Hannah Newton gives us her outlook on the Scottish region for BUCS Women’s Indoor Regionals.
This weekend, the best of Scotland’s (*UK) university ultimate ladies will venture to Aberdeen (*except the ones that live there who will just roll right out of bed and along the street to the ASV) to fight for nationals qualification and for victory. This year there will be BUCS points on offer at Nationals for the first time driving up the stakes for qualification (*Travelodges vs. church hall floors). An epic 5 teams will qualify for the mighty journey south to remind the rest of the UK that Scotland is awesome at Uni Ultimate (*indoors).
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Emily “Will she ever graduate?” McGrath (aka Young Money) will be offering some pearls of wisdom, unsolicited opinion and general meandering thoughts as I attempt to describe and rate the chances of the different teams.
Dundee have taken 1st place medals away from Regionals and Nationals for the past two years. They are a force to be reckoned with and will aim to defend their lofty position again this year. Although they are very complimentary of the standard of women’s university ultimate in Scotland, I would not be surprised if they dominate against much of the competition this weekend. The core of the first team is a formidable group including GB U23 alum and Swift player Pamela “Callagh-Pam” Knudsen and a clutch of GB hopefuls Aisling “Gash” Barton (Swift), Captain Laura Geyer (GB Juniors) and Ellie Brown, not forgetting former Captain Lauren Scott. Not only this, but they have a good bunch of freshers who are helping to make a second team with “lots of potential and athleticism” and a solid group of players moving up to the first team. Expect a bit of telepathy and a lot of talent, as these players know each other well. Dundee will do well and rivals should expect tough matches against them.
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Young Money’s Words of Wisdom: “While many have suspected that the Frisbee power of the Dundee women is all about their plaits, replicating them has not worked for others nor has it confused them into losing. A bunch of talented and experienced players who are also pretty nice and are particularly endeared to Young Money due to their prominence in the Young Money fan club. You should ask Gash about her nickname, she really likes it. Top Tip: she also likes gold stars; you can likely distract her with them on the pitch.”
Edinburgh finished 2nd at Regionals last year, and 3rd at Nationals. The club has a rich history of success at women’s and will undoubtedly be out to avenge their boys’ historic fall from grace. Similarly, after a strong performance at Mixed, the girls will be out to prove a point this weekend. Although Captain Simone Whale (Swift) is keen not to “single out notable players” as “every person is just as important as the next” (blah blah blah) this team, and some notable individuals in it, look solid. Alongside Simone, GB U23 (class of 2013) and Leeds player Carissa Tong will be bringing the experience, along with the loveable giant that is Mairi “Young Money’s official friend” Mclean (Swift) and GB U23 hopeful Natasha Lim. Expect well drilled, consistently good and fast play. Edinburgh will be looking to bring it.
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Young Money’s WoW: “While Simone and Mairi have still not managed to bring their long hoped for team “Amazons” into being, they will be looking to be all tall right up in (and above) everyone’s faces. Unfortunately, you can’t teach tall no matter how much Young Money has tried so everyone else should probably think about jumping a lot. As a team, they also do more than just be tall though which is fairly inconsiderate. Likely to push Dundee hardest”
Farflung placed 3rd at regionals and 13th at Nationals last year. This season the girls are aiming high and all the way to the final – could it be another Dundee vs. Glasgow battle? Captain Amina Malik (GB Junior and GB U23 hopeful), along with Lulu Geddy Boyd (Ireland U23) and Andrea Stout will be out to show that there is more to Farflung than Rory and tall boys. We have been warned to “watch out” – and I think we will need to!
Young Money’s WoW: “Glasgow often bring the ability at Regionals. They will want to do so again and to push on and return to the South to improve on last year’s Nationals showing. A core of players who have been playing together a while now will only help.”
Aberdeen came 4th at last year’s Regionals and finished in 12th spot at Nationals. A project of rebuilding this team started last year and continues this year with the addition of a group of new keen bean young freshers playing in their first and second teams. Two of their main players, Eleanor Taylor (Swift) and Lottie Mayes (Swift), return for their second year after spending the summer competing at WJUC and the team will certainly benefit from their gained experience. This team brings age (but probably not wisdom) alongside its youth through Captain Harriet “not a traitor” Hopper (Swift), who has years of experience under her belt, and veteran Emily “Young Money” Magrath (Swift). They aim to qualify for Nationals and continue to develop their newer players. Mojo have always been a gritty team, and I have no doubt they will put up a good fight and play some sweet ultimate this weekend. They may end up with internal bleeding from laying out but they will think it was worth it.
