The Grapevine – 12/07

AFDA, Open Tour, The Grapevine, u23, Understanding Ultimate., uTalkRaw, WFDF, Women's Tour, xEUCF

This weeks super sized The Grapevine has everything from Juniors to U23 to xEUCF 2013.

Last weekend the UKU held the Junior Championships and an inaugural UKU Schools Championships in Birmingham. Airbadgers (Exeter) defended their junior title and Flux (Twycross House School, Leicester) took the schools number one spot, congratulations to them and keep up the great work! Full results here.

Benji gets a little riled (as do many others: see the comments section) discussing incidental contact on his blog Understanding Ultimate.

Tour 3 will be in Cardiff this weekend see how everyone fared in Nottingham with our coverage of Tour 2. All details for this final part of the regular season can be found here. Will anyone challenge Clapham or Iceni? Who will finish in that top 16 and in what order? Who is the fastest man in UK Ultimate? Keep your eyes on twitter with the hashtag #ukut3 for results and more!

Barry O’Kane talks to Tim Morrill on speed and agility training for ultimate, a must listen on UTalkRaw! 

The Australian Flying Disc Association have released the WFDF preliminary U23 World Championship seedings. A huge good luck to all our U23 athletes, let’s go GB! 

The Secret Frizzer gives us more insight into the Tour 2 success of EMO through coach Joe Wynder and for Devon through their coach Sam Luxa. [UPDATED: interview with Alex Cragg by tSF here.]

The TD’s of xEUCF need you! Volunteers make large tournaments run smoothly, think you got what it takes? Fancy visiting Bordeaux in September and getting the highest level ultimate in Europe too? Apply here.

Finally, the Australian U23 Mixed squad have some quirky little videos on their YouTube channel. Check them out, what do you think about them?

Logo courtesy of A.F.D.A.

Remember: like, share and contribute. JCK or I will tweet small tit bits from Cardiff with #ukut3. DP @ tSG.

Tour 2 Review – A Tour (ft. Alex Cragg)

A Tour, Chevron, Clapham, Devon, EMO, Fire of London, Kapow, Manchester, nottingham, Open Tour, Ranelagh, Tournament Reports, u23, UKUT2
Josh Coxon Kelly tells us the tale of A tour at Nottingham including the inside story from one of the Fire 1 captains Alex Cragg.

Players and teams came to Nottingham expecting stormy weather and were not disappointed. A stiff wind all weekend and rushes of rain ensured that Tour 2 was a test of throwing skill and team strategy where patience and discipline would pay dividends. Such conditions are also ripe for upset – particularly on pitches with clear up/down wind orientation – and in this category the A tour didn’t disappoint.


Pool A saw Clapham and GB u23 looking to hold onto the top two seeds in a straight to semis schedule. The meeting of these two teams was closer than at Tour 1, but despite an early lead due to an excellent start by GB, clapham showed their consistency and improved steadily throughout the game to come out victorious once again. Neither Ranelagh or KaPow managed to break into the top 2 of the pool, and a 10-9 loss in their match-up to Ranelagh saw the bottom two in the pool switch seeds.

Michael Speer (GB U23) bids on Matt Dathan (KaPow) in the pool stages. Photo courtesy of Graham Bailey.

In Pool B a reduced Chevron squad make light work of opposition including an opening grudge match against Fire (in recent seasons a frequent matchup, this was the first time the squads had met since Fire’s victory in the 2012 Nationals semi-final). Chevron came out strong and didn’t let up, winning 15-6 in a game that was to be ominous of Fire’s weekend to come. EMO held seed in a dramatic win against a stuttering Fire squad, confirming their place in the top 4 for a second tour running, a win that could turn out to have serious implications in terms of tour rankings for WUCC 2014…

Chevron stayed clinical despite the wind and repeated their tour 1 quarter final victory over the u23s on Sunday, this time for a place in the final to play Clapham. However Chevron’s high retention performances would not continue into the last game of the weekend. Clapham brought a smart game that capitalised early and played through the Chevron zone in both directions. Down early, Chevron were unable to recover and didn’t manage to adapt their more conservative playing style to the worsening conditions as well as their London rivals, who emerged comfortable winners.


Fire veteran Lewis Glover does just enough to beat David Ray (Leeds).
Photo Courtesy of Graham Bailey.

