UKU Mixed Tour 3 Preview

Mixed, Previews

Sean Colfer previews the final leg of the UK Club Mixed Tour in Cheltenham this weekend

This Mixed season has been defined by the Worlds teams. Reading, SMOG and Black Eagles have played multiple teams at Tour events this year, splitting their stars across the rosters. That is going to change in Cheltenham as it seems all three have consolidated their strength and will be taking on the field with Worlds squads fully intact. It makes the top of the field strangely intriguing this late on in the season.

Mighty Hucks have been the best Mixed team in the UK so far this year. They won in Durham and lost to Reading in the final in Cardiff. They stand atop the current Mixed Tour standings and have a chance to secure the overall title in Cheltenham – their 45-point lead over Black Eagles means that they’d need to finish fifth in the event of a Black Eagles win to tie with the reigning champions. That means that if they win two games on Saturday they win the Tour title (making them the third team in three years to do so). If Black Eagles do win the tournament and Hucks miss out on the semis and don’t win out on Sunday, though, the Scots take the title north for the third time in four years.

The rest of the top eight features some familiar names. Pool A sees Hucks placed with SMOG and Reading as well as Thundering Herd, who have fought their way back into the top eight after slipping down the standings last year. Pool B will see the two Scottish teams take on Flat Perth, the (mostly) Great Britain under-24 all-star team who finished fourth in Cardiff, and Cambridge 1, who have leapt eight places from their original Tour 1 seeding – one of the biggest of any team.

In terms of squads, most of these teams will be at something approaching full strength. Hucks will, as always, be a bit low on women but their zone D and ability to cover for each other will undoubtedly mean that scarcity won’t hinder them too much. Several teams will benefit from having Clapham players back after their trip to Bologna over the Mixed Tour 2 weekend – particularly Flat Perth.

Birmingham take on Herd. Photo by Andrew Moss

Outside of the top eight are some teams who’ll be preparing for a crossover should their Saturdays go well. Birmingham, Deep Space, JR and Rebel seem to be the favourites in their pools but Glasgow 2 will be looking to follow up a wonderful MT2 performance and show they aren’t a flash in the pan – they’ll be a tough game for Deep Space, who have slipped from sixth seed at MT1 to 13th here but who still feature a wealth of talent and could certainly work themselves up close to their original seeding if all goes well for them this weekend.

Glasgow 2 are one of three second teams in the 9-20 bracket, alongside Reading 2 and SMOG 2. It’s hugely impressive for all of these clubs to have such strength in depth, particularly SMOG as a pretty recent addition to the UK Ultimate scene. Purple Cobras are fresh off a win at MT2 South in Glastonbury and will be looking to make some noise back in the south west too.

 

Lower down the seedings there are some interesting stories, too. Sneeeky’s and Blue Arsed Flies have both leapt nine places since MT1, the joint-second biggest jump (with Purple Cobras, behind SMOG 2 with 10) this season. Both should win their pools and get a chance to jump even further with a crossover into the 17-20 bracket. Look out, though, for LED in BAF’s pool. It might be BAF’s home tournament but LED, a group of former and current Loughborough university students featuring some outstanding athletes, have enough to knock them off top spot in the pool and earn the cross for themselves. Pool K features a rematch between Brighton Breezy and Thundering Herd 2 which is likely to be very close – their tilt at MT2 was a sudden-death Brighton win – to determine who gets a shot at crossing up.

South Wales Storm and Brixton have both had good seasons, with the Londoners jumping up seven spots since Cardiff and the Welsh club bringing two teams again, showing that they’re continuing to build a real player base. Pin N Mix have also performed well this season, but could find it tough to dislodge Leamington Lemmings who have maintained their seed so far this year. OW! are likely to be a team with chemistry and cohesion but they have drawn a tough match in Geometrically Frustrated Magnets, a London-based side who have had some ups and downs in their first outdoor season but who possess enough individual talent to make life difficult for whoever finishes bottom of pool K – a likely shoot-out between Red and Merseyside.

Glasgow arrive on the mixed scene. Photo by Andrew Moss

So; predictions time. I think one of the Worlds teams will win this tournament, and I’m going to back SMOG. I think they’ll play Black Eagles in the final and it’ll be a bit of a stormer but SMOG will come out on top by two or three points. My predictions also mean that Mighty Hucks will win the title, and as we all know I never get anything wrong so a pre-emptive congrats to them. Below is a projected top 12.

There’s streaming available this weekend on Fanseat.com by the way, so take a look at that if you can’t make it and want to see some top-quality Mixed Ultimate. Check it out!

