Indoor Regionals Report 2009
Indoor Regionals for midlands were held in Nottingham. Top 3 went through to Div 1 Nationals, 4-6 through to Div 2.
We drove down on Friday evening, and arrived on the doorstep of a Random Fling player's house, where we were immediately invited to a rollerdisco. No bloody way. We're here for business.
Our group for the Saturday included old rivals Cambridge, newer rivals Aye-Aye, a team from Lincoln, and a seconds team, from I can't remember where. Confidence was high, with phrases such as 'let's just win by loads', and 'hey, looking forward to a bit of Cambridge bashing', being banded around. ANd justifiably so, for with the quality of the players we took, our squad was definitely looking to compete with the top sides.
We started the day well, and dispatched both of the group's weaker sides with relative ease. The scores were flowing, everyone was feeling good, and we could only get more comfortable in our strange windless setting. Next up were Aye-Aye. This was one of my favourite games of the weekend. It was really closely fought, with some quality play from both sides. As the clock wound down, OW clawed back a small deficit to level the scores at 5-5 (?) with a minute left on the clock. And with possession secured, we should really have seen out the win. However, the side were let down by a rash endzone pass from their captain, lost possession, and got caught out by a quick hammer break to lose the game.
This was a pivotal game, for this now meant we would have to beat Cambridge to come second in the group. (there was a game in between these two, but it was against a fairly weak side, and we won despite some sloppy play). Time to refocus for Strange Blue! And we came out pretty pumped up into a game especially significant to those who's experienced stinging defeats at Varsity last term. This game was fairly symptomatic of our general performance over the weekend. Some of our offensive play was outstanding, with the whole team involved in working the disc smoohtly, and quickly, around the pitch. However at times we lacked a cutting edge in front of the endzone, and crucially we failed to convert too many times. Cambridge, by contrast, were clearly more used to the quick, short movements required for the indoor code, and were also able to exploit a defence which, while committed, was at times exposed by fast thought and faster hands. Cambridge were also a very tall team, and used this to their advantage. We didn't have enough Bens or Hugos. 9-3 I think.
So the day ended with us having finished third in our group, still with a chance to go through to nationals.
Weighed down by tonnes of Chinese food, we nevertheless arrived feeling good for Sunday. We needed to win our first match to go top 8. This was against Darkside (the Brookes of Cambridge). This was a game we really should have won. Man (and woman) for man we were the better side, and furthermore had more, and faster legs. However this game more than any other proved the value of training indoors. Darkside had one outstanding handler who was able to scoober, blade and hammer the disc into our endzone. Our defence was unused to there being a constant threat to the endzone, and thus too many times were caught man-watching as some kind of break pass drifted all too easily into the endzone. Many of our players also made some basic errors, which only compounded our frustration. THis game went down to the wire, though, with a chance to win it at the death. However, the captain again blundered (I am now realising that his mistakes essentially cost us the two most important points of the weekend. Hmmmm), and Darkside converted. Very disappointing.
We played three more games on Sunday, and with no chance of making Nats everyone was given a freer role to get as much disc time as possible, and even 'try out some new things'. The first thing to come of this latter advice was a fantastically ill-advised thumber from Monsieur Clark. However, I, and certainly some of the players who had found themselves slightly limited by the ISO we'd been using all weekend, had a good time playing some tight, and more scrimmage-y matches, which was a nice way to round out the weekend.
Finishing position: 10th.
Everyone on the team delivered outstanding individual performances, with a lack of practice indoors together undoubtedly our main downfall. We were exposed by more polished, and more schmindoors-wise teams. Good fun though, and we'll be building on this in coming weeks.
I'd especially like to thank our new players, Katie, Isaac, and Sam, and also Alex, who should have played, but came down with the flu. Thanks also to all who organised.