Movement from the second 8 was to create arguably the most dramatic storylines of this tour however, as a Devon squad bolstered by returning players (including Chevron D-line star Ben Hall) completed a dramatic victory over Fire 1 on Sunday morning in the crossover for top 8. Players arriving early at the food and physio tents were treated to a sudden death comeback victory for Devon featuring a completed world’s greatest and the most emphatic of celebrations as Fire’s weekend took a further turn for the worse.


Manchester converted their qualification, avoiding the relegation fate shared by BAF, Cambridge and Glasgow. The highest climber from the second 8 was Fire 2, who after beating KaPow found themselves in the top 8, eventually finishing one place above their first team. 
Fire 1 have long been a firm top 4 team, and have been no stranger to finals at Tour, Nationals and even European championships in the last 5 years. Dropping out of the top 8 is the first significant movement of one the top 3 teams of recent A-tour history – tSG spoke to captain Alex Cragg to gain some insight into the weekend’s events…


Quite a few of the results at tour 2 were obviously disappointing for you and your team. What do you think happened to cause the upsets?
We’d had a slightly lower finish than we’d hoped for at Tour 1, even given the international teams, but we knew we had the ability to play at the top; taking a strong Bad Skid to sudden death proved that.
Unfortunately, that confidence backfired and we presumed our games were foregone conclusions. We failed to take the Chevron game as enough of a sign that wasn’t going to be the case. People wanted to beat us more than we wanted to beat them; our heads weren’t in the right place and we lacked focus causing too many individual errors, which crippled any tactical adjustments.
Another problem was that we tried to play Ultimate… Some people might scoff at that, but we undervalued territory in those conditions. We know how to play through a zone, but it was only half way through the Devon game, 6 points down, that we started to play to our real strengths.
What actions did you take to turn around the team’s mentality after these losses?
We made sure that our pre-game preparation consisted of much more throwing, getting people’s self belief back. We needed to salvage something from the weekend, and putting the prospect of losing all our games into context helped bring back some desire to win.
We’d probably placed too much focus on the bigger picture of World’s qualification, so we brought things back to focus on one game at a time.


Unexpected losses are undeniably difficult to take, but they can give an opportunity to learn about your team – what lessons did you take from tour 2?
The main thing I think we learnt is that we probably haven’t been exploiting our individual strengths enough, instead focussing on a team ethos that has seen some people’s roles mutate.
Every single player was hugely disappointed with the weeked, and I think everyone’s taking a bit more personal responsibility since then. We all know we can do better. We’ll be a very different team at Tour 3 and Nationals.
The second team’s squad has been strong at all showings this year and performed very well to qualify for the top 8 in Nottingham – will this see much change in players between the teams for Tour 3?
Fire 2 have been brilliant this year. A lot of people wrote them off after last year, but they’ve proven that to have been a blip in a very strong history for a second team. They’re definitely on track for their season goal of taking one of the 6 Euro’s spots.
One of our ideas for the year was to allow each team to have its own identity, which has included playing and drilling in those teams at training sessions. This builds up the relationships players need to do well.
However, there has been a small amount of movement, with 2 players coming up from Fire 2. We’ve also moved a couple of Fire 1 players into the seconds to give them more experience playing against top 4 competition (with Fire 1 being locked out).
Outside of players will there be any significant shift in Fire’s approach to Tour 3 and the rest of the season?
Absolutely. After quite a few roster changes from last year, it’s taken some time for everyone to find their role and for us to play in the best way to exploit our strengths. I think our experience at Tour 2 has brought us together more, and our passion and desire to win has only grown. We’ve also restructured how we call lines, which has lead to much better performances in training.
What are your team goals for Nationals and Europeans?
Barring a huge upset at Tour 3, we’ve now missed out on our first shot at World’s qualification. There’s enough time before Nationals to put everything we’ve learnt about ourselves into practice, and, like last year, our target is to make the final of Nationals and win. After that we’ll have to see about Europeans. We’ve learnt to not look too far in the future!

Fire of London.

There is all to play for in the final tour of the season. Fire 1 will be looking to turn their season around in the lead up to Nationals. Clapham will be missing stars with the absence of World Games squad players, and Chevron, U23 and EMO will be looking to capitalise on this to hand them their first loss of the season. Ranelagh found the form they were looking for in Nottingham rising to 5th, but with the recent events at Tour 2 all A tour teams will be fighting hard for that giant killing that will send them up the rankings.

A Tour movers. Courtesy of Wayne Retter.


