Strange Blue Tournament Report

University Mixed Outdoors Regionals - 3rd Team

01.Mar.2008 - Cambridge

Strange Blue had the great opportunity of entering three teams at Regionals this weekend and this is the story of the SB3 squad....

Firstly, the team:

Ewen Christie
Gary Lowe
Jon Evans
Jos Cooper
Mat Robin
Megan Davies Wykes
Mel Whittaker
Ollie Stevens
Paul Nahai Williamson
Peter Humphreys
Rich Lloyd
Rich Sworder
Shi-Han Chen
Sonja Abhyankar

It turned out the majority of the team consisted of Jesus B members and so we had the advantage of knowing each others strengths having played together before. Our 'Regionals Experience' began on the wet, cold and windy Friday afternoon before, where we had a practice to get to know each other and practice a bit of zone play, as we expected to come across this a lot on the weekend. How right we were!


SB3 2-13 BUF

Our first match of the day, against the top seeds in our pool. It took a while for both teams to get used to the ridiculously windy conditions and there were plenty of discs going straight to ground. BUF, unsurprisingly, were a very strong team and their obvious experience and skill showed, but we took advantage of being downwind to score our first point off a huck. The second point came quite late on, but was very pretty to watch, with some great flow and continuation, especially between Gary and Paul.

SB3 1-13 UBU

Right from the start of the game, UBU put on a junk that totally took us down. We weren't a very handler-strong team and found it hard to deal with it. We started off man D-ing but they were getting free too easily and scoring too fast. Seeing how well their junk was working for them, we decided to give it a go ourselves. It sort of worked. Being the first time the team had put on a zone together we weren't expecting too much, and it was good to see their scoring rate decrease at least! We managed to get a cheeky point with a knife (yes that's right, a knife, despite the wind!) from Gary to Mel from the edge of the endzone. Yay!

SB3 8-3 Aye Aye 2

We had had a game off just before this match and had used this time to practice both putting on and playing against a zone. However, as we then walked across to the pitch the wind seemed to drop considerably and we decided to stick to man D. We really stepped up a gear on our marking, sticking close to our man and bidding for every disc, and it really paid off. On O, we were able to utilise the reduced wind to get some great flow from lots of successful passes. Aye Aye were a bit unlucky, with some fumbled drops in the endzone, but SB3 certainly looked the stronger team :-)

SB3 4-9 Bears 2

Feeling confident from our recent victory we started off really hard on D, and Bears really had to fight to score their first point. However, it was our 4th game of the day and we had all been running around like crazy in the match before. Our O suffered as a result and we struggled to string together the passes to score. The score was 8-1 to Bears before the cap, but we found the strength to up our game and score 3 points in a row before finally conceding the last. Despite losing the game, we finished in good spirits and pleased with how we had fought back in the late stages of the game.

SB3 3-11 Random Fling

It was late and we were tired, having played 4 long matches already. We were also down on numbers with only a couple of subs left, against their huge team! Fling were quite an aggressive team, and ran us very hard. We were just too tired to keep up and they got free of us very easily.


SB3 1-6 SB2

The match started and SB2 were obviously looking pretty nervous - who wouldn't be? ;-) Despite all being friends there was definitely a good level of competitiveness which was great to see from both teams. We fought hard and the first five points of the game seemed to last forever as both teams struggled to score. After 50mins of play, the score was only 1-4!! I think that for these points the teams were pretty evenly matched, but unfortunately it was SB2 who were able to take the crucial catches to score. We forced them to call a timeout to regroup, and they came out with a well practiced junk. It worked, as we struggled to make the passes and they got a couple of quick points to finish off the game. I'd like to think we weren't as much of a walkover as they had thought we would be :-)

SB3 7-10 OW2

OW2 started off putting a junk on us, but we had discussed and practiced this so much just before the match that we were able to deal with it reasonably well and they soon switched back to man D. We tried putting on a junk on them too, but for the first few points they were able to get the disc away and moving too easily and we just couldn't keep up. This allowed them to build up an early lead. We were in two minds as to whether to persevere with the junk or revert back to man D - we chose the former. OW2 brought the score to 9-4, and then suddenly something clicked with our junk and we were able to take them out completely. They struggled to work it up the pitch, while we capitalised at every turnover, eventually scoring. Then we scored again. Then Oxford got scared and took to hucking it, but some great D from Ewen meant they still couldn't get that last point. We scored one more, and were definitely looking the stronger team, but unfortunately we couldn't keep it up and they won the last point with a slick pass and grab in the endzone. Great game though - apart from their few early points, it was a very closely matched game.

SB3 7-9 ARU

We should have won this, but it was a good game nonetheless. ARU were tired after a long game beforehand, and we had got our junk sorted and working. They scored early on with a couple of flukey catches but we kept the score level. ARU couldn't deal with our amazing junk and kept turning over. But our O wasn't chilly enough and, having patiently worked the disc up the pitch, we kept throwing it away close to their endzone. In the end, ARU reverted to some great (if annoying!) huck and D, and despite the majority going out, the sheer number of hucks meant that some ended up finding ARU hands for a score. There were knives and hammers flying all around the place, with some great D from both teams and a fair bit of banter too. A really fun match to end a great day and a great tournament.

So we ended the weekend exhausted but happy. We'd moved up 2 seeds which was great and I think (I hope) everyone had fun. MVP as voted by the team, goes to Gary Lowe for his always reliable handling and solid endzone D. Apologies for writing so much, I'm not used to this report business...

xx Sonja