UKU Mixed Tour 2 South Preview

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.

In their pool, they’re joined by St. Albans who will still be smarting from a rough MT1. Initially seeded top of their pool, they finished bottom and won a solitary game on the Sunday to make matters worse. Still, St Albans have never been a team to stay down and so they’re likely to regroup with fervour for this weekend. If everything clicks, they’ll put up a good fight against Cobras. They’ll likely have key handler Stu Phillips leading the way.

Lurve fill the third spot in pool A. Curve are taking an explicitly developmental approach to the season, and so these teams will very likely be evenly split. They finished MT1 in the round robin and so I’d be surprised if they were to give Cobras or St Albans a headache, but who knows?

The final spot in the group is taken up by Shire Horses who, at this stage, are a mystery outfit and have been seeded as such. However, they could be a Swindon based squad made up of players from Ultimate Dougal – who’ve really shown what they’re made of lately on the non-UKU mixed scene. They could be very underseeded and, if so, I’d expect them to be challenging St Albans for second in the group.

For more great photos of MT1 2018 visit our FB page! Photo by Andrew Moss.

In the other pool, Shakedown sit at the top as the tournament’s second seeds. 2018 marks the club’s tenth season in Mixed Tour and, like Purple Cobras, they too rely more on developing as a team as opposed to resting on talismanic laurels. They pretty much wrote last season off as the loss of some players saw the boys and girls in red needing to rebuild – resulting in them all but phoning in performances at MT1 and MT3 in the knowledge that they’d be stronger again this season. They took a baby step upwards at MT1 after coming second in their group and claiming two wins on the Sunday. While a large squad hampered cohesion in the Welsh capital, this time they’ve trimmed the squad down and will utilise their core of players that play together throughout the off season – primarily Sophie Leonard, Richard Chubb, Chris Griggs-Trevarthen and Jordan Brown – to work on gelling in time for the final. They go into the inaugural MT2-South with an eye on first place.

Second in the pool is Brixton. Despite formerly being an exclusively indoors team, Angels have been going hell-for-leather since breaking into outdoors. Another well-drilled, tight-knit squad, they’ll make things difficult for anyone looking to get past them. If attending, Elliot Cass, Jon Hughes, China Jordan and Jacqui Harrison will likely do a fair bit of steering for the London side, however there’s also every chance they could bring some of their scarily good fringe players and that may prove the difference in Sunday games.

Third in the group is Curve who, live Lurve, also finished MT1 in the round robin but won it. Again, with the club focussing on development, I’d expect them to hold seed after Saturday’s play. Finishing off the group is Meridian – a new Greenwich-based competitive mixed club on their first outing. They won a game against Red 2 in Cardiff to keep them one off the bottom spot. Still, with this being the club’s first season, they should go from strength to strength. The less-competitive nature of the event at Glasto should allow them an opportunity to do some climbing, given the chance.

Purple Cobras and Shake get on very well and have met plenty of times in the past. While it’s always a competitive match, I’d expect Cobras to win this weekend considering the momentum they have currently.

I’d expect Brixton and St Albans to have a tight match should they meet, and St Albans would likely come out on top in the encounter. Lurve and Curve could go either way as only two points separated them three weeks ago. The only big question mark that remains is really the Shire Horses, who could of course turn the whole thing upside down. With Mixed seeming to gain momentum across all fronts, having separate venues certainly feels like a positive step forward for UK Ultimate.

JB’s predictions:

1. Purple Cobras
2. Shakedown
3. St Albans
4. Brixton
5. Shire Horses
6. Curve
7. Lurve
8. Meridian Ultimate

Feature photo by Andrew Moss.