UKU Uni Indoors BUCS Championship Review (Div 1)

Cambridge, Division 1, Exeter, Glasgow, Nationals, Open, UBU, University
shopparajumpers Times New Roman, serif;”>Newly appointed University Coordinator Chris Bamford gives us his review of Uni Open Indoors Div 1 Nationals.

This weekend shopparajumpers the Alan Higgs Centre in Coventry was the venue for the UKU University Indoor BUCS Championship. With 16 teams having fought their way through regional qualification all fancied their chances of making the top 8 and claiming BUCS points. The unpredictable nature of the tournament, with most teams having not played each other since nationals last year meant the 5 regional champions: Dundee, Manchester, Cambridge, Exeter and Sussex started as slight favourites with Dundee returning as defending champions.



Pool A – Dundee, Birmingham, Southampton, Sussex 2
A crash on the M40 delayed the arrival of Southampton and threaten to cause serious schedule issues until Sussex 2 volunteered to switch games and play back to back matches, allowing Southampton the extra time they needed to get to the venue. After their belated arrival a solitary win for Southampton over Sussex 2 put them 3rd and 4th in the group respectively, whilst Birmingham’s sudden death defeat to Dundee meant the Scottish team held on to top seed.
 
shopparajumpers Roman, serif;”>Pool B – Manchester, Exeter, Nottingham, Edinburgh
The toughest looking group had two of the regional champions in Manchester and Exeter, as well as regular Division 1 competitors Edinburgh and new boys to Div 1 Nottingham. Exeter started the day with a clinical display against Nottingham. They also beat Edinburgh and only missed out on top spot following sudden death defeat to Manchester, who won all three group games. Nottingham picked up a win their final group game leaving Edinburgh winless and bottom of the group.
 
Pool C – Cambridge, Glasgow, Durham, Imperial
This pool proved extremely tight fought. Imperial came bottom with 3 straight losses but only by 2 or 3 point margins. For the three other teams Cambridge beat Durham, who beat Glasgow, who beat Cambridge, resulting in the first a several 3 way ties over the weekend. The final standings ended up with Cambridge topping the pool but carrying a loss against 2nd placed Glasgow into their power pool.
 
Pool D – Sussex, Heriot-Watt, Newcastle, Bristol
The final pool saw Sussex 1 power to 3 comfortable victories whilst Heriot-Watt beat off Newcastle and Bristol to secure 2nd place in the group. Newcastle then had to fight hard to earn a 2 point win against Bristol and avoid bottom place in the group.
 
Upper Power Pools – Pool E (Dundee, Birmingham, Cambridge, Glasgow) and Pool F (Machester, Exeter, Sussex, Heriot-Watt)
The power pools gave Manchester the opportunity to make a big statement by adding to the win the carried in by beating Heriot-Watt and thumping Sussex 1 10-4 finishing Saturday as the only team undefeated. However Sussex managed to avoid a Sunday morning by beating Exeter. With the top two spots decided and both teams confined to a crossover to protect their top 8 place Heriot-Watt won against Exeter to earn themselves an easier game.
 
In the other upper power pool Birmingham were unable to claim any victories so finished bottom of the group. Victories for Cambridge against Dundee, and for Dundee against Glasgow lead to another three way tie. This time Glasgow weren’t so lucky and came out 3rd, with Dundee holding onto top spot and Cambridge second.
 
Lower Power Pools – Pool G (Durham, Imperial, Southampton, Sussex 2) and Pool H (Nottingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Bristol)
In these lower power pools we saw an impressive displays from Nottingham (destroying Newcastle 12-4) and Newcastle in securing the top two spots in one group and therefore a chance to get back into the top 8 via the crossovers against Birmingham for Nottingham and against Glasgow for Newcastle. The other group had Southampton play two sudden death games, coming out on top against Imperial and on the wrong side against Durham. This earned Durham and Southampton crossovers against Exeter and Heriot-Watt respectively.
 
First thing Sunday was the crossovers, always a tense affair. Birmingham managed to see off Nottingham by two points but all three other games resulted in sudden death. Exeter pipped Durham and Southampton bested Heriot-Watt. The pick of the games was Glasgow against Newcastle, where Glasgow came from 6-4 behind with only 20 seconds on the clock to win 7-6.
 
Onto the quarter finals, where only one of the higher ranked teams managed to win as Glasgow, Exeter and Birmingham carried the momentum from their crossovers wins to beat Sussex, Dundee and Manchester.  Only Cambridge managed to win as the higher seed and even then it was a sudden death victory against Southampton (who were by now playing in their 4thconsecutive sudden death game).
 
So the semis were set up with Glasgow playing Exeter. Glasgow’s iso play eventually won them the game which was yet another sudden death game. In the other semi Cambridge matched up against Birmingham in a rematch of the midlands regional final and earlier power pool game. Cambridge repeated their victories there with a more comfortable 10-6 win.
 
Whilst the top teams had been fighting for a spot in the final the bottom 8 had seen Nottingham and Imperial win their quarters and semis to reach the plate final where a 7-6 win gave Nottingham the 9th place finish.
Going down to one pitch meant a growing audience for the 3v4 game between Exeter and Birmingham. A match where both teams looked to run hard man defence and reset the disc until a good opportunity opened up finished 11-7 to Birmingham meaning they repeated last years 3rd place finish.
 
All that remained was to play out the final, where Cambridge were looking to reverse the defeat to Glasgow in the group stages, their only defeat of the weekend so far. The final proved a superb end to the weekend. A match full of layouts, huge grabs, iso’s and sidestack’s went all the way to sudden death and Cambridge were forced to score the final point not once, not twice but three times after contested in/out and picks calls were made on the first two attempts.
 