  1. SMOG
  2. Black Eagles
  3. Reading A
  4. Flat Perth
  5. Mighty Hucks
  6. Glasgow 1
  7. Thundering Herd 1
  8. Cambridge 1
  9. Deep Space
  10. Rebel
  11. Birmingham
  12. JR

 

 

 

UK University Ultimate 2017/18: Men’s Outdoor Nationals Division 2 Preview

news, Open, Previews, University

Writer Oscar Nolan brings us his perspective on Men’s Division 2 Outdoor Nationals, a.k.a. The BUCS Trophy

We’ve had the Beast from the East. We’ve had storm Emma. I’m sure that many of us have missed plenty of training sessions due to the horrid weather. However there are whispers that 60 days of sunshine are headed our way just in time for Men’s Nationals down at Nottingham Windfarm. Taking a glance at the forecast reveals sunny spells and wind speeds of just 10mph. I will be covering the middle division (Division 2) in this preview which has been dubbed the “banter” Nationals by some. However there are some strong competitors this year: last year’s finalists Edinburgh, the ever-present Leeds, fresh-faced Southampton and aged Oxford are among some of the strong names on the schedule this year. Last year saw heartbreak for Edinburgh at the hands of a Midlands team once again… could history repeat itself? You’re still reading?! Awesome, let’s get stuck in!

UK University Ultimate 2017/18: Men’s Outdoor Nationals Division 3 Preview

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Writer Tom “Clackers” Claxton rounds off his year-long coverage of the lower leagues with his perspective on Men’s Division 3 Nationals, a.k.a. The BUCS Cup

It has finally arrived! The last event of the university season. After a term marked with uncharacteristic amounts of snow cancelling many events and BUCS games, spring has finally sprung, and here’s a hope for nice weather (at least for the Wind Farm) for Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Nationals.

UK University Ultimate 2017/18: Men’s Outdoor Nationals Division 1 Preview

news, Open, Previews, University

Writer Alun Pinder takes us through the Men’s showcase event – Division 1 Nationals, a.k.a. The BUCS Championship

As the BUCS leagues conclude, the best of the best converge once more on Nottingham to take on the near-legendary conditions of the wind farm (and each other, of course). With huge BUCS points and bragging rights on the line, who can make like the gold medalists at the Commonwealth Games, rise above all others, and take home the glory? Fasten your seatbelts, don your ponchos, wrap up warm, and brace yourself. Division 1 is coming.

UK University Ultimate 2017/18: Women’s Outdoor Nationals Preview

news, Previews, University, Womens

Our four Women’s writers (Annie Bechtel, Kat Rowland, Isabel Goh and Becky Greenwood) combine to produce a full-sized preview for Women’s Nationals this year, with Harry Mason filling in the gaps.

The days are lengthening and the skies are lighter; the outdoor season is here! Everyone knows outdoors is real Ultimate. The rain, the slippery mud, the four loads of laundry per week. The big throws, the zones, the layouts that don’t hurt. Outdoors is the best. Unfortunately, Regionals was cancelled! So there’s been no warm up for these teams, but in theory they’ve had an extra month to get really hyped! Instead of asking ourselves why mother nature hates university Ultimate, lets preview those teams heading to the Windfarm.

UKU Mixed Tour 2 South Preview

Mixed, news, Previews

Jordan ‘JB’ Brown and Josh Coxon Kelly set the scene ahead of the Glastonbury leg of Mixed Tour 2

Purple Cobras are working on development this season as it’s their first outing in Mixed Tour. They’ve spent the past few years entering every other event in the country to gel into a pretty formidable unit. As a result, it’s not that much of a surprise looking at them climbing above their seeding at MT1 where they hopped ten seeds from 29th to 19th. In Cardiff, they won their pool outright against stiff competition from Herd 2, then continued that flow into Sunday, beating Cosmic Manatees before coming unstuck against LLLeeds. They regrouped in their final game to take down GreyBH, who will represent in the mixed masters division at WUCC. Relying less on big players and more on developing as a team, Cobras will be looking to win MT2-South, if they can get past the second seeds who are also looking to take home glassware from Glastonbury. Sam Persaud, Guilia Newbery, Rich Fenn and others will cause grief to anyone they go up against.

UKU Mixed Tour 2 North Preview

Mixed, news, Previews

Josh Coxon Kelly previews this weekend’s Mixed Tour 2 action taking place in Durham.

And just like that, spring is in full swing and the UK club season is underway. Cardiff rewarded travellers with shockingly mild conditions that, save a few slips and slides, would be tough to complain about at any UK event. The wild combination of WUCC preparations, first tournament of the year, and a schedule that started with an element of chance and encouraged big jumps all contributed towards a thrilling opening Tour that brought big shocks as well as some business seemingly as usual.