First outdoor tournament of the year- Mixed Tour 1 (MT1) and a small squad of 12 Brixtoners made the journey to Llanrumney (sp?) near Cardiff in Wales. We were met with a strange mix of pitches that felt a little swamp like, with blue skies and sun for the most part. Strange place this Wales they speak of.

To cut to the chase the tournament all in all felt a bit like the first outdoor tournament of the year. We went 2-0-5 over the course of the weekend which is obviously disappointing. But there were definitely signs over the course of the weekend that with a bit more cohesion we could have easily flipped that into being a 5-0-2 record, so I’m going to try and avoid being my naturally critical self and highlight the positives for the rest of this report.

In that spirit the first game I think is best remembered by one name a Mr Daniel Wardle. For someone to approach their first tour and hit the first game with such an impact is quite a feat. I believe there were 2 layout D’s and a couple of scores to go along with them including a quite remarkable bookends throughout this game. We were playing Cambridge 2 and I honestly think if we had played them 3rd or 4th on the day we may have been able to get a result but we were just a bit rusty in the first game.

The second game was against Guilford 2. This is one of those games that had me wishing the games went to 90 mins instead of 70. They came out very strong, playing with some slick handlers and willing runners putting themselves a couple up on which unfortunately stayed that way for the rest of the game. However this is where we started to see some better play coming out from Brixton, there was better movement, the stack started to organise itself and we put a good run of points on the board. It wasn’t quite enough in the end but it was definitely a much better performance than the previous game. They also happened to be my favourite team we played against all weekend for the style of Ultimate they played (tied maybe with the Brown).

Third game down, and I think it’s fair to say heads and spirits weren’t the best before the game started. However we came out against Sharkbear! One of those annoying runny teams with huck friendly handlers but not an awful lot of short game. They put a couple of points on us but we came back very strongly again in the game. Putting a great run together taking a few breaks and taking the lead and then the half. I have to give a shoutout in this game to Joseph ‘Justin’ Beeby(er) for I think it was 4 or 5 converted hammers in this game, he could do no wrong. A good win, and it meant if we won our final game we had an outside shot of crossing up in the mixed bag that was our pool.

The Brown are a beast many teams will know very well, they’ve been around a long old time and they know what they’re doing. Unfortunately for us they clicked well today and put us on a bit of a beating by playing a 4 – 1 – 2 ISO that I have to admit was great to watch from the sides. We struggled to shut it down for a fair while and by the time we had figured it out they were comfortably ahead. There were some big plays by a few players including a Soni layout score that I can recall ( I apologise if I don’t mention something awesome that happened I’m writing this at work a week later and don’t remember everything). Day one over, time for food, some drinks and eventually bed.

Day two- Day two we started very well. We looked up for the first game and came out well against Black Sheep Mob. I have to admit this game was a bit of a blur for me, but I know we won it and I remember it being the best performance our team put together all weekend. So I think I will keep this one quite short except to say well done to everyone for running so hard on an achey Sunday morning. I know there were highlights in this game, and I think this may have been when Claire got her point block (if not that happened in one of the games this weekend and it was good.)

The rest of day two unfortunately did not go as well as it began, we played a strong Sneekys 2 side that was full of very tall very runny players with solid handler plays and to be honest they just had too much for us. The kind of game that makes you think maybe there should have been crossovers before the brackets. Or maybe that’s just me. They deserved the win, though we did put up a good fight at points I just don’t think we had the legs at this point. With several players injured or not in a space to run as hard as they might the squad size was definitely starting to hurt us a little bit. To this point a massive shoutout to our 5 ladies for the weekend that were absolute troopers playing as much as they did. Frequently coming up against 4 ladies on a line, they ran every point and kudos for that.

Our final game was a rematch with Sharkbear! From the pool stage. I love when this happens, playing the same team twice in 7 games is always fun, who wants new opposition when you can have the same team again. Anyway, they beat us this time so I look forward to seeing a future match up with the team as we are clearly quite evenly matched. Again being a lot of younger uni players they had legs on us, they had hucks, and they had receivers that I don’t know how they kept running when my legs felt like lead pipes.

Lessons from the weekend-

Swing, swing, swing and then swing some more. Getting that reset to the middle of the pitch is something we need to do a lot more of.

Working on our Man D, especially taking away those open up the line shots.

Tidying up the stack, and then more aware cutting the from the stack. Looking at what’s going on around instead of focussing on personal cuts.

Tidying up the handler positions to ensure we’re not clogging up open side, especially when being poached.

I don’t know if this is how a tournament report should look but I hope it’s not been too negative as I’ve tried my best to hide some of the frustrations we felt as a team over the course of the weekend. I’m going to end with something I think is important and would like to invite discussion here (as well as on the post I put in the event group). We got 1.57 on two aspects of Spirit which is a fair way below the expect average of 2 over the course of 7 games. How much interest would there be in a pub session perhaps after a training to look at how we can improve our rules knowledge and even more importantly perhaps application of rules knowledge, as well as the fouls and body contact. Fouls and body contact is something we need to all take personal responsibility for and if you notice you are being called foul on a lot please open that up to the team so we can all help each other improve on it.

Awards for the weekend:

Most successful layouts – Dan Wardle
Point Blocks – Joe Beeby, Claire, Dan, and Soni (that I recalled).
Top scorer – Rach
Most assists – the Beeb.

MVP – Matt and Joe tied I think it was agreed in the end.
MSP – Olly
MIP – Rach