After a lot of well-deserved hype the report is finally finished for Spring League 2015! It was my first tournament for Brixton as captain so it’s fair to say I was a little nervous before week 1 however the enthusiasm and commitment showed by the team made life pretty easy, cheers guys!
8-1 Win vs Berry Construction
As the team rocked up on a sunny day in Balham no one really expected to come up against a bunch of constructions workers who had never picked up a disc before. As it turned out they were lovely guys but hadn’t the faintest idea about ultimate or its tactics, this suited us nicely as we were pretty rusty and it took us a few turnovers to get going. Once we got into our rhythm and stopped running around like headless chickens we started to rack some up points, Canadian Sam got two big grabs and quickly established himself as our danger man. Rich also got his first (of many) run through D’s and we started to gain a bit of confidence. An overall solid start.
6-5 Loss vs HoG
The second game cranked the level up, HoG were led by House who had managed to pinch Brixton regular Ant (TRAITOR) and along with the some athletic beginners made a pretty formidable team. That said we made a flying start and scores from Rich and Cat led us to a 4-1 lead. Cat began to really get the team running with some great dump cuts operating as handler to keep the momentum going as we played some sexy ultimate. This was then followed by a moment of brilliance/physical danger as tall Chris laid out/fell in something resembling a falling tree to superbly catch a wayward disc. The point could not be scored and HoG took advantage by pulling the game back to 4-4 with some lovely ultimate NOT involving Ant who was busy being marked out of the game. With 2 points quickly shared the game was balanced with only a minute remaining and Brixton on offence. The disc found its way to me, the “seasoned pro” who proceeded to put up quite possibly the shittest disc of the tournament to a patch of grass 10 feet away. HoG once again were clinical and took the game. In the end it was a cracking match and a tough loss to take, however we certainly looked like a strong unit who just needed a bit of tactical development to step it up. A special shout out to Sean and Syl for being our huge side-line, well mainly Sean as he wasn’t an hour late! Although cheers Syl…
7-5 Loss vs Balham Pick Up
To say the conditions for week 2 were shit is putting it mildly, it had pissed it down all day, there was a strong wind and it was at least minus 1. That said the turnout was strong and spirits were high apart from Cat who had decided to go 30 minutes early and stand under a nearby tree. We started against a pretty strong pick up side and began to try and build on lessons from last week by nicely implementing a good 2-3 stack and even ran the line pattern a couple of times. Will was on top form with varied cutting meaning he never stopped getting free and scoring, all this helped us take 3-2 lead. Then came one of the moments of the tournament… the disc was moved down the line by some nice cutting from Will and Molof before being put up a solid 9 foot off the ground in the corner of the end zone. A grab too high for most but, leaping like an Alaskan, Salmon Dave Bull brought it down to score the point, the capacity crowd of Jon and Syl couldn’t contain themselves. This game also saw some huge/often very pointless layouts from me and Ant, however Ant did get a couple of very nice grabs to score and take the match to 5-4. Sadly they were a little more patient on the disc and eventually clinched the game with a minute to go.
7-5 Win vs Pick Up Team
Due to the regrettable drop out of The Infectious, Brixton played a pickup game vs a group of players organised by the TD. We had strong numbers so they stole Canadian Sam, Molof and Syl. The game was a win win in every aspect. We had won it by default, played very well and won, and when they did score it was usually Brixton players doing the damage. The highlight of the game was watching Rich the Brixton newbie D some Fire player using his blistering pace, just one of the 4 D’s he racked up that evening. On the other side Molof was on top form, scoring twice and making a huge grab to keep the game tight. Ant once again showed a complete lack of respect for his body as he laid out to score some really sexy points. In the end it was easily twice as much fun as anyone thought they could have on a horrible evening in Balham, it also really helped some of the newer players get used to playing in tough conditions while sticking to plan and using what we had learnt in training.
Later, once warm and pint in hand, Canadian Sam ambitiously claimed he would without any problems do a 3 pint challenge out of a disc without the use of straws. We will hold him to this at our upcoming social when we trash Cat’s house and raid her gin cupboard.
7-5 Win vs Sports Pursuit
Week 3 took place on a glorious evening and Brixton rocked up in large numbers exited for a great evening of Ultimate. Our first game against Sports Pursuit led by Ironside was a cracking encounter, we started poorly – epitomised by Will macking the disc to one of their players in the end-zone for a score (always catch it!). However with a couple of crap points out of our system we began running the show and Chris in particular was untouchable as he ran the line play inch perfect to get us moving up the pitch. With the game still close at 4-3 we pulled away with a lovely spot from Marie to pick out an unmarked Dave Bull for the score. In the end we were worthy winners against a very inexperienced team however they were a lovely group of players and Ironside certainly gave me the run around for 30 minutes.
8-3 Win vs Balham Pick Up
After some interesting (“absolutely shocking” Cat, Tooting Bec, 2015) totting up of scores Brixton did not make the final and were playing the 3-4 playoff against the dangerous Balham Pick Up. Fortunately they were quite tired and our numbers showed as we were full of running. In true Brixton style we played an intense man D and forced plenty of turnovers to put ourselves firmly in control. Rich got another of his trademark run through D’s to help us take a 4-1 lead. Sam and Will were uncontainable as they consistently got free deep to pile on the points.
Towards the end of the game it was clear we were worthy winners and they were tiring, a good point to ease off a little perhaps and let them have some time on the disc. Ant’s timing was impeccable, he proceeded to lay out on a beginner for a fantastic (albeit physical) D. It was a really well spirited and enjoyable game to end on. Balham Pick Up were a real pleasure to play against as well as being a lovely bunch of people. After a march to the pub players were nominated for awards with worthy winners Rich and Canadian Sam taking MIP and Most Spirited respectively.
A huge thanks go to all everyone who took part for making this a really enjoyable 3 weeks to organise, it was a fantastic way to start the outdoor season and I’m sure we are all psyched for Summer League and the upcoming tours.