Bears 1- Midlands Winter League Captains Report

Bright and early Sunday morning 21 Bears, ex-Bears and Firebirds headed off to Nottingham for MWL2. The journey wasn’t entirely seamless (I’ll let Robbie tell you about that) and Bears 1 arrived with around 0.0000 minutes until their first game.

Team was: Andy (C), Kris (V-C), Rory, Kieran, Ed ‘the fresher’, James McCormick, Hamza, Ken’neth Brannagh, Romit, Tobias.

Game 1: Saints 7-15ish loss

Saints only had 8 players but they were all experienced and really consistent. The ground was completely frozen for this game and we struggled to play pressurising defence. They kept the disc very comfortably and connected on pretty much all their long shots. Our offence was okay once we warmed up. We moved the disc quickly and kept getting free off the back of stack. Unfortunately we just made more individual errors than them. Room to improve.

Game 2: Flyght Club 7-9 loss

Having had time for a proper warm up we came out for this game really sharp. We ripped through their man-d two successive times and put loads of pressure on their offence with great physical defence. Immediately they switched to a low-pressure arrowhead to slow us down. I don’t think it ever caused us many problems, but they made us make a lot of throws and eventually we kept turning ourselves over. Soon we found ourselves 3-7 down. From then we really turned it on, playing really solid offence and powering down field whenever we got behind the arrowhead. at 6-7 they tried a point of man and we scored right away to tie the game. Although we couldn’t keep the momentum,  our defence remained really strong and at 7-7 included 4 consecutive goal line stands. I specialize in close defeats to Flyght Club but this was my favourite, we played really well and they were very lucky it wasn’t a game to 11.

Game 3: UBU 15-7 loss

I’ll skip ahead to halftime, with only 9 players (Ed had a knee injury) against a strong UBU team down 8-1. We’d really struggled to slow them down on defence and hadn’t run our offence with conviction. We (eventually) pulled to begin the second half and played 40 seconds of tough defence before forcing the turn. We then swung the disc, swung it back and hit an up line cut for the goal. From there we played much better, especially on defence. We poached their 3-4 under and deep at different times and this really confused them. They kept trying to run the patterns but couldn’t get open and we were all over their dumps. On offence we played with more fluidity than I’d seen yet that weekend and used the sideline play to reset the disc. A mixture of some good longs shots from them and some errant throws from us meant we only drew the second half but I think our offensive flow was much stronger. It was good to see our strongest performance come at the end of the day despite our small squad, injuries and tired legs.

I’d like to thank everyone for the effort they put in. I was especially impressed with Ed and James who played with great composure. Any observers would have had no chance of guessing they’d only been playing for 16 weeks. The great thing about starting the outdoor season in January is that you have 9 months more outdoors and it’s only going to get warmer, drier, lighter and we’re only going to get better!


Andrew Hillman

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