Watford FC’s training ground was the venue for this year’s Open Tour 2 London* Calling (*not actually in London). In the spirit of, or due to the traffic caused by, Charlotte Church’s revolutionary anti-austerity marches happening across the city, we turned up with rebelliously little time to spare before the first match. Nonetheless, with tents pitched and Carlton having unblocked a little jam of his own, we were fit, primed and ready to go against the second best team in Reading.
Brixton 5-9 Reading 2
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The palest ink is better than the best memory”. Much like introducing the Noodles City all you can eat buffet in Camberwell, I think in this particular instance the Chinese got it wrong. Stuff happened, it was scrappy to begin with, we had enormous fun, and then Reading 2 won. Onwards and upwards.
Brixton 6-13 EMO 2
EMO 2 were top seeds in our group and their superior skill on the disc told in the end. Nonetheless the spirit we’d created in the first match really came to the fore here, with great enthusiasm on every point. Ibby and Jon in particular had a great D game, showing top aggression and speed to force several turnovers when the team really needed it. We kept up the talking, heads didn’t drop and crucially our level of play and energy didn’t falter either. The chat from the sideline was the best I’ve ever seen.
Brixton 10-11 Devon 3
By the final match on Saturday we were well into our stride and playing some great Frisbee. We had Devon hanging on the ropes at 10-8 when they came back with 3 quick points to nick it 10-11. It was a tough defeat to take but we couldn’t fault our play or effort.
Carlton had conned the team early doors with a somewhat broad interpretation of the weather forecast and our crossover was cancelled due to thunderous conditions. After watching some layout high fives the majority of the team (except Sean and Will) swiftly abandoned the idea of bedding in and headed back to London.
Brixton 6-8 Sharkbear!2
We’ll never know what happened that night but Will’s eyes betrayed a more worldly understanding the following morning. The romance continued into the next round of matches, with Joe releasing two sensual backhand discs down the line to Rich to break a strong zone D, Chris taking his own personal time out to recover. Sharkbear were always one or two points ahead but this game could really have gone either way. With the wind up, zone was the order of the day and Sam, who joined us for Sunday, was vital in popping into the space in front of the handlers to recycle the disc quickly.
Brixton 10-6 Aye-Aye
We won! Jon and Sean ‘everyone look at me’ Meaney defended constant homeboy play for the majority of the match to keep Aye-Aye pegged back near their end zone. Dave also stepped up a level, demonstrating a lovely forehand into the wind and running up and down the wings with great energy. Ant pulled off a marvellous down the line scoober.
Brixton 8-13 Bournemouth
By the final game both teams were pretty exhausted, and Bournemouth’s larger squad helped pull them through. It was nevertheless a heroic effort on Brixton’s part, and it was under intense pressure that the team showed its true colours: Joe carried on playing despite the fact he’d picked up so many injuries he could barely run – strangely this didn’t really affect his game; Si on top of all his great captaincy and tactical nous pulled off a most spectacular end zone layout catch; we discovered the physical marvel that is Sean and his Protruding Head, which engendered a disc space call (and subsequent hand block); and Will assisted a point with a beautiful hammer. But it was Ant who really stepped it up. It was his enthusiasm vocally and the increased responsibility of his play that carried the team and avoided what could have been a much more damaging result. And the great layouts go without saying. Fully deserved MVP.
For those not mentioned above:
Soni – if you ever find yourself in AL2 and require a variety of ways to freshen up, this guy knows a thing or two about the gents’ facilities at London Colney. On the pitch, Soni excelled at his D’s, causing a lot of turnovers with his strong running and quick hands. Scored us a substantial amount of points too.
Will – Excelled in the continuation role with constant hard cuts in and out, always looked to offer an option to the handlers.
Carlton – must have covered more distance than most with his sharp sprints, creating space and popping quick passes off. Great chat off the pitch as always, seemed to know half the people there.
Chris – obviously fantastic in the air, but on top of that we found that Chris is a natural in the middle of the cup, teams found it so hard to get the disc through there. His stamina and enthusiasm were also second to none – every time we were a man down on the line Chris would be the first to volunteer.
Massive thanks to Si for his captaincy, always giving advice, thinking ahead, delivering team talks. Sean for getting us all ready for every match and keeping the energy at a high-octane level. Jon for organising the whole thing again. And all the drivers for getting us there and back.
My first tournament – was superb fun, spirit absolutely top notch, and we retained our ranking. Thanks everyone!