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Loughborough Beginners – Captain’s Report (2)

Last weekend, we took 2 teams to the annual Loughborough Beginners Tournament.

One team consisted of: Stevie, Steve, Jonny, Peter, Jed and James, with Andy
(me) and Volvic as the experienced players. Here is how we got on.

Saturday – Group Games

Game 1: versus Shambulls (Nottingham Veterinary Campus) 5-4 WIN

We only arrived 5 minutes before the game but still started really quickly.
Peter moved the disc really well right away. Otherwise we struggled to keep the
disc a little (understandable for the first game) but made some great catches in
the endzone that ensured victory.

Game 2: versus Fling (Nottingham Uni) 2-6 LOSS

This game felt very close throughout with both teams moving the disc really
fluently but somehow we found ourselves 6-1 down with seconds left. I think
Nottingham made some great catches and some very lucky one (we managed to
deflect one pass twice and they still caught it!) and we just didn’t hang on to
the key passes. Still finished with on high when Peter made a great catch in the
endzone on the buzzer (a sign of things to come?).

Game 3: versus Haze 1 (Loughborough Uni) Approx. 3-7 LOSS

Haze 1 were the eventual tournament winners and were really impressive. They had
great throws and made some good catches but the most impressive thing about them
was their intensity and energy on the pitch.

After the game we discussed how we could learn from the defeat and our intensity
in each game for the rest of the tournament was fantastic, especially with only
8 players.

Game 4: versus Coventry 5-4 WINWINWIN

Nobody needed motivation for the big rivalry match against Coventry. They were a
very talented side that made some great catches but we retained the disc far
better and patiently moved up the pitch. With one minute left we trailed 3-4 but
a quick score and then another, to Peter left alone in one corner of the endzone
as everyone else piled into the other, right on the buzzer gave us an incredible
win. One of my most enjoyable games of the year.

Game 5: versus Demons (De Montford Uni) Close LOSS

Both teams played some great Ultimate in this one. By now we were keeping the
disc so well and our movement without the disc was becoming very intelligent.
Demons played really well and we were unlucky to lose.

I don’t know where we finished in our group (probably 4th) but went into Sunday
with alot of confidence.

Sunday- Knockout Stage

Game 6: Flying Aces 7-1 WIN

We played so well to start the day. The opposing team took lots of long shots to
the endzone but we were always there to make the interception. Their experienced
player was very aggressive and took me and Volvic out of the game but everyone
else played calm offence without us and made some great catches.

Game 7: Aye-Aye (UEA Uni) WIN

Similar to the previous game, they tried alot of long shot but we were so good
in the air. Once again we played fast and patient offence. By now we were also
pivoting really well with the disc which resulted in less blocks.

Game 8: Tuxford 1 5-6 LOSS

Our best game of the tournament against a great junior team. We knew we’d have
to work hard to keep close to them on defence and we did exactly that putting
loads of pressure on them and forcing turnovers. We kept the disc amazingly
well, particularly when their experienced player started stopping us passing
forward to easily and made us play really patiently to move the disc up the
field. We were inches away from a victory at 5-5 but credit to Tuxford for
scoring the sudden death point.

Game 9: UBU (Birmingham Uni) LOSS

Another good game to finish the tournament with both teams retaining the disc so
impressively. It was great to see how much the team had improved from the
beginning of the tournament. We played with great tempo and aggression on
defence and were very calm when we had the disc. We made a few costly drops and
UBU seemed to catch everything but even so we were close on the buzzer.

So we finished 12th and played some high quality Ultimate. I was very impressed
with the talent across both Bears teams and had a fantastic time. Thanks to
everyone who came for contributing to a great weekend.

AND a huge congratulations to Bears 1 for finishing 2nd and Bears 2 for
finishing 5th in Spirit!

Andrew Hillman

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