Thomas Cliff and Jordan Brown preview Open Tour 1 from the B Tour perspective.
Featured image courtesy of Serena de Nahlik.
UKU Tour 1 kicks off tomorrow and, with a change in venue to previous years, we could be looking at an interesting set of results come Sunday should Nottingham’s trademark gusts cause some teams issues. Still, with the forecast looking a bit friendlier than it was in Cardiff for the Mixed Tour opener, it’s likely we’ll see things play out in a relatively orthodox manner.
At the top of proceedings, there should be some very smooth ultimate. Blue Arse Flies have already hopped over the channel to play at Tom’s Tourney, where they finished a respectable 8th in the second division. They have also competed at the Fog Lane Cup where they took a confidence-boosting win over fellow B Tour competitors Bristol Open.
|Murray from Ireland U23 takes is forced by Reynolds from Brighton Echo. Photo courtesy of Andrew Moss.|
So the stage was set in a blustery Nottingham, with newly promoted teams attempting to cement themselves in B-tour, with many teams fighting to do the same and hopefully aim for the coveted A-tour spots being battled out by pools E and F. Saturday morning saw pools E and F play their first two games. Newly promoted Flump and Reading enjoyed their first games of the day with teams trading down-wind for the first few points of the game while they attempted to find their feet. Even though Flump saw the early break, Reading fought back and took the game 11-9. Simultaneously The Brown played the newly demoted Tooting Tigers on the crosswind pitches -The Brown put in a fantastic performance to dispatch the top seed 11-6. The subsequent games saw Tooting Tigers lose in a tight game with Reading 9-11, and Flump pip The Brown in an excellent game which saw fantastic plays by each side, including layouts, hammers, huge grabs, and ending with a single upwind break collected by Flump.
The final games of Pool E saw an incredible game between Reading and The Brown, which traded upwind almost the entire game, with Reading drawing a small advantage midway, but The Brown pulling back in fantastic style in sudden death to take the game. The game between Tooting Tigers and Flump, saw the London rivals battle out a gritty match with more stoppages than an American Football game. Calls lasting a couple of minutes a piece as players discussed the events of the pitch – sometimes in raised tones – put a damper on the eventual Flump win. With so much at stake in each game at this stage in a tour, it is a testament to both teams’ spirit that in the huddle afterwards, a calm discussion took place between the captains to address some of the issues that had occurred. Each team looked to consider what had been said, and take those considerations into their coming games. Overall, this left Pool E in a confusing state, with The Brown, for the second tour in a row, losing out in a three way tie for the top two positions to Reading followed by Flump, who had proved their worth at the top of B-tour.
|B tour movers. Courtesy of Wayne Retter.|