Women's Indoor Regionals Report 2009
Due to clever pool arrangements last Saturday saw WOW leaving Oxford in the maxi-mobile (17 seater for 7 people, Josie at the wheel) at a reasonable 9.30 am, arriving in Sheffield 3 and a half hours later, ready for a good warm-up and game number one: Lancaster. A really good game to start with - most of them were beginners, and we found our center rather nicely considering we had never played together before. Score was 8-1 or something.
Next on was Staffordshire, a pick up team, who played a good long game (with amazingly accurate long curvy throws into the endzone) - we managed to cut that down, final score: 7-4 (?).
Then they were up: The Other Blue. We scored. They scored. We scored. There was no turnover until point 3. Both teams really wanted this. Then one of the Cambridge players collided with one of us and was lying on the floor. Seven minutes later, after the first aider has arrived and she was feeling better, the game was continued. Two more points were made. At the whistle the score was 4-3 and Cambridge, being the fair team that they are, called it quits. Suddenly WOW was first in the group and second in the entire tournament!
Next was Sheffield Hallam, a complete beginners team that threw just about anything. But caught it, too. A fun game. Final score was a lot to one.
Last was Too Many Pies 2, composed again of mainly beginners. A good game. Final score 8-1.
We were top in our group and could not come lower than the top 12 now.
Saturday was very good: it showed us how we could work together as a team. We discovered that possession and patience were our strength as well as running hard and not giving the opposition an inch of space. Everyone got a D, scored a point and was generally awesome.
In the maxi-mobile we navigated the dark streets of Sheffield to our house that Laura Ertmer had amazingly organised for us from the other side of the Atlantic. Our hosts had cunningly disappeared for the weekend, leaving us with a lovely place to stay just to ourselves and the biggest house rabbit imaginable to look after (who was called Socrates). Needless to say that we stayed in and ate excellent Pizza, especially considering that the theme of the party was 90s â€“ some people had real difficulties coming up with costumes (â€œThey wore t-shirts and jeans in the 90s, right?â€) or could remember ALL of the 90s and thought that they were generally too recent to have a party about.
Second place meant that our first game was not until 10 on Sunday and after having gotten lost slightly on the way to the sports centre (Sheffield is actually the worst sign-posted city in the world) we were facing York, who had only lost against Bears in their group. York played a zone which was initially hard for us until we discovered the space in the middle in front of their players, and playing with 3 handlers we won 5-3. And now we couldnâ€™t come worse than the top 4.
Up next were Jedi (Leeds), seeded 3rd. This was probably the best game of the weekend. Their playing style was very similar to ours â€“ both teams found it ridiculously hard to get away from their mark, many dumps and little passes were thrown. Both teams played intense man marking. This game also saw the longest most exciting point of the weekend â€“ about 7 minutes for one point which WOW finally scored 10 seconds before the whistle. Donâ€™t remember the score (something like 3-2), but WOW won with one point.
The final against Too Many Pies 1 happened 3 hours later. Too Many Pies 1 had won against Bears earlier in the day. Again both teams man marked hard but Too Many Pies had the nicer flow and better organised cuts. Unfortunately WOW did not play as well as we could have done but even so, TMP would most probably still have won. They are an awesome team. Final score 6-3 (or similar) to them.
And that was it â€“ WOW had made it from seed 14 to seed 2 in two days, with a team that had never played together before. And we are now in Nationals (5/6th December, