University Open Indoor Regionals 2012 Match reports
"The brick walls are not there to keep us out, The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something The brick walls are the to stop people who don't want it badly enough" - Randy Pausch
We thought we wanted it so bad.
This is not the report any player wants to have to write. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you're a fan of the club. Most of our first team probably don't want to have to relive it. And while it was immense fun, and there were some amazing highlights, and there were just a couple moments when we clicked and showed how we were able to take the game to any team there, it wasn't enough. Anyway, quoting club captain Jonno O'Saunders - "Who cares about indoors anyway?"
Also, worth a mention that while I watched nearly any second team game I could, I couldn't see it all. But you guys really pushed hard, and earned your right to wear the OW! kit. I've never seen a second team play that well, Jamie will do your report after mine.
Saturday was power pool day. If we came top 2 in our group, we were almost guaranteed nationals. Convincing victories against Aber and Demons are mentioned briefly, with Dan Aronov giving an Aber girl a bleeding lip being the main notable feature. We played strong D and improved our O. But those aren't the ones I need to report on.
Every Midlands player worth his shirt knows about how Warwick play. Quick handlers, give and gos and the Midlands weave. Coming off Midlands warm up, their experience and practice as a team shone through, and we didn't show up, with sloppy O and easy throw aways we shouldn't have made. We didn't want it bad enough.
Then came Cambridge. We stepped it up, but not enough. Cambridge played well, and took it to us. While we played a lot better in this game, we didn't quite go at 100%, and Cambridge took the game by a single point. They went on to win the tournament, and all credit to them for that, they deserved it.
That left us with Aye-Aye (UEA), in our final game, fighting for an easier cross over. Annoyed by the Strange Blue game, we did step up, our strong D showing through for a single point victory in the dying seconds.
After a fun night at a Chinese/Indian all you can eat, which was also a Karaoke, and much banter about barbeques/clocks, and camping beds, we we're rested and ready to play. If we we're qualifying for nationals, we were doing it the hard way.
A first win against Aye-Aye 2 lifted our confidence. The drastically underseeded Staffordshire came next, and we traded until around 6-6, when our experience and bigger team size got us a 10-6 lead. Our Offence was a lot stronger this game, and earned us our win.
Then came Haze. For those that don't know, we have a thing with Haze. Its where we play every single important game in an intense fashion, and it's nearly always against Haze. It was a 6-7 crossover no-one wanted, but it was one we came out on top for. A single point victory, due to a final layout by captain Jonno after a missed first pass proving vital.
Then, our chance for glory. We played Fling (Nottingham), for 5th spot, guaranteed Nationals spot in Div 2, and a chance for Div 1. We went 3 points up. Then they got 5. We had a bold last minute point, but it wasn't enough. We weren't Div 1. But were we Div 2?
Finally, Haze (again). There's no team I feel like I know as well as Haze. We've each seen each other at our bests and our worsts. And we both know how defeat feels. They went 6 points up. We got back 4 in a row. We were so close to making it, but they'd pushed us that bit too hard, and got a final point to seal it. Well done Haze, destroy nationals.
I wish I could remember more and give more details. Sheldon had some incredible D. Isaac's super experience showed with very solid work on disc. Lawson's improvement and focus was astonishing. You couldn't wish for a better handler than Dan. Slings cutting was great. Poulson managed to injure only himself, not others. Mike West played strong, earning some starting D line time. Jonno showed us all how to play well, and was a great captain, leading by example. Andrei was just...Andrei. But the entire weekend, like most for Ultimate, is just a blur of games and great people. Even at our lows, we played with great spirit, and it was still a sport I'd chose over any other.
It was a great weekend, and thank you all. Its natural to be heartbroken. If we'd played as well as we did in some of those games all weekend, there's no doubt we would have qualified, and high. I started with a quote, I'll end with one.
Ever tried? Ever Failed. It matters not. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better Samuel Beckett.
A nice quote, but I'm done with failing. Lets learn. Lets improve. See you at outdoors.