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Tournament Reports

University Mixed Outdoor Nationals

15.Mar.2014 - 16.Mar.2014 - Sheffield

We started the day poorly with the knowledge that we had fallen from our lofty heights of having 8 ladies the week before to a mere 4 when we got on the coach. One of whom was Hannah who was injured so only able to play occasional points i.e. those when she was forced to by the opposition or when one of our other ladies really needed a break. So we had three Iron Women. After a long drive to Sheffield we arrived with time to spare for our 1st game.

On the guys side we had a very comfortable 9, including Sam the mixed team’s American superstar.

We were seeded 4th in our group of 5 and our first two matches were going to be our chances to break seed on the Saturday.

Pool game 1: SB vs Ro Sham Bo 4-9

After an alternative warm up, we started the game trading with the wind but then disaster struck and we lost James to injury on his 3rd point of the day. It then got worse as Ro Sham got an upwind break. The game continued with us getting close to breaking back on several occasions but always mucking up on the final throw into the endzone, a problem that would keep rearing its ugly head all weekend. They got a couple more breaks in the end.

Pool game 2: SB vs Glasgow 6-7

We lost the toss so started up wind. The beginning of the game was trading points on a strong upwind downwind pitch. Eventually due to some silly drops near our end zone they got a break. We had a quick discussion on the sideline to come up with a way to stop this. The solution was to play all of the ultimate in their half of the pitch downwind making use of Tom’s immense length (of the pitch hammers). This worked on the downwind points and some real chilli offence upwind got us back a break but despite this we were unable to get another so the game went with the toss.

In Between this and the Mohawks game we learnt that Tejas had done some research in many fields including why American’s need to keep their eggs in the fridge where as we don’t and that Nando’s gives free drinks refills.

Pool game 3: SB vs Mohawks 1-9

We didn’t go into this game with much confidence but we worked them hard on several points, at times they were really struggling to score downwind. Sadly we weren’t able to convert their numerous turns into goals.

Pool game 4: SB vs Holloway 7-5

We came out better in this game. Finally starting to come together to work as a team to get our first win. The start of the penultimate point, when it still felt pretty close, included Tom picking up the pull and throwing it at Rolo’s feet, which was probably the best DotD nomination. We won and so held seed for day 1.

In the evening we put #tejas'research to the test and went to Nando’s (eventually after Jacob had got confused and taken us exactly the wrong way) followed by heading back to our accommodation for some rest (the sort of resting that involves drinking beer). But on arriving we discovered that Brighton had decided to use the room we were staying in to get a bit of pre-drinking in before heading to the organised fun, as a team we showed our displeasure with the load music and drinking games as any Cambridge student would. Sitting quietly to the side talking amongst ourselves and occasionally turning to look at them and mutter “what time do you think they will be leaving?”. Eventually they did go and we settled down for the night and dreamed of victory the next day to break seed and come home with our heads held high.

Crossover: SB vs Winchester (we won can’t remember the score)

This match was held on a cross wind pitch giving both teams some opportunities to practise some zone. We played well working the disc through and scoring most of the points. We still made some mistakes which they capitalised on making the score closer than we would have liked. But a victory here meant that we weren't in the bottom group, could climb up to 25th and had definitely held seed for the day.

25v32 aka Mixed Varsity: SB vs OW (we won but I was too excited to remember the score)

We went into this game a little worried after Varsity the week before as we were missing some of the big guns from our open squad and our women were starting to flag after having Iron womened 5 games already that weekend. However, we were delighted to discover we could in fact play ultimate and had just been pretending all weekend that we couldn’t. We found a new intensity and played like we should have all weekend and came through to win really bolstering our confidence. James, for the first time that weekend, was happy.

Massive kudos to Oxford for not forcing 4 girls at any point, despite not having many more than us.

25v28: SB vs Jesters 9-5

After our victory over Oxford we were pretty tired but rest was not an option as we had Jesters straight after. They came arrow head and we played chilli and worked it through without too many issues. Chris learnt to cut properly after 3 years of playing ultimate. We played well and got a victory getting to the final of our group (which due to not having a proper silverware attached to it, we christened the ‘spork’ final)

25v26: SB vs Portsmouth 11-4

The wind was getting gusty during this match but despite this and being forced to play 4 women (meaning that a crippled Hannah was forced to limp onto the pitch) on every point we got some breaks, (including one scored by Hannah as she managed to lose her mark on the open side) taking half 7-1. After half the wind really picked up allowing them to get more points on the scoreboard meaning it was 10-4 game to 11 for the final point. We were going down wind but had to play 4 girls. The final point became a bit silly from us with our very tired ladies. Log starting baiting hammers, refusing to cut under and point deep break side whenever Tom got the disc. Leading to quite a long point where Portsmouth couldn’t get more than half way up the pitch into the wind and we couldn’t complete a throw into the endzone. However, this was great fun for those on the sideline. Eventually we managed it. Victory was ours we had won the Spork.

Some final points on each person as well:

Jacob, for being chilli and making decent decisions on the toss, managing to switch between cutting and handling as required as well as confusing the opposition with his long hair giving us longer between points for the lady’s to catch their breath as they tried to work out if we were playing 3 or 4 girls.

Chris, for being such a solid under catcher and learning how to cut: "If I go one way and then the other, I get free!", you were on fire this weekend.

Kenny, for always being free in the middle of the pitch no matter how many people were in the way. The king of not committing, ever.

JR, for playing those 3 points (you really helped us guys not get too tired) and keeping the morale high by being happy that one time.

Log, for being a general nuisance, but finally making a cut for something other than a hammer to end our final. Seriously though, you were handing like the best of us.

Rolo, for being the solidest of handlers and deservedly getting MVP.

Sam, for being the only person who could actually huck into the wind despite coming from somewhere with no wind, hopefully I'll get to play with you again sometime.

Tejas, for stopping playing at exactly the right time so we could win mixed varsity, playing with your usual chilliness and making sure we always had the world's knowledge at our fingertips. #tejas'research

Tom, for not throwing everything at the ground and generally beating everyone in the air.

And the girls who made it all possible. Despite not getting as much disc time as you would have liked, you girls played by far the most important role.

Anita, for still cutting and getting free even though every turn hurt and learning not to panic (you've got it now).

Fran, for still having the energy throw and catch consistently when knackered.

Theresa, for being the perfect stack setter and your incredibly cheeky resets (it made the last game pretty fun to watch).

Hannah, for playing when we needed you, even though you should have been in a proper bed all weekend

Well played everyone,
Jacob and Chris, 2013-14 Mixed Team Co-Captains

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Coldham's Common

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