Strange Blue Tournament Report

Open Tour 1 - SB2

4-5.June.2011 - Chiswick

Hey All

This is the tournament report you've all (by all I mean 13 of you) been waiting for. As I am from DCU, this will, unfortunately for some, be a DCU-length email. Enjoy

The Squad:
Lee Priest, Jon Evans, Nick SD, James Coburn, Poul Alexander, Simon "Burgers" Vernon, Thomas "C-face" May, Nathan "Natman" Kettle, Dan Marahrens, Pete "Babyface" Wilson and Sandy Scott
Pete Humphreys on Saturday
Gareth Brookfield and Josh "Gibbon" Hewes on Sunday

Arriving at our pitch on Saturday morning, we were struck by a certain oddity. That oddity was namely that there was a tree growing out of it. Yes, a tree, a small tree, but still a tree. Anyway, the tree was swiftly dealt with by C-face's expert gardening skills (he pulled on it a bit, it came out) and we were ready for our first match.

Sweden 10 - 7 SB2

When we saw who we were up against first, we were a little puzzled, given that Sweden is in fact a country (in case you didn't know). What we realised was that this was definitely the Swedish national team and absolutely in no way some random guys from Sheffield Hallam who came up with the name for no reason whatsoever. Both teams started very strongly in this game, with SB 2 winning the first point from some excellent O work, but Sweden coming back to win the next few consecutive points, taking advantage of holes in our clam. We then traded O points for the rest of the game. A few epic things did happen in this game, with myself and Poul both catching layouts in the end zone and apparently, although I didn't realise this at the time, I skied these two guys who then collided with each other as I took the disc. Good times.

After this game we went over to pitch 1 to watch Guns throw pitch length high release backhand breaks, but that's for the SB 1 tournament report, before returning to our high-numbered pitches to face our next opponent.

St Albans Ultimate 10 - 9 SB2

At this point, the wind picked up, a lot, and pretty much every game from now on was ridiculously influenced by the wind. For most of this game, the downwind points were traded, with SB managing to hold on to the disc quite a lot on the upwind, but not quite succeeding in getting that crucial break. Eventually, at 7-6 to St Albans, they managed an upwind point, despite not really looking like it, allowing them to then score the downwind. The buzzer then went at 9-6, with St Albans looking strong and confident, but SB 2 were not to be beaten, fighting their way back by scoring an epic upwind point, due to some excellent handling by Natman, C-face, Poul and Dan in between two quick downwind points to level the game at 9-9. Unfortunately, despite best efforts, St Albans scored the downwind point, with considerable difficulty and the game was all over. In the speech afterwards, I may have said some slightly... um.......unsavoury things about them sticking things in us.......oh well. We were merrily continuing on our epic quest for victory, feeling perhaps that we should have achieved it by now, when disaster struck. James Coburn, in an attempt to be awesome injured his finger and was unable to continue playing. We found that this tragedy would mark him for the rest of the tournament. Despite dwindling numbers, we soldiered on.

OCS Ultimate 9 - 6 SB2

Another game decided almost entirely by the wind, with downwind points being traded all the way, SB looking the more likely to score upwind, but just breaking down in the final third. Eventually, however, some great handling resulted in SB 2 getting the first upwind break. Unfortunately, that glory was short lived as OCS very quickly got one back and proceeded to score the next 3 points which resulted in their victory. Before the next game, we (I) tossed to decide on ends and who starts on O and D. Unfortunately, as it turned out, it was with the wrong team. In the end it didn't matter, because we still ended up starting upwind.

Brighton 3 11 - 10 SB2

You may be noticing how I'm complaining a lot about the wind, this game is almost entirely the reason for it. The downwind points were traded, with each team getting one break each, hence cancelling each other out. In the end, it was 10 - 10 at full time with Brighton on the downwind, decided by the toss at the start of the game, which they duly scored. Again SB struggled to score upwind, despite being much better at holding onto the disc, with the completion rate dropping near the end zone. Now for more tossing. Given this game followed the aforementioned one immediately, we quickly had to do the toss. Unfortunately, both myself and Natman took it upon ourselves to do this, with different players from the same opposition. This meant we had to take it to a third toss, performed by Lee, who managed to win us the downwind point.

SB2 6 - 5 ABH B

As much as I complained about the wind before, it won it for us this time, because we started with the downwind point. No breaks at all occurred in what was a quite messy game, made terrible by the wind, which occasionally took the disc out of the end zone on downwinds, made upwinds incredibly difficult and all in all resulted in us winning. During the game, further disaster occured as Babyface had, whilst blowing up huge, injured his knee, meaning that he was also out for the rest of the tournament.

We ended the day feeling like we should have won more games given how well we'd played, but feeling optimistic for the day ahead. Some of us went to Strada across the river, where we ordered a ridiculous quantity of garlic bread. We then went to the pub where we had some delicious Banana Bread Beer. Jon and myself stayed in the epic house my mum is housesitting at the moment and stayed in epic comfort, with freshly made double beds and ...... oh wait, now you all hate us.......oh well.

We returned the next day with bright eyes, full of vigour and anticipation (oh and Gareth and Josh) and we started by blowing up huge.

SB2 13 - 2 Devon 3

Lee was particularly happy about playing this game, because for the first time this tournament (and possibly in his frisbee playing career), he was occasionally taller than his mark. Devon were quite a young team, with a few beginners, who although having talent, didn't quite match up to the awesomeness that is SB 2. We scored all but two upwind points and all the downwind points, playing some relaxed ultimate. They didn't seem to have any means of dealing with our clam, which got us a lot of turns close to their end zone, which were easily converted.

Bournemouth Release 13 - 9 SB2

This was probably the best game we played, although still influenced by the wind, we worked incredibly hard both ways, with breaks going to and fro. They initially struggled against our zone, especially when Jon decided that we didn't need to bother setting it up because he'd just sprint the length of the pitch and get the (epic) block on their first throw, although eventually they worked around it. Jon also managed to injure himself a bit with an epic mid-air layout in their end zone, although being well 'ard meant that he was back playing within two points. SB did score the first upwind point, but unfortunately, C-Face shouted "Let's call a time out" a bit loudly and Bournemouth thought he'd shouted "Time Out", and some of their players stopped, meaning that the point was discounted. We then proceeded to turn due to a stall-out, and they scored a while later. Despite SB's best efforts, Bournemouth were just too good and scored several consecutive points towards the end of the game, meaning they eventually won it. We then proceeded to have a long discussion with ABH B as to whether they could be bothered to play, given that they only had seven players left, with various things such as pickup and repeating tossing suggested. I suggested tossing for the number of times we were going to toss, but it just got too confusing, so we decided to play some ultimate. More disaster occurred as apparently, all of the blisters on Natman's feet simultaneously burst, which meant he was unable to make the final stretch.

SB2 13 - 12 ABH B

Despite our opposition's lack of numbers, they worked us hard, scoring both upwind and downwind, with Josh realising that he probably should be deep receiver instead of a handler, as he scored a huge number of points in this game. We ended on a win, with some good ol' fashioned huck 'n' D and good handling.

We reflected upon our weekend with mixed feelings. We'd all had great fun and played some sweet ultimate, but were slightly disappointed at not having won more.

We anticipate the next tour more than a 5 year old at Christmas.

See you all at Open Tour 2 - Coburn's Revenge.

Nick SD