All 8 of us travelled north to Nottingham on Friday night- yep, we brought a sub, we were tempted to ironman, but better-safe-than-sorry and all that…
Soni, Will, Si, Milo, Sam, Ant, Sean and Jon all checked into Novotel to spend the night with hookers and blow…. We didn’t order anyway, but being Novetel, we just assumed they’d be there.
Pretty much all games on Saturday had a similar theme- The Brixton8 battling bravely against the 400 subs of the other teams, who routinely had set plays whose names included various letters of the greek alphabet, the word ‘foxtrot’, and the surnames of long-dead celebrities(RIP Marilyn). Some of the Saturday highlights included;
-Going 3-0 up against the top seeds in our group in the first game, forcing them into a panicky timeout and obviously making them brick it for a few points.
-Ant waiting all of 30seconds in the first game to start laying out.
-Losing half against Cambridge 7-2, then battling back to make it 11-6 on the buzzer.
-Sean called foul after an aerial battle on one of the Brum players, and the conversation was;
Brum player; ‘No, absolutely not- contest!’ .
Sean; ‘Mate, I think you need to respect my call and talk it out’.
Brum player: ‘I am’.
Sean; ‘No, you just blurted out contest and then looked at me like I was a piece of shit’.
-Ant scoring a Callahan against Brum, showing great awareness.
Unfortunately we didn’t take out a victory on Day 1, but we had worked hard, calibrated our zoneD and put in some bloody good performances. Sneekys, Cambridge 2, Hampshire 2 and Brum 2 all paid homage to our 8 player almost-ironmanning effort(apart from the Brum captain, who seemed to use the spiric circle to pay homage to his own players..?)
After some quality pub grub on Saturday night, and a few beers, we were well up for a strong showing on Sunday.
Smells Angels- win, 13-4
As we walked past the A tour teams in the morning, we saw one of them playing against a zone, and they had an extra dump option back behind the disc.. Milo noticed it, pointed it out, and for the rest of the game our anti-zone offence was so so much better, teams found it really difficult to contain us with their zone now, starting off with Smells.
Unfortunately for us, Si had to shoot off early to do a work-related errand, and we actually were ironmanning for this game(yay!).
Fortunately for us, Milo had regenerated himself overnight and woke up as an entire Oline. Seriously, it seemed like it was Milo breaking the force, then cutting for his own continuation passes, only to run on to his own hucks. He really pulled it out, and drove us forward, it was bloody good work, and we scored upwind point again and again, our strong zone forcing turns.
And as Smell’s commented in the circle after, every time they went man, our up the line handler cuts to move the disc off the line were absolute money, if they took out the up line cut it was a textbook dump/swing across the pitch, it was sexy, and there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.
Camden 2- loss, 7-5
We knew a couple of these guys from the London scene, and as soon as we pointed out their main handler, Jon narrowed his eyes, sized him up and down, and said to himself ‘right’, while nodding slowly… it was like something out of a John Wayne movie. Sure enough, Jon was the key to turning these guys, they had no answer to our zone and the numerous point blocks were punctuated by turfed desperation discs through the cup. Seriously, Jon must have gotten at least 4 pointblocks in this game, mostly on their best handlers, it was sick.
Unfortunately for us, they scored a few upwind points, showing good flow, and took this game, but we all knew a few of their throws were Hail Mary’s, or batten down in a bid effort by a Brixton player which somehow ended up in their arms. There was genuinely nothing in this game, could have gone either way.
The Fish- win, 7-5
We took a short break to go watch some of the A tour games, and it was refreshing to see their discs getting turfed and bladed in the wind just as ours were, this was a really tough day to play ultimate!
The wind had really picked up by now, Jon won the toss and… well, it turned out that was the game! With Si rejoining us, we had a sideline again. We walked the disc up the pitch through their zone time and time again, only to fall agonizingly short of the endzone. They’d pick it up, huck it, then we’d start again. Eventually they scored an upwind point, and were ecstatic about it… we repeated the act straight away, all in a day’s work. We traded out the game, Sean and Si running some sweet homeboy plays, some great play to break through their zone from the whole team. Eventually we put away the last downwind point and took the game.
We huddled for one last time, talked about how much we’d improved, wished each other well, set off home- then coincidentally met again half way down the M1 on the way to a Burger King. The funniest part of the entire weekend was watching the whole team try to struggle up the stairs, aches and pains and oldness and injuries were all making us feel the 7 games we’d just played- what a team of athletes we are!
There were some great individual plays throughout the two days, I can’t really remember any but;
-Will, was our MIP, he really is just a beast when going deep, powerful running and great cuts. He got so much better as the weekend wore on, learning more about zoneD and getting involved in our flow offence, well played mate.
-Soni was joint MVP, and its fair to say he was an absolute revelation in the air, especially on Saturday, if anybody, anywhere, put up a disc, he would come down with it. He did a great job of growing into his role as deep defender in our zone, constantly talking to the upfield players, telling them what was going on and who to mark, it was awesome, particularly as his studs fell off- literally- halfway through Sunday!
-Sam unfortunately picked up a muscle strain on Saturday, but he didn’t complain once, battling on gamely through the pain all day Sunday, even though he could barely walk! He made excellent decisions on disc, I don’t remember him throwing a turn once, and his positioning improved throughout the weekend.
-Si was our cool head at the back, especially playing against the zoneD of the other teams, patiently swinging it, encouraging everyone to take the easy option, linking up the play.
-Jon had excellent reading of the game on O all weekend, and as mentioned above, as the force in our zone D he was a pointblock machine, great work Jon.
-Milo- also mentioned above, he pulled it out on Sunday morning on O, and when we lost Si he did a great job of aggressively attacking the swing passes in our ZoneD, making life really tough for other teams.
-Ant, the other MVP, as everybody knows Ant’s game already, there’s not much to say except that he brought his game and it was excellent. Good decisions, solid defence, aggressive cuts, it was just textbook Ant. Not to mention a layout D on Saturday against Hampshire that was, for most of us, the highlight of the whole tournament!
Great work Brixton, looking forward to OT2! Lets go with 6 next time!!