London’s Calling Review – A Tour

A Tour, Chevron, Clapham, EMO, Fire of London, GB, London's Calling, Open Tour, Tournament Reports, u23
Josh Coxon Kelly brings us this weeks penultimate review of London’s Calling – A tour.

As expected the opening tour of 2013 has brought an exciting start to the UK domestic season. With weather conditions which came dangerously close to ‘summery’ at points, UK clubs were treated to the perfect conditions to start off their season’s battles and rivalries.

Sitting pretty at the top of the pack, Clapham’s O line showed throughout the weekend why they were given the number 1 seed as the only non-movers of the A-tour. Bolstered by a returning Giacomo Maltman and new recruits Magnus Wilson (Tooting) and Rob Schumacher (Fire), the Clapham machine showed its capabilities with a clinical weekend – with their closest test from Bad Skid (15-13 Clapham) overshadowed by a decisive victory over the same team in the final. With the D-Line ‘dogs’ woofing their way to third place, the current UK and European champions have succeeded in a strong statement to start their competitive year.

Chevron captain Mark Penny lays out for the grab against CUSB 
Chevron proceeded through pool play unscathed, and found their form of the weekend for their quarter final matchup against the GB U23 squad which despite being largely outnumbered and losing 8 players to the opposition, they came out of with a 15-10 victory. Unphased by the aggressive offence and screaming defense Chevron showed an early sign of the form they will need to replicate if they hope to challenge for the long coveted National and European titles later in the year.

The GBU23 team had one of the most controversial seedings pre-tournament at 7th. They rose to beat this by two, but will be unhappy to not have had a shot at a Tour final. The young squad showed flashes of brilliance throughout the weekend, and displayed one of the more formidable defensive squads at the tournament. However, an occasionally stuttering offense was exposed by the most experienced opponents with losses to Clapham and Chevron. When this team plays at the top of their abilities they are strong enough to take on any domestic club – but will they be able to sustain this level of play to get the result they want at Tour 2?

EMO 1’s ascension of three seeds is maybe the story of the weekend, and a considerable move at such a high level of competition. Despite missing the leadership and pitch length throws of Joe Wynder, EMO showed themselves as a strong geo-team that has full intentions of challenging for the top 4 this season. They have stars Rich Gale and Dan ‘Colonel’ Furnell from the recent GB Open squad (Rich will also be attending World Games), backed up by plenty of pace and athleticism from a solid squad. EMO have reported consistently high numbers at trainings, and this is reflected in large squads attending Tour events for the recent years. Most importantly the team are starting to play with the belief that is needed for giant killings – keep an eye on these boys for potential major upsets later in the season.
A tour movers. Courtesy of Wayne Retter.


Fire of London found themselves in tough matchups for their quarter-finals (Bad Skid) and the 5-8 playoff (a livid u23 squad). The resultant 7th place position will be disappointing, but does not in any way suggest that Fire are not going to be fighting hard for finals berths as the season continues. Once again recruiting heavily, and importantly retaining GB Open/World Games Matt Parslow, Fire are strong once again and, importantly, are a team that knows how to peak later on in the season.

Outside of the top 8 we find Kapow!, who after an upset in Fire 2’s favour on Saturday will have been disappointed not to have been in the top 8, but have shown their intentions for bigger things by taking 9th over Cota Rica. Bear Cavalry more than validated their A Tour starting seeding, rising 8 seeds and finishing over Brighton, a top 4 team of recent years. Refreshed DED and Tooting squads both saw falls of 6 seeds – it will be interesting to see if the new faces on these squads will be able to return their teams to top 8 contention, or if their season will be more about staying in the A tour altogether.

With the current strength of the B Tour, teams traditionally used to A Tour ultimate such as BAF, Cambridge, Fire 2, Devon and Tooting may find re-qualification harder than ever before. The Tour season has got off to a strong start, but with shifting squads and various non club entries it is hard to get a picture of Nationals yet. Consistency is key to the Tour, and with competition rising at all levels, no game will be won easily in Nottingham.

Almost there, tomorrow we have saved the best till last: Women’s review! Remember to like, share, comment and contribute! DP @ tSG. 

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