So, after watching the women of HB lose to EBS/Skála in Tórshavn, I grabbed a quick bite from a petrol station and battered on up to Toftir for a 3pm kick-off.
Toftir, of course, is the scene of nightmares for many Scots. In 2002 we were under the disastrous management of Berti Vogts and came back from 2 goals down to snatch a draw with the Faroe Islands. I only saw that match on telly but now I was heading to the scene of the crime – the Svangaskarð. As you come into Toftir you wonder where they could possibly put a stadium, but following the signs, you go steeply uphill and there it is.
B68, or Tofta Ítróttarfelag B68, were in deep trouble at the foot of the Effodeildin and were relegation certs, with only 7 points gathered, and this was matchday 20 of 27. In happier times they had made a few appearances in Europe. The last time was in 2004-5 when they went out 11-0 on aggregate to Ventspils of Slovakia in the First Qualifying Round of the UEFA Cup. They have won 3 Faroese titles but the last was in 1992.
On the other hand, the visitors, B36, or Bóltfelagið 1936 Tórshavn, were the reigning champions. They have 11 championships, behind local rivals HB, with 22, and KÍ Klaksvík with 17. They did get through one qualifying round of the UEFA Cup in 2005-6 when they beat ÍBV of Iceland, and one round of the Champions’ League the following year when they beat Birkarkara of Malta. B36 were going for the hat-trick of league titles but this was unlikely to happen as they lay off the pace in 4th place.
The game wasn’t a classic. Łukasz Cieślewicz, a Pole, scored the only goal in 25 minutes. Although B36 always seemed to have the edge, the relegation favourites came at them strongly in the last 20 minutes and were unlucky not to equalise. Strangely, despite some meaty challenges flying in, B68 escaped without any punishment from the referee, who booked 4 of the away team. The crowd was given on the Faroesoccer website as 360, which seemed to me well over. I concluded that Toftir used the same counting method as Ross County, i.e. they count the eyes.
So that was the end of my 4th and final match of the weekend, and on Monday I would have a lazy day around Tórshavn before heading out to the airport and giving back my massive VW Caddy.
On the way back to Tórshavn I visited the ground of NSÍ Runavík, local rivals of B68, only 3 miles down the road, and also looked in at Skála, which was only a few miles out of my way. NSÍ had actually won 2-0 at Skála that afternoon to keep their title hopes alive. I met many carloads of NSÍ supporters on my way back. Apparently they had a crowd of 440.
There isn’t a great deal of choice in the Faroes when it comes to eating so I headed back to Tórshavn and decided to try the ‘Irish Pub’. This wasn’t one of the ‘Plastic Paddy’ places which you would normally avoid and there was little if any Irishness on show. It had an excellent selection of beers from Föroya Bjór and reasonably priced fish & chips, burgers etc so it got my vote. A lot of B36 supporters seemed to have found their way here after the game. Anyway it was far, far better than Marco Polo where I had been the night before and which is best avoided. After that it was time to head back up the hill to the Kerjalon Hostel where I still had a couple of drams left in my bottle.
Postscript – Víkingur are the new Effodeildin Champions having won 3-1 at AB Argir in front of a 2000 crowd, to pip KÍ by a single point. AB and B68 are relegated to 1.deild and will be replaced by EB/Streymur and 07 Vestur.
KÍ had led since week 12 but a disastrous 3-1 defeat at AB Argir with 2 weeks to go cost them the title. However KÍ won the Løgmanssteypið (Faroese Cup), beating Víkingur 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the Tórsvøllur in front of a healthy, colourful crowd of 4562.