Strange Blue Tournament Report

Open Tour 2 - SB 2

25-26.June.2011 - Nottingham

Crushing Small Children and other tales... from Strange Blue 2 at Open Tour 2.

Hey Strange Blue,

Below is the tournament report of the epic performance of SB2 at OT2, once more involving far less brevity than that of the 1st team report.

The Team: Nick SD, Ben Rudick, Dan Marahrens, Chris Barnes, Thomas 'C-face' May, Simon 'Burgers' Vernon, Alex Jones, Adam Bennett, Chris Arnott, Gareth Brookfield, Howard Storey (from Aye-Aye), Michalis Neururer.

Crushing Small Children
Strange Blue 2 (14) v Great Britain U17 (23)

A big game to start the tournament with against a very strong GB U17 side full of youngsters who were far more athletic than we were and could run all day. One of them may have, despite being a foot shorter, skied me, but maybe let's say that didn't happen.... Points were traded early on, with no breaks until 3-3. Then, thankfully, it turned out that they didn't have a clue how to play against a clam, which we decided to throw against them in order to conserve our own energy (turns out a week of partying doesn't help fitness, who knew?), and despite all their energy, kept throwing away once the clam was set up. A crosswind didn't help them much and some cool play outside of their endzone, meant we quickly built up a solid lead. We got a bit complacent late on and let them have a couple more points, but it was plain sailing all the way.

Final Score: SB2 15 - 5 GB U17

You all owe me a bagel (Nick SD scores a Callahan)
Strange Blue 2 (14) v Devon 3 (17)

We probably wouldn't get an easier game if we'd asked for it, this was another young team, with one or two older players for handlers. Again, a team who struggled immensely against a clam, not really having the players to work it through or around, meant lots of turns near their endzone, including one where a certain player was marking off their handler who was swung to, at which point that player leaped forward grabbing the disc, ensuring the front foot landed just across the endzone line for the Callahan. Michalis then proceeded to high-five that player in the eye, forcing him to take the next few points off until depth perception was restored. This game also involved one of the longest points of awful Ultimate any of us have ever witnessed, as SB2 found themselves against a strong wind, with Devon 3 unable to complete any passes against the clam, resulting in a 15 minute point with many, many, many turnovers, which SB2 finally scored. Once more, towards the end of the game, complacency set in, and Devon were allowed to score a couple of points, which really should not have happened. Also, at one point in this game, Ben bladed the pull into someone's face, seriously.

Final Score: SB2 15 - 2 Devon 3

The oh so near Epic Comeback
Strange Blue 2 (14) v Yopen 2 (12)

SB2's first real test at Open Tour 2 started poorly, with the complacency from the previous 2 games firmly set in, we slipped to a 5-0 deficit very quickly, unable to play against a strong Yopen junk. Downwind points were then traded, with Carnot throwing the sketchiest of hammers (every single time), until the score was set at 12-6 to Yopen, with the hooter going, we thought we were out. But somehow, out of the blue, we started to play real ultimate. Our dumping and swinging proved effective, with the handlers shifting the zone all over the place, meaning holes could appear for the likes of me to exploit, resulting in some great fluid motion, scoring five consecutive points, including one in which Chris tried to play a popped pass into the endzone and I decided to stop my cut and layout instead. It was awesome. Unfortunately, the epic 5 point run came to a close, as Yopen 2 jacked a couple of discs up the line after an unlucky turn, scoring in the endzone to win the game. We all agreed at the end of this game that if we'd played the first hour like we had the last hour (yup, the game lasted about 2 hours), we'd have won very comfortably.

Final Score: SB2 11 - 13 Yopen 2

The epic performance at the end of the Yopen match left us yearning for more ultimate. Unfortunately, it was the end of the day, but what Sunday would bring, would be so much more........

They Choked - well, not really
Strange Blue 2 (14) v Choke Hazard (19)

The first game of Sunday saw us playing the best ultimate yet, using all our quick, fluid movement and pitch-length cuts (yes cuts) to work the disc brilliantly around a fairly strong Choke Hazard side, trading points early on, but eventually just using our superior athleticism, speed and short passing to press home our advantage, resulting in a comfortable win.

Final Score: SB2 13 - 5 Choke Hazard

Varsity, with Townies
Strange Blue 2 (14) v Team Shark 2 (11)

Having watched Team Shark 1 beat the first team the previous day, we were worried as to what they could bring to the table, and they were a strong side. Once more however, the fluidity of our play caused them huge problems and we began to develop a small, but comfortable lead, especially when they threw up a zone against us, which we absolutely loved playing against. However, towards the end of the game they found an extra gear, scoring a few consecutive points, but we dug deep, playing the same sexy ultimate we'd been playing all this time, finally getting the win just after the hooter.

Final Score: SB2 11 - 8 Team Shark 2

Revenge is a meal best served Ultimate
Strange Blue 2 (11) v Sweden (10)

After a two hour and forty minute break to watch the firsts beat Team Shark 1 on sudden death, we returned to our pitch to find we were playing our opponents from the first game of the first tour, the Swedish National Team that's definitely not from Sheffield Hallam. We knew this was a strong team, full of good, athletic players, with some nice handlers. We realised that although in the previous match (at OT1) our clam worked well against them, the absence of wind meant that a strong man was our best option. Their athleticism showed as we were frequently beaten to up the line discs on the open side, which once we cut out with some creative poaching, still resulted in some around breaks, which we also struggled to cut out. They took the half and had a 9-6 lead at one point, which had SB 2 worried. However someone had the bright idea of forcing them backhand instead and boy did they not like that. The open side-under poaching cut off their up the line throws and they just didn't like breaking forehand. Our O stepped it up beautifully, especially when once more, someone thought it was a good idea to zone us, which we got through with more sexy, high speed, fluid ultimate, which meant we came back to win the game.

Final Score: SB2 11 - 9 Sweden

The curious case of the disappearing legs
Strange Blue 2 (10) v The Brown 2 (9)

In our final game of the tournament, it was clear that the weekend's awesomeness had taken its toll on our fitness and concentration. It didn't help that Brown threw up a very well disciplined arrowhead zone, and used an endzone diamond when near the endzone, which helped them convert chances more than other teams we'd faced. We did manage to work the disc through their zone, but too many drops and an increasing number of injuries (we were down to 9 players at one point), meant that Brown eventually overpowered us.

Final Score: SB2 5 - 12 The Brown 2

All in all, we played some sweet, flowing ultimate, using our speed and chilly handler movement to great effect. On the way, we beat Great Britain and Sweden and we should be in a great position for Open Tour 3 (which I won't be attending......)

Thanks for an awesome weekend and see you all at Regionals (or on DCU Tour if you are so inclined)

Nick 'Hell Yeah Callahan' SD