About M.E. myself and I

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Eastbourne, East Sussex, United Kingdom
I have been an M.E. sufferer for a long time now, but sports replay gaming is an easy hobby for me to enjoy. Originally from Canvey Island, Essex, I was introduced to replay gaming a few years ago, leading to my first purchase: Cricket World. Most sports I share will be common, but there are some more obscure replays thrown in. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to say hello! - Chris

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Controlled Chaos - Golden Gate Invitational

Golden Gate Invitational - San Francisco, CA
Scott Hutchins, Ben Hadsell, John Ruiz, Joe Ramage, Chris Henton, Norm Gibson, Tom Gariepy, Jamie Eilers, Andy Bing, Will Thompson, Ricky Grimes, Reggie Banks, Matt Welliver, Darryl Lozier

With a combined twenty-four event wins under their belts all fourteen entrants started the twelve minute derby without trouble except for Will Thompson whose car suffered a small fire after he was sandwiched by John Ruiz and Reggie Banks.

While Thompson was relieved to continue, and Tom Gariepy happy to take a deep breathe after riding three very early hits, it was not a successful restart for all as Joe Ramage (Valentine's Day Massacre, The Bryan Family Open) suffered a fatal stall, and Ben Hadsell (Frostbite Winter Nationals) was caught on the hop to allow Scott Hutchins to catch him unawares and impale his vehicle into the barriers.

There was a flurry of activity around championship leader Darryl Lozier (Tampa Open, Jersey Derby, Big Apple Smash Up, Alamo Derby) as he took nine hits in the space of six minutes, while he chased hard after Thompson with a triple-attack of his own, knocking the leader out without a point in eleventh place, but prior to his elimination was the exit of Reggie Banks (Firecracker Open) after Jamie Eilers fnished him off; this despite Banks' car looking the best prepared for the event.

After his fire and a bad miss into the wall Will Thompson (Arizona Derby) took nine hits from five opponents - Lozier (3), Hutchins (2), and Bing (2) bringing it repeatedly - and still managed to leave San Francisco with a point to ever so slightly close the gap on Lozier at the top of the standings.

John Ruiz (The Ides of March Open) picks up points for the first time in fifteen events by delivering six hits on five cars, with Henton taking two including a savage blindside attack, but his day came to an end at the hands of Scott Hutchins who returned to finish the job he started in the opening seconds.

Delivering eight shots but only taking six in return Tom Gariepy (Wisconsin Invitational, Arkansas Derby, Mile High Open) is another contender who makes small inroads on Lozier's lead, but now sits just two points back of second place Thompson. Steaming through the pack, tapping Matt Welliver twice, Gariepy was undone by his last victim when Norm Gibson retaliated with aplomb.

Outside of a few distractions where he hit Lozier, Banks, and Welliver in quick succession Jamie Eilers (Summer Sizzler, Summer National Derby) was in a huge war with Andy Bing; their cars coming together six times in a back-and-forth battle. Starting the conflict with a hit either side of a brief stall, Eilers then went for other opposition until Bing stormed in with a hit to his blindside. A second surprise hit from his nemesis set him up nicely for a double-tap by Norm Gibson to finish the job.

In his first final since winning his debut event Ricky Grimes (Louisiana Invitational) only took one hit in the first four minutes as he double-tapped Reggie Banks as part of his own eight attacks. A brief stall seemed to take him off his stride as he then suffered five attacks in a short span, ending his own quest for glory by misjudging his second hit on Welliver.

An eighth finish in the top five keeps Scott Hutchins (Seattle Derby) in the running for the championship, but he too was the master of his own demise when, after a short stall, he crashed into Henton and would not move again. Ruiz, Thompson, Hadsell, Gibson and Gariepy were all targets of Hutchins before the first trio were visited by Hutchins once again. A hit on Ricky Grimes led his engine troubles, and then his aforementioned attack on Henton placed him in fifth position.

Chris Henton (Spring Fling Derby) lasted a few valuable seconds before he too wiped out on contact he initiated. The late assault on Gibson resulted in Henton's own elimination but it extends his point streak to six weeks as Andy Bing also suffered his wrath twice, and John Ruiz was able to catch him off guard as he wa re-firing the engine.

It's a hat trick of third-place finishes in five events for Norm Gibson (Lobster Nationals, Texas Nationals) as he claims his eighth podium finish on the back of a ten hit day. Banks, Lozier and Ruiz all fnoticed his presence early on but it was the return trips to Hutchins and Eilers that really set him on his way as he took out the latter and set up Hutchins for his own exit. And all this while only taking five hits against; the final two off of Henton ultimately doing the damage.

That brought the event down to two men: Matt Welliver (SidelineStrategy.com Derby) and Andy Bing (Idaho Invitational, Indy Nationals, The Ohio Derby) Throughout the whole derby, even at the end, there was no interaction between them as an earlier hit and a stall created a rather anti-climatic finale to the Night of Champions.

While Andy Bing was warring with Jamie Eilers, striking him thrice, he was also running through the pack with Grimes and Thompson suffering two hits each; Gariepy, Lozier and Gibson one each. Matt Welliver was responsible for eight hits with Grimes and Lozier taking a pair each, and he delivered one a piece to Ruiz, Eilers, Hutchins and Henton.

The end came with Andy Bing stranded on a stall and Matt Welliver creeping around the track in an attempt to strike his final foe. A large hit from Ricky Grimes minutes earlier, the eighth he rode, all but crippled him and he slowed to a dead stop twenty feet away from Bing who matches Lozier with a fourth event victory with his second win three weeks, propelling himself up to second place in the standings.

Race Result
1. Andy Bing
2. Matt Welliver
3. Norm Gibson
4. Chris Henton
5. Scott Hutchins
6. Ricky Grimes
7. Jamie Eilers
8. Tom Gariepy
9. John Ruiz
10. Will Thompson
11. Darryl Lozier
12. Reggie Banks
13. Ben Hadsell
14. Joe Ramage

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