Round 2 are the Quarter-Finals which will be very hard to call. Are Argentina really as poor as they seem? Can France finally overcome their football Germanophopia and beat Germany in a World Cup finals game? Revenge for that Schumacher tackle in 1982 maybe?

Will the Dutch recover sufficiently from the heat of their match to beat Costa Rica? And will the pressure finally tell on Brazil?

The excitement continues - although we are all wondering what will fill the void today and tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Manuel took a big risk yesterday going for a draw between Germany and Algeria - and it paid off! 

While Camilla Rye with her 10-pointer in the France Nigeria game moves quietly into second place in Round 2, Aideen holds on to top spot in both Round 2 and Grand Totals tables.

Josh Lease is still very close to a shock overall win but his prediction of a draw between Argentina and Switzerland will either prove to be a master stroke - or complete disaster!

We note the influence of national pride in some of the predictions for tonight's games - Herbie Loetscher going for Switzerland to draw with Argentina and Josh for the US to draw with Belgium. Heart ruling head maybe? We'll see.

But there are still 10 games to go and with the introduction of 'name the goalscorers' for the Quarter Finals and beyond it is far from decided.