A fairly long time ago (…yeah, sorry about that) in a land not too far away (largely because Will decided to skip his usual detour to Loughborough) Brixton ultimate embarked on its first beach tournament of the season (or possibly ever).
To be completely honest my memory of the actual events are a little bit hazy. I was pretty certain we won, but the ‘official’ record seems to have mixed up Brixton and Southampton (I mean come on, they’re not even close). In order to avoid any accusations of libel I’ve been advised to report on this ‘official’ version of event.
Overall (apparently) we came a respectable 23 out of 28. Despite losing our seed everyone had a fantastic weekend, showing commitment and comradery (on and off the pitch). Syl, Matt and Ben provided invaluable handling experience (#rawhandlingskillz), Soni, Will and Marie kept things flowing with their determined cutting and Sean (as ever) worked tirelessly on defence, intimidating and amusing his competitors into countless turnovers with his jazzy-hands mark.
Particular commendations go to:
Laura (MVP): our pickup for the weekend, who proved invaluable in the endzone, constantly free of her player. Despite recovering from injury, not content with her MVP nomination she also unseated Sean as the team’s best Irish player.
Carlton (MIP): From start to finish Carlton left everything on the field. Carlton’s defensive play improved immensely over the weekend, from his stints in the two-man cup to his invaluable deep-defence culminating into two amazing Ds against Poole.
Joe: Not only does Joe deserve recognition for captaining the team over the weekend, delivering many an inspirational team talk and humble speeches in the spirit-circle, and general organisation, Joe also topped the table in terms of assists (although judging from my own stats none of which were to me).
Despite our best efforts (and numerous lay-outs) our first day went without a Brixton win as we struggled to compete with some particularly high quality teams (namely Southampton (L) 8-2) and some particularly strong winds. However my personal highlight was matching the Warwick team (Bear-to-Bream, top seeds in our group) point-for-point and just losing out to the buzzer at 4-3 (L). After a disappointing draw with Skunks (2-2) and two further losses to Steam (6-3) and Guildford (7-3) we headed in search of our hotel.
In need of some food, alcohol and escape from a fairly raucous hen party we found a nice pub to refuel which turned out to be quite a personally affirming experience. During the evening Ben kindly offered to help me learn from his ‘raw handling abilities’, Marie suggested that I would be the most suitable gay-partner for Sean despite an overwhelming consensus in favour of Soni, who had only hours before jammed his European hairdryer into an English Socket (not a euphemism – promise) as the one provided by the hotel was inadequate, and the team decided that I should date Joe’s sister, a view that needless to say was not shared by Joe himself.
Potentially suffering from the complacency of being in relationships both Sean and Ben decided to rock-up to the evening’s assigned club in shorts, much to annoyance of the bouncers who clearly believed that such attire was inappropriate for such a high-end establishment. Thankfully (I guess) a lack of appropriate dress sense seems to be a commonality among the Frisbee community and after some queuing we were all allowed in. Well all apart from Sean who actually turned out in his kit and decided that even attempting to get in so poorly dressed wasn’t worth the agro. As such Brixton had to pursue our quest to win the party two people down before the night really begun (Sean and Marie got cheesecake instead which I believe was ok but nothing special).
Having observed our performance on the pitch it seems that most teams had resigned themselves to the fact that Brixton were here to win the party and to save themselves the embarrassment decided to drink elsewhere. Despite their absence, the two-for-one deals on cocktails and cheap Sol provided all the company necessary for a good Brixton night-out and a good time was had by all. All in all though the night was fairly uneventful, nothing really to report at all, and nobody whatsoever got lucky in the club’s disabled toilets.
Disc-o-biscuits (W): 4 – 2.
Revived after decisively winning the party, Brixton dominated our first game of the day against a fairly inexperienced Disc-o-biscuit team. Having battled against the wind on Saturday we had ironed out the kinks in our zone defence and put it to good use and our star Irish recruit Laura dominated the end-zone resulting in a comfortable win.
Skunks 2 (W): 8 – 0
Having been robbed of a win against Skunks 1 by the buzzer we were determined to ensure that no such upset occurred against their second team, and that we did. To be honest I hadn’t realised that they hadn’t scored until way after the game. Filling the hole that was left with Marie’s departure after the first game, Laura once again stepped up, playing for two women and pretty much scoring for the entire team. Finishing off the match with a Ben-Joe Hammer only added icing to a pretty triumphant cake.
Mixeter (L) 7 – 2
Now feeling the loss of Marie and her enthusiastic warm-ups as well as Matt (kind of) to injury, our winning streak was ended by a strong Mixeter team from Devon. Our zone struggled to keep pace with their speedy offensive style and in-turn their cup caused us a whole load of issues. However there were moments of great zone offense, of particular note Syl’s high release back hand break over the cup (which I did try to imitate only for it to be resoundingly D’ed by a Mixeter mid)
The Fish (L): 6 – 3
As we entered our penultimate game a vicious rumour (probably spread by our fishy opponents) was circulating around the Brixton camp that if we lost the next game we could go home early. With great prescience within twenty minutes this rumour was established as fact. Brixton started strong but at 3-3, the urge to avoid a repeat of our draw with Skunks became too strong and we forgot Si’s number one rule: Let the point score itself. Unfortunately from that point on our passes into the endzone just didn’t connect and the Fish helped themselves to three additional points. However we redeemed ourselves with a decisive win at both battleships and Mix-and-Mingle (after Soni slightly threw Ben under the bus in the final rounds) – so always a silver lining.
Poole (W): 8 9 – 1
It was at this moment that our esteemed Captain Joe informed us that we had not won the tournament. With one game to play, I personally thought this was a bit pessimistic. However what Joe may have lacked in optimism at this point in the tournament he made up for in determination, overcoming Poole’s home(ish) advantage and leading the team to one final and decisive victory. Coming from back-to-back defeats our offensive flow was now as beautiful as a warm northern summer’s evening huddled around the coal-fire, only interrupted by a couple of particularly interesting calls. Our defense shut down everything and many a last ditch huck was batted down by our man-of-the-hour twenty minutes, deep-D machine, Carlton. Sean, to his credit, also managed to get his first Layout D (ever!) by falling over at the correct moment – but we were all very happy for him. The game finished in style with a Soni-Ben connection for the score on the buzzer which unfortunately was not recorded in the official record of events.
With one last victory in the bag we brought it in for one final and emotional debrief from our captain. Soni almost undid all his fantastic work cutting on the field by insisting on taking his top-off in our group photo, but such faux pas can be forgiven when your moisturising regime is so strenuous. And with that we headed our separate ways, only for Joe to be ripped off at the services when Will couldn’t find a KFC.