Edinburgh Beginners' Tournament Report (2002)
Friday afternoon of 5th week saw a brave bunch of Ultimate players gather on St. Giles for the long trip up to Edinburgh to compete in the 10th annual Edinburgh Beginners Ultimate Tournament. The last time an OW! (Oxford University Ultimate) team traveled to Edinburgh, they returned home with the Student National Indoor trophy. Guided by coach Paul Meany (returning to Edinburgh for the 10th anniversary of the tournament he started), these plucky young beginners were looking to collect some silverware of their own!
Saturday morning saw the beginning of pool play. OW! made short work of home team Ro-Sham-Bo 3, and romped to a 14-0 crushing of Mwnci See (Aberysthwyth). The final game of pool saw OW! pitted against Boogie Nights of Liverpool. The game was the closet of the morning, but OW! emerged 6-5 winners and top of their pool. Victory in the pool resulted in an easier last game against Jedi (Leeds), which they won 9-3, booking a place in Sunday's Quarter Finals.
With play completed for the day, all thoughts turned to the Saturday night party. Thirty two teams, combined with Scotland's relaxed licensing laws, was always going to make for a good evening! The Oxford boys and girls did their best to win the party but despite many cocktails they were beaten to the title by Glasgow's Far Flung, whose nakedness and pulling power proved too much to beat.
Hangovers and all, play resumed on the Sunday morning. The Quarter final was an easy affair against Flatball project, St. Andrews with OW! running away 11-3 victors to set up a semi final clash against Fingers 6 of Manchester. This was a much closer game with Oxford also having to battle a hostile crowd, but some smart defensive tactics took away the Manc's deep game and OW! sneaked a 6-5 victory. The final was against Midlands rivals, Loughbourgh's Purple Haze, who were fresh from victory at Sheffield Beginners a few weeks earlier. OW! took an early 3-2 lead but then lack of fitness and mental errors saw OW! go down 3-8. Oxford staged a late come back but time ran out, final score 6-8, and OW! had to settle for 2nd, and an attractive wine rack as their prize. 2nd from 32 teams still represents OW!'s best beginners result and congratulations must go out to all those that took part.