The final tournament of 2014 saw new beginnings for Brixton. It was the start of our competitive indoor season, five Brixton debuts at an indoor tournament, Dave Bull’s first ever indoor tournament, and the first time I wore a dress.
We were a team that had not played competitively together before, but me, Si, Sean, Dave Bull, Sylvester, House, Ben, and Matt gelled very well very quickly, played with high intensity all weekend, and took home some silverware (china-ware?) for topping our 9th-16th bracket.
Game one vs Slipped Disc 6-3
9AM starts are not good in general, but some of Slipped Disc’s team must have slept in that morning because only 3 players started on their line. Despite that, those three players were very good and knew each other’s movements well, coupled with a nervous start from Brixton meant that they got the first point and the admiration of the crowd. However, we soon found our stride and turned things around, and even their 4th player to arrive halfway through the game couldn’t stop us from winning 6-3.
Game two vs Kent Legacy 11-1
Kent Legacy are a uni alumi team who we didn’t know much about but we left a lasting impression on them after smashing them 11-1. This game gave us a chance to really get to know each other’s strengths and movements, and really helped us click as a team.
Game three vs Blunder Miflin 5-7
Having just played two relatively easy games, we came into game three a little too comfortable and we got complacent. It took us four points to find the intensity that we had before but by then it was too late and we couldn’t claw back the 0-4 deficit and ended 5-7.
Game four vs Bear Min 6-6
Bear Min were top seeds of the tournament and we knew would likely be our toughest game of the weekend. After the last game we knew that we had to start the game with the high intensity that we ended the last, and we did. They had some incredible players, fast and agile, but our defensive play was ramped up several notches and we were able to contain their threats. In the circle after the game their captain mentioned how our super hard D shut totally shutdown their weave and that we were the only team to do that. Si and Ben were especially good at using their position to limit some of their best players, and Sean ensured that no blade throws got past him.
In the end the game could have gone either way (a last ditch scoober into the endzone could have sealed the win for Brixton in the dying moments but was denied), but both teams felt that a draw was a fair result. It was our best performance of the weekend and the fact that it was so hard fought made it the most enjoyable to play.
The atmosphere of this game was truly electric. There was a big crowd watching this game and you could really feel their presence. It was obvious that everyone in the hall knew that this was a serious exhibition of ultimate, and right they were too! As we left the hall, spectators congratulated us on a great game, and people were still talking about the match the following day.
Game five vs Fakers Gunna Fake 13 – 1
To finish off the day, we played a Surrey freshers team who didn’t know what they were doing but played with great enthusiasm, fun, and spirit.
Matt had to skip the party, but the rest of us went to refuel on chicken and chips before fully committing to a student night out by heading to the supermarket for cheap booze and pre-drinking in our rooms! A team bonding session of ‘I have never…’ led to some interesting revelations that shan’t be repeated (what happened in Guildford Holiday Inn room 123 stays in Guildford Holiday Inn room 123, so Sean your filthy past shall remain a secret). Not everyone from the team made it beyond the pre-drinks, with the more experienced of the group getting an early night, but the rest of us headed out into the night and on to the Surrey Uni campus. The theme for the party was Cartoon Characters and so the team all dressed up as the kids from Recess:
A great effort from everyone, particularly King Bob (Ben) for going all out with a crown, cape, and customised jersey, and Spinelli (me) sporting a gut busting (literally) dress, jacket, and knee high socks.
Cross over game vs Boom Squad 3rd seeds 8-4
We went into our cross over game with te usual slugishness found following a frisbee party, and we were suitably punished by an experienced team who were swift and precise with their justice. We sharpened up as the match went on but we couldn’t catch up. The loss meant we were now in the 9th– 16th bracket.
7th game vs Cloud city 6-3
The 7th game was against our close friends and Brixton splinter team, Cloud City. It was obvious that both teams felt they had something to prove, and Brixton for sure felt the pressure of the occasion. Our offense was clumsy and we made errors where we hadn’t been doing so before. Having said that, we were still doing well on D, and I remember Dave Bull in particular sticking close to his man throughout each point and completely removing his mark from the game. While it was a convincing win in the end, we all felt that there were improvements to be made for the next game.
Semi final vs Slipped Disc again 7-4
We drew Slipped Disc for a second time, and this time they had a full complement of very experienced players. Sean summed it up pretty well: “we brought big intensity, shutdown their best players and forced turns. On O we were patient and clinical when we needed to be, everything started coming together for us, it was really good. In the circle after this game, nobody had anything to say(even Matt!), it was just like- ok, lets do that again.
Our win against Slipped Disc meant that we had made the plate final!
Plate final vs Onside flick 8-2
We’d made the final but unfortunately not all of us could make the occasion. It was a big shame but Dave Bull had to pull out due to earlier commitments, and so we said goodbye to someone who had worked very hard all weekend and deserved his place in the final.
Si had prepped us before the game with a classic pep talk ensuring our heads were in the right frame of mind, and that we all knew what to do – hard D, no blade breaks, and calm, measured offensive play into lots of space. We took to the pitch and did exactly that. We scored the first point very quickly and kept up our high intensity play and stretched out to a 4-0 lead before Slipped Disc’s eyes stopped spinning and they got themselves in the game. Another Meany takeover: “They lacked the energy to compete with us and our strong team character was evident as we stuck together, supported each other and put up score after score, most with scoobers. It was awesome that pretty much everything we had worked on and talked about all weekend came together in the plate final, just reward for us having the worst possible group draw… as well as an unfortunate crossover game.”
Brixton won the game, came 9th out of 24, and took home the plate!
A great weekend filled with fun, great play, and a reward for all our hard work. Everyone played their part, but we took a vote on the Most Improved Player and the Most Valuable Player, and the winners are:
MIP – Dave Bull – From the way he played all weekend, you would not know it was Dave’s first ever indoor tournament. He stuck close to his man on D, and was calm on the disc and made great choices with his passes. Dave, I hope you feel you have learnt a lot from the weekend, you certainly left an impression with all of us!
MVP – Sean – His fierce D kept even the most experienced players at bay and eliminated difficult threats all day long. His post game analysis was useful for everyone and Sean was influential in the way we approached games with the right tactics and attitude.
Brixton had a great indoor season last year. This time last year we had around double the number of regulars coming to training, we performed well at tournaments, and came 8th in Open Nationals. This year has seen our numbers drop but this has only led us to have a more concentrated team of great core players that, after last weekend’s performance, I’m sure will go on to have even greater success. I can’t wait to play the rest of the season with you!
Merry Christmas everyone!