On 1st/2nd March 2014 Warwick Bears took 3 teams to Cambridge to compete in Midlands University Open Outdoor Regionals. Songs were sung, history was made and here’s the story of the weekend for the first team.
Group game 1: Bears 13 – 0 Cranfield
After watching Bears 2 show some great fight against uBu we came into this game wanting to start on the front foot. Our offence was clinical and defence pretty impenetrable. We were able to practise some zone defence as well. Good start to the tournament.
Group game 2: Bears 13 – 1 Haze 2
This was a similar game to the first one. They struggled to stop our flow and we rarely turned over. Their goal was a nice long throw which Romit decided to try to D when it was about 15 feet in the air. Unfortunately Romit is not Kris and the disc sailed over his head to his man for a score.
Group game 3: Bears 13 – 1 Oxford 2
Again we were experienced enough and good enough to see off another second team. OW! 2 were more athletic than the previous two teams but we were still able to pull away for the win.
Group game 4: Bears 13 – 0 Fling 2
We were down to 11 players by this stage of the day because Robbie had some SCOUT FRIENDS to go watch get married. I think the most notable moment of this game was Pmoney throwing his first (and only) turnover of the tournament.
Group game 5: Bears 13 – 3 Jesters 1
We knew this game would be the most difficult one of the day, despite Jesters having lost many of the players that reached Division 1 outdoors last year. Jesters hit a nice early long shot to make the scores 1-1. We then played a pretty poor point, making lots of individual errors until we called time out. After that we played great, scoring the next 6 or 7 points without turning over and without conceding. Some enthusiastic singing from the sideline spurred us on to victory.
So at the end of day one Warwick Bears 1 were seeded 4th facing a semi final against uBu on Sunday morning. We headed to a local scout hut and made our biggest mistake of the day: not lynching Jamie Barr.
Semi-final: Bears 8 – 7 uBu
The conditions on Sunday morning were a bit worse than Saturday as the wind picked up, blowing towards the corner of the pitch. Birmingham’s minibus broke down so the game got delayed by about half an hour. It was a very even game throughout as we tried different tactics to try to shut down the threat of their long shots to Rollo. Our arrowhead zone was particularly effective but Rollo still managed to bring down some huge grabs. Our offence struggled to stay patient as Birmingham played some tougher man defence than we had seen previously in the tournament. The hooter went at 6-6 with Birmingham going (slightly) upwind. They put in the point to leave us needing two in a row to win the game. They threw an excellent pull right to the back of our endzone. Frig gave a sketchy pass to Felix which popped up and was almost caught for a Callahan. Fortunately Felix came down with it and we were able to play some nice offence with Robbie going up the line to score and take the game into sudden death. Another tough point with a few turnovers and contested calls, finished off by a goal for Andy from a Frig assist to win the game!
Final: Bears 7 – 4 Strange Blue
We had a short break because of the delayed start to our semi final. We traded the first 6 points but knew we could play better as we made unnecessary errors on offence. Our defence was really good all game, making their resets difficult and not allowing their downfield cutters any separation. At 3-3 we turned on some fluid offence and went 6-3 ahead. The hooter went during the next point, which Cambridge scored thanks to a nice layout. 6-4 game to 7. Cambridge came out with their junk zone. We worked it forwards nicely to Andy but his pass was too far in front of Rob. Chance #1 gone. A drop in the middle of the pitch gave us another opportunity to score but Frig’s blade to Rob was easily blocked. Chance #2 gone. More tight defensive cut out Cambridge’s options until eventually we got the turnover just outside the endzone. Chance #3: a solid iso play from Robbie to Sam for the win! Warwick Bears are MUOOR Champions! Special mention in this game should go to Sam, Robbie and Frig for throwing three of the worst throws of the tournament. However, everyone played really well all tournament and we thoroughly deserved the victory.
Team: Dunstone, Hagemeister, Hawkins, Hillman, Huxol, Kerswell, Patel, Porter, Terrett, Tink, Skipper, van de Wiel