Strange Blue Tournament Report

Mixed Tour 2

28-29.Jun.2008 - Burton-on-Trent

It was a typical British Saturday morning on the 28th June when 8 fit and healthy men, 7 feisty women and 1 broken shoemaker took to the roads to make their way to the oh-so-glamorous Burton-on-Trent to represent Strange Blue in the second instalment of Mixed Tour.

To be specific they were:

for the men (plus the tattered hamstrings of rob)

for the women.

Upon our arrival we immediately took to getting ourselves psyched, and what better way to get fired up than with a little opera - courtesy of Nick's car stereo. Following SB's performance at MT1 we were seeded 7th, but the entry of a new team, FAF, at seed 7 bumped us to 8th. Anyhow we were still in the top 8. Just. This time around our lineup had altered somewhat, with Linz and Simon graduating,some very short notice losses of players and then the emergence of Ty who gladly came to our rescue. phew.

Thundering Herd 13 - 10 SB

SB came out playing hard and mean, ruffing like there was no tomorrow and played most of the match trading with the Herd, and battling with the cross pitch wind. Despite eventually losing the match SB had some fantastic play, a few gems to note include the crushing of the TH zone and compliments from TH that our women were "unpoachoffable". Some more entertaining highlights featured a TH cutter calling a pick on his defender, a fantastic "ass D" from Natalie and the usual flair we have come to expect from Tom, with a "hammer?!" and a World's Worst Greatest to top it all.

Emu 10 - 9 SB

Lost this one despite coming out with a fantastic start that gained us a 3 - 0 lead. So far we had been playing with a kick-ass 4 lady O-line, but as they sauntered over late they only appeared to have 3 women... A team discussion at the injustice of them taking away our 4-lady weapon, and whether or not we would play our 4 ladies anyway and make them go 6s was resolved by the emergence of some more ladies from the toilets. *phew*. Our ladies still took the opportunity to run them super hard and take advantage of their poor show of numbers. Everyone seemed to have moments of glory in this match, with Susanna coming to the rescue of disc after disc that was thought to be lost in the crosswind, Adrian pulled off a fantastic layout D, Sandy used the power of his uber-long limbs to get a point block, Mel scooped up a sweet score, some beautiful low releases from Mike against their zone, Snodge had a ferocious run-through D and according to the notes I bagged me a D as well. Ty chased down a disc to the back of the endzone, and made a desperation lay-out for it, which was huge but maybe not really worth it as his knee decided to swell up rather a lot afterwards. Nick was however inexplicably grumpy, and I found myself in the midst of a whole world of panic at the centre of 2 consecutive calls in one point, made worse by the fact it was 8-8 and a game 10. Unfortunately they swept two quick downwind points out of the last 3 to claim the victory.

Chevron Action Flash 13 - 4 SB

Between this game and the last we went back to our operatic inspirations and indulged in some team performances of Nessun Dorma, so we were certainly feeling positive, and ready to focus on the sheer fun of Ultimate, Yorkshire terrier mentalities fully loaded. Terriers know no numbers, so even though the scoreline was getting steeper and steeper to Chevy we carried on enjoying the four basics of ultimate: running, throwing, catching and smiling. Adrian had some thrilling points, with two massive up-the-line backhands that he took down for the score! Nick had a spectacular left-handed layout D that should have been a Callahan, and despite his height Tall Sandy got skied by a bloke who was around a foot shorter than him. Oops.

So that was that for Saturday, lots of highlights but no victories, ending the day still as 8th seed, preparing for crossovers in the morning to try and hang on to the top 8 spot. And what better way to prepare than with a little Thai food and a party. All of SB did the former, but only the truly hardy souls braved the party. Although when we arrived it was rather empty the dance floor soon filled up, and much frivolity ensued, including some danger version of Sandy's 'Headmaster', watching the inexplicably awful moves of one particular OW player, Paul nearly got into a fight after only being on the dance floor for about a minute, I fell in a bed of stinging nettles, and Paul pulled some guy's boxer shorts down. You know, the usual.

Sunday morning rolled around and Nick tempted everyone out of bed with porridge, and got to work waking us all up with his yappy terrier ways.

Leeds 13 - 6 SB

Didn't get off to a bad start, but the our intensity faded and the wind picked up. We regularly worked it up to the endzone, tearing chunks out of their zone but would then turnover. Some lovely interplay between Nick and Fatty in doing so, even though Nick kept getting called for travelling, but whether he was or not was debatable. We did however get to play our new call: The SB Lady/Naked Lady Lookalike Game as devised by Nick, Schumegan, Mel, and Nat in the pub the previous night. In the pub trial of the game Paul got every single one of them correct, but Leeds didn't get a single correct answer. (To the discredit of the game, not the team, might I point out.) Anyway, SB now out of the top 8, down to 9th.

Bristol 9 - 10 SB (Victory!!!)

Traded the whole game - some guy from OW! kept scoring, often reading the disc whilst back-pedalling into the endzone. As time ticked on tensions rose. Our D line forced many a turnover, and battled hard to work it up to our endzone, but a whole host of excruciating fumbles, drops or throw-aways in/on the endzone line meant they didn't quite manage to put it away for the score. Success of the D line was greatly due to the bonza job done by Snodge, Mel and Megan poaching the stuffing out of Bristol who neglected to put their women to much use at all in the first half. Nick managed to redeem himself from the previous match and got a Callahan :) The O line had much success with the "Jusannaway" plan, and lots of safe steady handling from the wonderful Alex CB. The first of the weekend's rain started to fall, and Ty fell too, or rather laid out and hurt his knee again. Paul had a fantastic score from chasing down a disc, hurtling into the endzone with incredible speed, which of course he acknowledged as 'no big deal' with the classic no-look-throwaway spike. Victory meant SB remained 9th.

Emu 13 - 5 SB

I had to disappear after the Bristol match, so didn't get to experience to joy and excitement of "rain so hard that it hurt" (according to Mel). It was wet and windy, and SB were desperate to pack it in and go home. Yet still the D line did a great job against the zone Emu tried to throw at them. But I'm sure everyone would like a better stab at those devils this weekend at MT3, but for MT2 Sb finished 10th.

So, Birmingham, here we come! Thanks to all those who played, ruffed, caught, ran, threw, caught and smiled. The team spirit was immense, and everyone took on the responsibility of making sure nobody was getting neglected. Masses of support and encouragement from the sideleines, with those roars of celebration that's make you go all tingly. Nick didn't tell me who was voted as MVPs, but we did vote, so I'm sure he'll let us know when he feels like it.