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Friday, October 5, 2007

Tippinators Win 2007 Atlantic Woodsball League Championship

The finals of the Atlantic Woodsball League (AWL) were played on October 6 at Overkill Sportz in Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia. Three of the top woodsball teams in Eastern Canada battled for the 2007 AWL Championship and bragging rights for a year.

Unlike the intermittent rains and mud soaked fields that hampered players at the previous two AWL events of 2007 the finals were marked with blue skies and warm breezes. The pleasant weather belied the storm brewing in the staging area as three teams, Tippinators, Mersey Mercenaries and Milsim Maniacs, prepared for the championship to be decided.

Tippinators, coming off two solid wins in the last AWL event, marched into the final weekend hoping to extend their league leading 4-0-0 record and claim the championship. The team was ready for a weekend of ferocious battles as the Mersey Mercenaries, still within striking distance of the top spot, and the, much improved, Milsim Maniacs were looking to sharpen their skills and break the Tippinators perfect record.

Mersey Mercenaries headed into the final weekend with a 2-2-0 record needing two victories and hoping the Tippinators would be defeated in their final two matches. If all went according to the Mercenaries plan, the AWL's two top teams would end the season tied at 4-2-0. This, best case scenario, would be ideal for the Mercenaries, who would win the league based on their league leading elimination count.

The first match of the day featured the Tippinators against the Milsim Maniacs. Both teams were desperate for a win, the Tippinators to secure the championship and the Maniacs to take their first step toward securing second.

Off the break the Tippinators aggressively moved forward to secure two capture points while the teams battled back and forth for control of the third. At the end of game time, despite the concentrated mid field push by the Maniacs at the 42 minute, the Tippinators held on to two capture points long enough to be declared the winners of the match.
The final match of the 2007 AWL season was between the league's top two teams, the Mersey Mercenaries against the Tippinators, both playing out of Mersey Road Paintball in East River, Nova Scotia. The match would have no effect on the final league standings, due to the Tippinators earlier win against the Milsim Maniacs. This match was being played for something more important to some, pride. Both teams were determined to prevail in what would be an all out grudge match between teams unwilling to give an inch. From the start both teams rushed forward to crash head long into each other with markers blazing. Individual fights and group maneuvers continued unabated for the full hour with both teams appearing to be on the edge of breaking the game wide open for their side only to be forced back.

Jim Bent of the Milsim Maniacs said of the final match, "Congrats to the Tippinators and Mercenaries!! That last round between you two titans was incredibly action packed! It would be quiet for three or four minutes ... then a huge firefight would erupt with e-triggers kicking in like crazy! It was intense"

When the match ended, the exhausted players shook hands but celebrations were put temporarily on hold, as neither team was sure who was victorious. Each team controlled once capture point for the majority of the match while the third point was taken, then retaken by each team for the full hour. After an agonizing 10 minute wait, while the referees compared notes, conferred, and the final point total showed the Tippinators had won the match and the 2007 Atlantic Woodsball League Championship.

Tippinators player, Chris 'Fuzzy' Landry was ecstatic with the team's performance over the course of the season culminating with the AWL championship. Landry commented, "The entire Tippinators team live to play paintball, be it in the woods or on the speedball field. We practiced often this past year and have seen improvement in our speedball play, everyone hoped it would also pay off in the woods." Landry summed up his feeling on the team's effort, "We practiced as a team, played as a team, and because of that, won as a team. It brings a sense of pride to see the team's hard work all season pay off."

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