All ready for a heatwave in Cardiff? Don’t forget your suncream and hats! Like, share, contribute and tweet! DP @ tSG.

Tour 2 Review – B Tour

B Tour, Flump, nottingham, Open Tour, Reading Ultimate, The Brown, Tournament Reports, u23, UKUT2
Matthew Parker from the ever rising Flump gives us his review of B tour at UKU OWT2.

After the fantastic weather of London’s Calling, it was more than any self-respecting UK Ultimate player could ask for two tour weekends of good weather, and we were not disappointed. Winds hitting up to 20mph on Saturday, and even more on the Sunday, changed the dynamic of the ultimate, but still producing fantastic games all across B-tour.
Owing to the events of the previous tour, teams were now seeded in closer groups, limiting each teams’ ability to rise and fall. The introduction of newly promoted C-tour team, Flump, into the top 8 and an opportunity to qualify into A-tour, sent rustlings of frustration through many seasoned B-tour teams. Furthermore, as a result of teams dropping out of A-tour and B-tour, ABH, Vision, and Bristol Open, who finished in the bottom 3 at London’s Calling, had another opportunity to hold their place in B-tour. Norwich’s Mustard, although being pipped to the final promotion place last tour, were given an opportunity to join Birmingham and Devon 2 in B-tour. 
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. 


Meanwhile, in Pool F, Ireland U23 were showing their colours, beating each team by at least 5 points. Jest Ridisculous 1 came second in the group, after losing to Ireland U23, but beating Emo 2 by a break, and only beating Brighton Echo in sudden death. The afternoon pools G and H saw newly promoted Devon 2 put out great performances against Mustard – winning by two points – as well as a massive win over ABH.  However, Burro Electro, bemused at not being given the opportunity to fight for promotion, put in a great first day with a series of wins in their group. Newly promoted Birmingham saw an enjoyable first day in B tour, with wins over Bristol and Vision, however losing to GB U20s who confidently dispatched Bristol but lost to Vision (whom they beat by one in the final placement game). 

Sunday saw an increase in the wind and rain as only Nottingham can provide. The first games of the day entertained crossovers in the middle eight, with EMO 2, Burro Electrico, Brighton Echo, and The Brown all cementing their place in the top half of B tour. The semi-finals saw Ireland U23 and Jest Ridisculous 1 play Flump and Reading respectively. In a hard-fought game, Ireland emerged as the deserved winners over Flump, managing to resist a heroic comeback in the cap. Despite being down at the half, Jest Ridisculous also pushed through in an exciting win against Reading, securing themselves a place in the final and a shot at A-tour, leaving old flames Reading and Flump to battle it out for the final qualification slot. 

B tour movers. Courtesy of Wayne Retter.

The captain of Portland Rhino said in a recent Nationals campaign “The hardest thing to do in a tournament is beat the same team twice” [ED: see Chasing Sarasota], and Flump put a claim to that, as they immediately took a break and made Reading work for every downwind point. However, after working exceptionally hard into the wind, Reading managed to take down a dubious looking end-zone hammer and felt the turn of the tide. From there they pushed on to take the half, and finally the game in an A-tour worthy performance over Flump, who were prevented at being the first ever team to be promoted in consecutive tours. 

Ireland U23 finished off their fantastic tour with another win over Jest Ridisculous, and were crowned worthy winners of B-tour. we wish them all the best for their travels across the pond for World U23s next month. Elsewhere, Tooting Tigers were able to pick up their first win of the season against Vision, only to subsequently lose to Devon 2 who have really enjoyed securing their place as a B-tour team this tour. The Brown and Burro Electro, in a fantastic match now look set to attempt a bid at A-tour for next season, while Birmingham have hopefully sealed a place at next tour. 
More to come! Remember to like, share and comment. DP @ tSG.

The Grapevine – 21/06

ECBU, Get Horizontal, Open Tour, The Grapevine, u23, Ultiworld, Understanding Ultimate., uTalkRaw, Women's Tour, world games

This weeks The Grapevine has a bit of Tour 2 with a smattering of news from the continent and a big chunk of ECBU!

Barry O’Kane brings us a great episode of UTalkRaw chatting to Liam Kelly on the Matalan Sporting promise and community clubs.

Benji discusses the age-old one hand vs two hand catch debate on UnderstandingUltimate.

As you all know this weekend is Tour 2, all the information you could need is here. Read our preview or for a different perspective, along with our T1 reviews, and make sure to tweet with the hashtag #ukut2.

