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Tournament Reports

University Open Nationals

26.Apr.2014 - 27.Apr.2014


We had lots to prove going into Nationals after winning Indoor Nationals back in November and losing to Warwick in the finals of Outdoor Regionals. On top of that, not only one but two players from the indoor squad got injured just a week before Nationals: "El Presidente" Tejas dislocated his knee cap in a training session and Ben, our Indoor Nats MVP, sprained his ankle badly at Clapham practice. Luckily, Cambridge legend Matt Shannon decided to give Uni Ultimate a last go before handing in his thesis and joined the team.

I was expecting lots of tight games all weekend in which we bank on our incredibly experienced handlers Dom Dathan and Justin Norden to score the crucial double game points. We would never end up in sudden death though...

Second place at Regionals meant 6th seed overall and second seed in the death pool with Powerhouse Sussex, Edinburgh's Ro-Sham, who knocked us out last year, and Cardiff.

 

Pool Game vs. Cardiff:

Last year, a tough loss against the 4th seed in the pool showed that you can't count out anyone at Nationals. Fortunately, this year we managed to convert the quality of our squad into a decent 11-1 which turned apprehension into confidence.

 

Pool Game vs. Edinburgh:

Ro-Sham was last year's runner-up at Nationals and somewhat surprisingly only got third place at Scottish Regionals which made them end up in our group. The wind picked up and our zone proved to be too much for Edinburgh. We got turn after turn, managed to capitalize and went on to win 9-5.

 

Pool Game vs. Sussex 1:

With an impressive display of squad depth, Mohawks from Sussex took rank 1 and 2 at Southeast Regionals. SB went up 3-0 quickly thanks to an absolutely mad sideline. Then the wind became a major factor and both teams started to struggle slightly. Cambridge never looked back though, and we pushed on to grind out an 8-3 win. First big upset and pool topped, what a start!

 

Saturday evening saw lots of faffing, ice bathing, recovering in the Zen corner, and going out for dinner with the girls and the alumni to unwind. Time to loosen up and prepare for the early start on Sunday.

 

Quarter vs. Glasgow:

Glasgow's Far Flung was the only team that managed to beat us indoors. An extremely athletic team, but in the end too reliant on their receivers to make big plays. A solid Cambridge offense converted much more consistently which lead us to an 11-6 win and into Semis.

 

Semi vs. Manchester:

The only team that could stop us from moving on to the championship game was Manchester's Halcyon, a favourite for many to win, as they had won all their games comfortably up to this point. It was an extremely hard-fought game, but Halcyon struggled to get through our zone in the crosswind. SB takes half 7-3, hangs on to the lead while trading points in the second half and closes the game out at 12-8. The long break after this game was filled with napping, foam rolling and watching football. Yeah, I don't understand the football bit either.

 

Final vs. Sussex 1:

A rematch from both Saturday's pool game and 2011's UOON finals. Cambridge blows up huge. I've personally never seen a sideline that's more into it. Every single player on the squad makes huge plays and Sussex has no chance. The decisive 12-5 victory is only tainted by poor spirit from Mohawks.

This epic feat was the result of a flawless squad performance and completed what I believe is the first Double-Nationals title in Strange Blue history.

 

The last game of the Uni season was followed by celebrating ecstatically, taking countless pictures with the trophy, chanting on the coach, relieving ourselves, devouring McD's burgers, and getting excited for the proper End-of-Season party on the following Friday (tonight).

 

This weekend was an incredible display of mental strength: we were never trailing, didn't concede more than two breaks in any game, never lost focus and kept converting on O. This was made possible by the confidence in our skill and in our teammates in any situation, both of which we gained through lots of hard work throughout the year.

Another big reason for our dominating performance was our designated sideline crew:

Ben, who directed and guided the team throughout the weekend.

Chris, who did an excellent job at scouting out our opponents and providing expert advice.

Sam, who snapped lots of great pics and helped with admin.

Tejas, who was supporting from the sideline and assisted the TD.

Colossal thanks to you guys!

 

The victorious team:

The captains James "JR" Richardson and George "Seamus" Anegg

Backbone of the Offense, Justin "J" Norden and Dom "No-Look Break" Dathan

STM Matt "You are still a student?!" Shannon, who won MVP for incredible catches and being unstoppable as deep-deep

JTM Matt "Cheers" Hogsden

Chris "Where's your girlfriend?" Tull

Jacob "Mum" Lever

Matt "Log" Wood

Kaustuv "Nepal's most successful Ultimate Player" Joshi

Alex "Alex James" Jones

Tom "Trinity" Anthony

Roland "Rolo" Turnell-Ritson

Jonny "Jonny" Slaughter

Kenny "Kenny" Kenny

 

The support crew:

Ben "Nap-on-the-Sideline" Funk

Tejas "Hooter" Guruswamy

Sam "Tonks" Mouat

Chris "Scout" Barnes

Big thank you to everybody who was involved. The season couldn't have gone any better! Back-to-back Champions next year, let's go!

George&James

Cambridge Ultimate
UPCOMING PRACTICES

Sunday - JG
11:00 - 13:00
Pickup

Tuesday - astro      20:30 - 21:30     Sign up to Camdisc for more details

Friday - astro  18:00 - 20:00     Sign up to Camdisc for more details

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