On behalf of Leia
On the 25th and 26th we took a team to Women’s Outdoor Nationals. Due to a few unfortunate circumstances, we had some injuries before the weekend, and our team was a little low on numbers. On the first day we had: Leia, Cathy, Sarah S, Jess, Natasha, Winnie, Evelyn and Jiale; and on the second day Natasha didn’t play but we gained I-Wen, Laura and Isabel.
Loughborough 13-0 Bears (not capped)
Loughborough were definitely the strongest team in our group, so we weren’t expecting to win this game. However the wind proved troublesome for both sides, and our zone caused some turnovers for Loughborough. However Loughborough managed to complete their passes better, and were the far stronger team on offence, and they managed to capitalise on some quick turns. Overall this was very much a game in which we were finding our feet, and seeing which positions we worked best in.
Newcastle 8-0 Bears
Newcastle we also knew would be a tough team to beat. We played arrowhead zone again as it was still very windy, but Newcastle also put a zone on us, making it very difficult for Cathy and I, as handlers, to get any passes out. Even hucking it deep was difficult, as often the crosswind meant the disc went out the sideline only a few yards up. Despite the score, I think everyone improved a lot during this game, and it was a very enjoyable, well-spirited match.
Glasgow 8-4 Bears
So out of our group games, this one was the closest and the one we had the most hope of winning. We continued playing zone, which we had perfected over the course of the day. In this game we tried something a bit new and played horizontal stack against Glasgow’s man defence. This didn’t work perfectly well, as we were all a bit new to it, but it was a good experience to try it out. This was a bit of a huck and d game, where sometimes if we turned over near thheir endzone, Glasgow would quickly huck it down the pitch, and then we would have to try and work it up the pitch again upwind. I think we were all pretty exhausted by this point in the day, but it was still a very fun match.
Having our lost our group games on the Saturday we were now seeded 25th. This meant we were in the bottom six, and had to play in a round robin with the 28th and 29th seed.
York 5-6 Bears
We were very hopeful going into this game, as we knew it would be a much closer match. It was less windy on the Sunday, but we continued playing zone, and our defence worked really well against York. Having I-Wen and Laura there on Sunday really helped, as they are experienced handlers, and we switched back to playing vertical stack, so overall our offence was a lot stronger. York were also determined to win this game, and managed to take a lead on us during the first half of the match. The arrival of our Bears 1 open team, also playing that weekend in div 1 nationals, gave us a boost and the encouragement we needed towards the end of that match. At one point we were 4-1 down, I think, but we had a bit of a comeback and made it to 4-4. When the buzzer went it was game to 6, both teams scored again making it 5-5, but the last point was scored by bears and we won 6-5. There was a little bit of controversy and the end of the match about whether the buzzer had actually gone yet, but in the end it was resolved, and saw us the first win of the weekend.
Leeds 2 1-11 Bears
This must have been the game where everyone turned into a star player. We were a much stronger team than Leeds 2, and our zone worked really well against them. It seemed that almost everyone managed to get a d that game. We also scored some amazing points; most memorably where Winnie scored a point in the back of the endzone which everyone thought was just going to be a turnover, and Cathy had a spectacular dive and grab to score yet another unexpected point. It was a shame that the guys couldn’t see this game, as they were also playing, as I do believe it was our best performance of the weekend. Leeds 2 also played well, and their d was pretty good, which I don’t think the score quite showed. Overall it was a well-spirited, very enjoyable game.
Southampton 6-4 Bears
This was our final game of the weekend, the 25 v 26. We were expecting this to be a tightly fought match, and so it was. Both teams came out strong, but Southampton were just slightly better. They were more consistent on offense, and they managed to break through our zone with more ease than other teams that day. There were a few collisions and case of cramp during this game, and I think our team were feeling the exhaustion of a weekend full of Frisbee during this match. Despite losing, it was a really good game to end the tournament, and both sides had a lot of fun.
So in the end we came 26th in this tournament, only dropping 2 seeds from our original seeding. Everyone improved vastly over the weekend, not just their skills at Frisbee, but their fitness too. Our zone was particularly impressive, and watching us on d you wouldn’t think that we were a mainly fresher team. This was a really good experience, especially as many of us hadn’t played at an outdoors tournament like this before, and I believe this will put us in good stead for next year, where under Matt Kirk’s guidance I’m sure top ten could be within our reach. I just want to say thanks to Cathy who co-captained with me, and thanks to the guys who supported us and especially to Kat who sidelined us for every second of the Saturday. Our MIP’s were Cathy, Jess and Winnie, and our MVP was myself. Congrats to everyone that played, this has definitely been one of my favourite tournaments this year!