At Tour 2 the U23 Mixed team are loaning themselves out (not many left, so get on it) to give massages/get water/carry flags. They have also set up the amazing opportunity to pit yourself against their speed gun to see who is the fastest thrower on the tour! For more details check out their FB page or message them.

World Games is only a couple weeks away! Richard “Gash” Harris has made a small trick shot video, go check it out and follow the WG team on Twitter/FB where player profiles are also being released! Sneak a peak at some of the competition on Ultiworld.

Another big GB tournament begins next Thursday in Calafell, Spain. ECBU2013 will see the maximum 7 GB Beach squads pit themselves against Europe’s finest, catch our exciting preview written for SkyD magazine and follow all the action at live.ecbu2013.org

In preparation for ECBU, four GB teams went to Sunburn last weekend. GB Mixed won the tournament and GB Mixed Masters won spirit! Watch out Europe!

Our partners Get Horizontal are celebrating 3000 likes on their FB by having a beach party at ECBU – if you are there join the fun! Also have a read of their Windmill Windup coverage for some great photos and write ups.



So much going on, and we will cover as much as we can! Still looking for a spectator at T2 for tweeting, apply within! Laters, DP @ tSG. 

Open and Women’s Tour – T2 Preview

Chevron, Clapham, Fire of London, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Iceni, Kapow, Nice Bristols, nottingham, Open Tour, Previews, Ranelagh, Women's Tour

Josh Coxon Kelly brings us the OWT2 preview for the upcoming tour event in Nottingham.

The Grove Farm fields in Nottingham are all set to host the second major tournament of the UK open and women’s season, with players flocking from across the country to take part in the huge 80-team tournament that is OWT2.

With the European visitors returned to the mainland the schedule returns to its more familiar domestic team list, although perhaps in a slightly shuffled lineup to past seasons…

Iceni have kept their stronghold at the top of the women’s game in the UK – early looks at Bristol and SYC show teams that have come back stronger than last year with experienced veterans complemented well by young talent benefitting from their involvement in the U23 process. R.O.B.O.T impressed in London but theirs and Yaka’s absences leave a space in the top 4 for Punt, who will be looking to defend their position against a rebranded Brighton – Seven Sisters and a rebuilding Leeds.

Last year’s Open top 4 of Clapham, Chevron Fire and Brighton has been invaded by the GBU23 force and excitingly also by EMO – arguably justifying Joe Wynder’s heated and public defence of his team following The Secret Frizzer’s Tour 1 preview (which prompted this interview). With the EMO captain returning to club duties for this Tour, EMO are looking to hold onto their place amongst the UK elite, but will face stiff competition from Fire, Brighton and Kapow and Ranelagh – all teams who will not wrongly be fighting for a top 2 pool placing and in the straight-to semi’s format. Victory from Clapham will also win them the Tour – needless to say there are enough targets on their back. Could a pool play rematch against GBU23 (10:40 Pitch 15) see an early upset?

Ireland U23 showed in the Tour 1 show game that they have the fight and the skills to run with A tour teams, matching the GB squad for the majority of the first half. They will need to use this lesson in consistency to grow at Tour 2 if they want to come out on top of the dogfight that is this year’s B tour – but this will be no mean feat with teams such as Tooting, Reading and Jest Ridisculous in hot pursuit, as well as strong C tour promotions in Flump and Birmingham, who have leapt to 8th and 10th seed respectively.

The fight for B tour qualification will be equally tense as Curve, Saints, St. Albans and Trigger Happy look to recover from gutting quarter final losses in London (Trigger Happy falling short by a single point in a sudden-death thriller). The 28 strong C-Tour looks as competitive as it’s ever been, and such depth running right through the tournament can be nothing but good news as the increased competition for qualification only continues to make it tighter at the top.

Excited? So are we!! Use the #ukut2 hashtag for results and news over the weekend. Come talk to us if you have any feedback and see you in Nottingham! DP @ tSG.

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. 

London’s Calling Review – B Tour

Fusion, LLL, London's Calling, Manchester, Open Tour, Tournament Reports, Zimmer
Dale Walker continues our London’s Calling review week with a look at B tour.

