On Saturday we took 16 players up to Walsall Campus to compete in the one-day beginners tournament, SIFL. We split ourselves into two teams of 8, Shakesbears A and B. Shakesbears B consisted of Romit (c), Adam, Ed, James, Mike, Laurence, Tanay, and Yee Hliang. We started the day seeded 5th out of 8/9 teams and this is how we faired against the competition:
(Most scores are guesses)
Group Game 1: Shakesbears B 6 – 2 Leek Spinners (the reigning champs)
First game of the day; it was surprising how awake and ready we all were to play and it really showed as we took a 2-0 lead early on. The rest of the game was just maintaining that lead with classic Bears hard man D and a reliable side-line play.
Group Game 2: Shakesbears B 7 – 4 Airwolf
This game was very similar to the first. After trading the first 4 points of the match, we took the next two to go up 4-2. Our man D was too much for them to handle, and once again our O was quite fluid and very patient.
Group Game 3: Shakesbears B 2 – 5 Old Age Pick-ups
We were against the experienced pick-up players in this match so no matter what the result was it would count as a win for us. We went in with confidence knowing that Shakesbears A had beaten this team earlier. However, the height difference and experience proved to be a bit too much for us to handle. We put up a good fight however and they mainly only scored on high floaty discs which showed us how good our man D really was.
Group Game 4: Shakesbears B 5 – 4 Mwnci See
This was a very slow starting game with both teams throwing away a lot of discs. I think after about 8 minutes the score as only 1-1. Eventually we calmed down and quickly scored about 3 points to go ahead 4-1. Then as the game wore on, fatigue started to set in a bit and our man D was not as strong as it had been the rest of the day. They came back to make it 5-4 before Ed the fresher made a huge sliding D in the endzone to end the game.
This put us at the top of our group and seeded 2nd heading into the crossovers.
Crossover (2v7 seed hold): Shakesbears B 6 – 4 Coventry
We were told by Shakesbears A that Coventry played a very loose “zone” against them in their first game, so we went in with confidence that we would cruise through this game. We were wrong. Despite outstanding patience shown by the entire team when working the disc up the pitch, we were unable to stay patient enough to get past their 4 man flood in the endzone. They scored the first three points before I decided it would be smart to go for long shots and not let them set up their flood. J. L. made some incredible catches in the endzone to help us come back and eventually win the game as we stepped up our D back to our usual standard.
Semis (2v3 seed hold): Shakesbears B 8 – 6 Wasps
This was by far the best team and game we had played in this tournament up until this point. They were a very quick and athletic team (very similar to us), and started very quick with two fast points. We responded with two of our own very quick points to make it 2-2. We then had the momentum on our side and score a couple of breaks to win the game by two points. Definitely the best ultimate we played all weekend as we worked the sideline play to perfection with some brilliant continuation cuts and throws balanced out with patience when necessary and a strong man D to seal the victory.
Final: All Shakesbears Final!!! Shakesbears B 4 – 6 Shakesbears A
The much anticipated all Bears final, with both teams playing for bragging rights on the journey home! The game started out with in a similar fashion to our last two games with Shakes A taking a two point lead before we clawed our way back to make it 2-2. Both teams played exceptionally well and the match-ups were very equal which lead to a thoroughly enjoyable game. We traded points until it was 4-4 and fatigue hit once again, letting Shakes A score two consecutive points to close out the game.
All in all it was an amazing day of ultimate and everyone should be very proud of their performance as some of the teams we faced were quality sides. We finished 2nd overall which was a 3 seed jump from our starting position. Congrats to Shakesbears A on a well deserved finals win. Thanks to Sam for driving us there and back, and Peter for organising the entire day. Can’t wait to play in more finals for Shakesbears in upcoming tournaments!