Helsinki Heatseekers Grab Russian Title
Monday, May 28 2018 @ 08:06 pm ACST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Last weekend saw the St. Petersburg Cup tournament played in the Russian city. Whilst it was scheduled to feature the Lazy Koalas from Moscow in a three way draw – including the St. Petersburg Cats and the visiting Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland – the Koalas were not able to make the journey. Instead, the second St. Petersburg team, the Northern Tigers, took the field.
The opening match featured the two St.Petersburg teams, the Cats and Tigers, playing for the title of “best in the city”. The game lived up to that hype with the Cats holding a determined Tigers team at bay by just nine points.
The next clash saw the visiting Helsinki Heatseekers up against the Tigers. The Heatseekers have been the most powerful team in Finland for the past few seasons, and they brought all of their skill and knowledge to the field to record a big win. In the end it was a 49-point victory to the Finnish champs. It is unclear whether or not they arrived with any Estonians in tow, but those that took the field certainly had their “A” game with them.
The third match, fittingly, became the grand final for the day with the Heatseekers backing up against the St.Petersburg Cats. In a tightly fought match it was the visiting Finnish team that claimed the honours, taking out the tournament by just four points. It was a big win for the Heatseekers, winning in an international clash. The result will almost certainly whet the appetite for the team to return to Russia more often to compete – which would also be a huge boost for the game overall in Russia.
The St. Petersburg Cats may have felt the usual initial disappointment of a narrow loss. But they have also come out of the event as a big winner – taking it up to a national championship team in the Heatseekers, as well as proving they have the numbers to put two competitive teams on the field. When the analysis of the day is complete, any disappointment about losses or missing Koalas would be offset by the clear progress seen at the club within St.Petersburg and as a blueprint for further growth of the game in Russia.
The Helsinki team will also head home excited at winning a tournament and delighted that the trip was a success and very worthwhile fr their own development.
St. Petersburg Cats 19 d Northern Tigers 10
Helsinki Heatseekers 52 Northern Tiger 3
Helsinki Heatseekers 50 d St. Petersburg Cats 46