Congratulations to Cambridge and bring on UWIN next weekend.

Thanks to Chris and the whole UU committee! DP @ tSG.

Midlands Uni Open Indoor Regionals

Cambridge, Fling, Haze, Indoors, Jesters, Midlands, Oxford, UBU, University, Warwick

Our last few posts had a gaelic feel but we return to England for coverage of the upcoming Uni season with a post from the University and Midlands Co-Ordinator Chris Bamford looking into his region’s competition.

With 32 teams descending on 3 different venues across St. Albans for MUOIR here’s a preview of the teams likely to be fighting it out for the 7 nationals spots.


As a result of the strong performances of Midlands teams at last year’s national events (where they were only outperformed by the Scottish teams) the Midlands has 4 spots at Division 2 this year, allowing one more team from a perennially strong region to go and show the rest of the country what they have got.

UKU official Uni Midland region.

Last season James ‘Whippy’ Bauld led University of Birmingham Ultimate (UBU) to top three finishes indoors and outdoors, despite the loss of key players including Whippy, Marius Hutcheson and Carl Bullingham they remain the team to beat with multiple stars still there.  including probably the most feared name in the region after his season tearing discs out of the sky for EMO. The men likely to be taking charge of the disc on offence are Lloyd Cheeseman and Ben “Borat” Burak; UBU’s high tempo game is likely to be far too much for most teams this weekend.


Having finally cracked Division 1 nationals last year second seeds Leicester University (Jesters) will be looking to repeat that feat. However they’ll have to do it without maverick playmakers George Hudson and Robert ‘Crackerlegs’ White who have now graduated, however despite their loss I expect the same bombastic offence from Jesters. The man they’ll be looking at to make the plays is Alex ‘Medic’ Charlton. Having played for a team on the receiving end of an incredible performance from him last year (for the University of Nottingham (Fling) in the game to go to Div 1) I can personally attest to his ability to single handed win matches.


The only other team that anyone predicted to win this weekend was Cambridge. The usual air of mystery surrounds this team going into regionals, with rumours flying around of multiple US imports (Justin Norden and Ben Funk) joining them this year. Combine this with Dom “DD” Dathan and George “Seamus” Anegg along with numerous very experienced players they could well cruise through the weekend and sweep all before them. However by their own admission their weakness lies in that this is indoors, which most of them will be re-learning to play at regionals.


Warwick are traditionally a powerhouse of University Ultimate and despite a perceived weak team last year they continued to put in strong performances under the leadership of Robbie Tink. With Robbie, Captain Sam Hawkins and many others remaining at the club along with the return of Moritz “Fritz” Reithmayr, Warwick Bears will be confident of a return to Div 1. They seem likely to utilise the depth of their squad this year and try to run teams into the ground. A third place seeding indicates they are not to be taken lightly.


Onto Loughborough Haze. Since indoors last season they have suffered the loss of devastating duo Ian “Teddy” Hannah and Kevin Burnard. Despite this loss they retain players who have multiple years experience, and the name Chris. With Chris ‘Jaff’ Martin, Chris ‘Pudding’ Alderson, Chris ‘Melon’ Peploe and odd one out George Grant all used to handling the onus will be on Captain Andrew ‘Pumba’ Sellers to repeatedly get free for them.


Oxford will be extremely keen to ensure that a repeat of last year where they missed out on nationals both indoors and outdoors doesn’t occur. Captain Dan Aronov and Mike West (a key player who was injured for last season) will be big players for OW, along with Harry ‘Puppy’ Mason. This is a team that prides itself on its athletic ability and they will back themselves to win any one-on-one situation they can open up.


Lincoln enter regionals seeded 8th and have not featured on anyone’s predictions for the second year running. Whilst they just missed out last year they put in multiple tight performances and I expect more of the same from them this year. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make nationals.


Another team keen to improve on last year’s results will be UEA’s AYE-AYE. After a poor year  they’ll have to work their way up from the third pot of seeds. Whilst they may struggle to match UBU they will fancy their chances of taking 2nd rostering players from a range of playing backgrounds (Jen trialist Luke Frett and Tom Wildman who spent a year at university in the states, and an another unnamed American import). The undoubted star however is Howard Storey who played GBU23’s and features on many people’s ‘one to-watch’ list.


One team who could spring a surprise is Staffordshire, who are newly formed but highly rated. any team including Andy Lewis shouldn’t be discounted, but with little known about them they are a huge unknown quantity.


Saved till last is my old team Fling. From last year’s indoors team the team has only lost myself and James Lavender. Eight players were retained who all trained with EMO leading to high hopes for this year. The confidence has been somewhat dented somewhat with injuries, particularly Adrian ‘Cas’ Delport whoa Achilles problem. However captain Ben Poole has a furious desire to improve on last year’s results and he will try to take it all upon himself to do so. Handlers Robert ‘Cody’ Coddington and Tom Tongue will both look to make it easy for Ben Poole whilst Nathan Trickey’s endzone cuts (usually with his man eating dust behind him) are now a familiar sight to most of the region. Liam Reddy is likely to offer a calm approach to offence and try to rack up the layouts on defence.


The captains of all these teams were asked for their predictions and here’s an average of what came back:
1st – UBU
2nd – Cambridge
3rd – Fling
4th – Jesters
5th – Warwick
6th – Haze
7th – Oxford


It’s set to be cracking. See you there.

More from the Uni Ultimate committee to come! DP @ tSG.