As UK Ultimate continues to grow and develop with the standard improving across the board, the stigma previously attached to being a B Tour squad looks less offensive in light of a competitive opening Tour of 2013. Perennial A Tour teams including LLLeeds, Burro and Fusionbattled with new kids on the block Manchester, Glasgow, and JR – not to forget yo-yo teams like The Brown and Cardiff, programmes from Vision (with their strong junior setup) and Bristol (one of the deepest Ultimate communities in the UK) and we had a truly wide field for the first time in years.

Manchester came into Tour the #1 seed having jostled with a few for an A Tour berth beforehand, but with strong credentials from a few (including a stacked Zimmer team featuring GB legends Dave Sealy, Si Hill & Matt “Bob” Hims) this was always going to be the scrap it proved to be.

Santiago Zuluaga (Manchester Ultimate) goes big for an offence point in the Saturday pool game against LLLeeds. Photo courtesy of David Sparks.

Bar Pool J, each pool featured one team who were knocked out of contention having started the weekend seeded in the Top 8 bracket – the unfortunate 3 being The Brown, Cardiff Storm and Fusion – demonstrating the difficult nature of seeding at the start of the season and the topsy-turvy nature of Tour. Rumours had been spreading across the field about the various strengths of some of the contenders – Zimmer had been beaten on Saturday by EMO2 which shocked a few. Ireland U23, who featured a number from the successful Irish university scene of 2012 & 2013 looked to sail into A Tour to get the best preparation for Toronto. JR had a successful 2012 building on a strong programme from the universities, finishing in A Tour in 2012 and fancying themselves another shot at the big time.


The Quarter Finals on Sunday morning saw Manchester take on Brighton 2, LLLeeds against Ireland U23, Glasgow battle with Reading and Zimmer hope JR ran less than them… the only upset here was perhaps LLLeeds dispensing of a hyped Irish team in their QF to earn a right to play Zimmer in the SF, the rest going to seed.

The Semi finals saw Manchesterand Glasgow – both new geo programmes in their respective cities – go head to head whilst LLLeeds and their young squad played a team at the opposite end of the spectrum in Zimmer. A sudden death nail biter between Mcr and Glasgow saw the Scots come through, whilst Zimmer dispatched the young upstarts at Leedsdemonstrating their wisdom and experience.

B tour movers. Courtesy of Wayne Retter.

The Final would see Zimmer take the B Tour crown in a close fought 15-13 win over Glasgow, who had demonstrated over the 2 days that they are an unassuming team who will only look to grow in coming years lead by the experienced Webb brothers and working closely with the local university talent. Similarly, Manchester and LLLeeds had revamped in 2013 with similar aspirations and development plans, but in their 3/4 game-to-go Manchesterdemonstrated their extra experience and quality to close out a 15-10 victory and take the final A Tour berth.

Thoughts on B Tour
  • In previous years, so-called yo-yo teams seemed to come up every Tour and head straight back down a Tour later without really putting up too much of a fight. The depth of the competition is a lot stronger in 2013 – consistent A Tour squads of the past few years are now struggling to come back up, teams are running large rosters reflecting their A Tour contemporaries and using tactics and ideas pioneered by the strongest clubs in the country.
  • Whilst the top half of the division featured some close games, the standard really dipped beyond a certain point and resulted in some really falling off the radar. The top 3 teams were spread by three points (11-10 to Glasgowover Manchester, 15-13 to Zimmer over Glasgow) but the level beyond that seemed to dim. Speaking from a personal perspective, Manchester convincingly put LLLeeds away twice by a 5 point margin and took Vision and Burro to the sword (15-5 and 15-8 repectively). Whilst B Tour has come a long way, it still feels as if some games for the more established squads would be more beneficial if Tour 1 allowed for crossovers into A Tour on Sunday.
  • The weekend saw some massive seeding swings, with Fusion nearly falling through the trapdoor and Glasgowrocketing to A Tour after being underseeded coming into the weekend. Reading showcased their growing programme with a strong showing resulting in a 6 place rise whilst Cardiff, JR and The Brown all have their work cut out after disappointing showings.
  • With Zimmer considering not entering Tour 2 and Rebel not entering due to its proximity to Windmill Windup, the teams promoted to A tour are yet to be revealed, but perhaps this year we will see some new faces upset the established order. With Devon, Cambridgeand Tooting all finishing in the historic relegation spots from previous years, the 9-20 bracket could see some real chopping and changing during the season – and those coveted Top 16 places look to be more fiercely contested than ever before.
Watch out for Dale and his team (Manchester Ultimate) along with the new promotions to the A tour in a couple weeks! More reviews tomorrow @ tSG.