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Young Money’s WoW: “The elusive answer on my destiny to graduate, or not, aside, AUU hope to qualify for Nationals again and fight with the top teams (*not literally, Young Money condones no actual violence). Much of this team is actually the same from last year so chances are the team will probably play quite like last year too (but possibly a bit better).Young Money would like it noted that one young Lottie Mayes should not attempt to hug her at all over the weekend or she might regret it. Young Money does not do feels.”
Heriot-Watt finished 5th at Regionals and pushed hard against higher ranked teams last year. With the advantage of not losing any players to graduation, the girls aim to build on a solid first Regionals showing last year and aim to qualify for Nationals for the first time. Captain (Swift, and GB hopeful) Shona Whiteley will have several experienced girls to call on, especially Canadian pickup Maggie “superstar” Agnew. After a disappointing Mixed Regionals HW will be determined to show what they are made of – they will battle for each and every point!
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Young Money’s WoW: “HW are establishing themselves all over the shop (*Uni Ultimate scene) as a force to be reckoned with. Shona in particular lays herself on the line in games and will want to lead these girls to Nationals. This tournament is an opportunity for HW women to make a name for themselves. Underestimate at your own cost.”
Flatball finished 6th at last year’s Regionals and this year, although they would love to make it to Nationals, their aim is to build for the future. St Andrews have picked up some great freshers this year which, evidence of which was shown at Glasgow One Day. Mixed gave Flatball another opportunity to showcase the talent of their ladies indoors. Victoria Flemming and Helena Slater will bring experience to the first team, and I have no doubt that we will see some real potential and talent on all three of St Andrews’ teams in Aberdeen this weekend.
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Young Money’s WoW: “Rumours started surfacing at the beginning of term that Coach Benji Heywood has been growing hordes of ultimate players and that there are now hundreds of women playing Frisbee in St. Andrews. Rumour has it that rumours are true so you should expect lots of new players. Scottish Women’s Ultimate will wait with bated breath to see how this team has developed.”
Dark Horses finished 7th at Regionals last year and are hoping that this year will see them qualify for Nationals for the first time. So far this season Strathclyde have surprised at both Open and Mixed – taking Div. 1 spots in each. The club have picked up some very promising freshers who will help form a second team with lots of potential. GB U23 hopeful Nicky “Where is she now?” Shaw will head up an experienced first team, with many of the players coming to the end of their university careers. Strathclyde have also picked up GB Junior/played Frisbee since the womb, Katie Flight, and Swift Captain (and GB U23 alum) Hannah Newton. Let’s see if they can continue on from Open and Mixed to change the club’s history books and take a Nationals spot.
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Young Money’s WoW: “Strathclyde have been waiting in the wings at women’s for a while and this could be their time. Have fun shorts Sundays been consigned to history? Probably not. But that will not stop them bringing the ability alongside all the merriment that they enjoy. They may genuinely like each other and enjoy playing Frisbee. Young Money thought the women on this team were the most improved players last year and expects that to happen again, but more so.”
Blaze finished 8th at last year’s Regionals but since then the team has near enough changed wholesale. Rhona “Matt” Gordon and Ashleigh “Which bone is broken now?” Spalding will be sorely missed this year. Two returning players are added to by an experienced Australian pickup, and Stirling could very well surprise us this weekend – they already caused upsets at Open and Mixed. They are not to be underestimated.
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Young Money’s WoW: “Not seen much of this team since all the changes so will watch with interest to see how they play. May well be a year of rebuilding but a few shocks on the cards still likely and an opportunity for new players to step up and do good stuff.”
Serious times – This Saturday is shaping up to be a great tournament. No team is unbeatable and every team has their eyes on the prize (*Nationals). Scottish women’s ultimate has improved an incredible amount in recent years. Whatever the results, I can guarantee these three things:
- Layouts a plenty
- Loud sidelines
- Some of the best women’s ultimate Scotland has ever hosted.
Young Money’s final thoughts: “Be one with the disc. If in doubt, do something amazing. Spirit is not the ultimate winner; feels are a sign of weakness. Safe journey home. Remember to #takeittothebank and that #
|My predictions||Young Money’s predictions|