Sean Colfer previews the final B Tour of the season, where some teams will be looking to make substantial movements with the traditional crossover structure.
The final Tour of the season will feature crossovers between the top four of B Tour and the bottom four of A Tour, as well as the bottom four of B and the top four of C. There could be some considerable movement with the prospect of teams preparing for Regionals next weekend and varying focuses on Mixed and Open.
At the top of the Tour, Cambridge and Fire 2 both drop down from A Tour. Fire have been here before and performed well, winning promotion at Tour 1 in London. They will be a strong opponent for any team in Cardiff, particularly with veterans Stuart Greer and Lewis Glover back in the fold. They struggled with offensive cohesion in Nottingham in the face of the wind and some roster losses to the first team, but they will be stronger and determined to go back up this time around. Cambridge did well at Tour 1, finishing 12th, but suffered in Nottingham. Both teams will be aiming to win their crossovers – if they hold seed, they’ll be playing the bottom ranked teams in the A Tour pools so will fancy their chances.
Jordan Brown finished of his regular season coverage of the C Tour with his preview of this weekends event.
While I was a tad off the mark with my predictions for Tour 1, I was able to give myself a bit of a pat on the back after Flyght Club 1 and Vision reached the final and got promoted to the ear-popping highs of B Tour.
Flyght Club macheted through their opposition, just as I said they would, as they rampaged towards C Tour gold. This proved fairly bad news for Devon 2 who were wiped out of contention by the strong Nottingham side despite otherwise putting in a very strong performance.
The big surprise at Tour 2 (to everyone except their club) was Reading 2’s success. With a number of former first team regulars filling their ranks, they practically crushed their pool before almost bagelling NEO. Lemmings were unlucky to be stood in their way in the quarters and got knocked out of competition for a promotion spot. Reading’s solitary defeat came at the hands of Flyght Club in the semis leaving the team to settle for bronze after comfortably beating Guildford in their game to go.
David “DP” Pryce returns service to normal with a preview of Cardiff’s offering of A Tour.
As expected Nottingham presented … challenging … conditions and only those who could throw consistently (and maybe get a smidgen of luck on the receiving end) came out on top. However, the week ahead of the final Tour event of the season has seen a heatwave, and with Chevron on top of the current standings it would take one hell of a Cardiff storm to take the title away from them.
Hannah Pendlebury returns with her preview of Women’s Tour in Cardiff.
By all accounts, Tour 2 was a bit of a slog. After the inevitable physical and mental drain of Nottingham’s trademark “steady breeze”, teams will be doing their best to bribe the weatherman ahead of this weekend in hope of more favourable conditions. Quite rightly so too, as the Llanrumney venue isn’t exactly known for its consistent climate!
Sadly, all the sun saluting seems to have come into full force a little too early, though the weekend looks set to be generally mild (touch wood!). This should hopefully provide teams with an opportunity to show off their best Ultimate as they come into full stride for the last event of the Tour season. For many this will also also be their last outing of 2016 altogether, with just eight teams of a possible 25 having entered a bid for Women’s Nationals in August. Disappointing though this is for fans of the Women’s game, plenty of teams will be fighting hard and ready to leave it all on the field in Cardiff to finish the season on a high. Exciting!
Hannah Pendlebury debuts on theShowGame with a thorough account of Women’s Tour in Nottingham
Women’s Tour is so hot right now. Though London Calling seems but a distant memory after a staggering six weeks between events, teams across the division are keen to get back on pitch post-worlds to channel their inner Kami Groom.
Tour 2 sees the return of top-four finishing Irish team Rebel (their debut at the affectionately named ‘Wind Farm’). Word on the sideline is that everyone wants to play this well-spirited Irish team as they are “just mad craic”. However, with GB Masters disbanding post-Worlds and Mockingjays staying at home, there is certainly room at the top for teams ready to battle hard and earn a semi-final berth.
Added spice also comes in the form of the much anticipated split of London powerhouse Iceni into two evenly-balanced teams. This is a great decision from the reigning national and European champions, as not only does it give them an opportunity to develop and assess their roster in full but it should hopefully encourage an extra edge out of their opposition. The question is – will anyone knock X or Y off course from their current path to face off in the final? Only time will tell, but we’re excited to watch.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the pools.
Sean Colfer gives us his views on Nottingham WindFarm’s B Tour competition
Last time out, Flump won B Tour against Fire 2 with SMOG topping Bristol in the third place game. Both games were incredibly tight, Flump and SMOG winning by one and two points respectively, and the closeness of those games reflected the relative parity across the division. The top ten or so were all at a very similar level – eventual winners Flump defeated eventual 10th placed team Curve in sudden death in pool play after coming from behind.
Bristol were unlucky at Tour 1. They were ahead against Flump before a zone and some nervousness took the semi-final away from them. They then lost narrowly to SMOG, who they had hammered 15-5 on the first day, and lost out on the A Tour spot that seemed inevitable after their successes on Saturday. They remain a very strong team with an offence that is difficult to contain when the long game is working and will be strong contenders to go up this time around. Their experience should mean they deal well with the wind, too.
David “DP” Pryce has had a little fun with this one. Here is his preview of A Tour for the second instalment of the 2016 Tour season.
With that international thing out of the way we can get back down to the real business of the 2016 season; next up is UKU Tour 2 in Nottingham, now aptly named WindFarm.
As always, anything I previously predicted was pretty much wrong, so I will endeavour to not make a single prediction that you can pin me to this time. I will, however, attempt to talk about some of the excitement from London’s Calling and how WindFarm might play out.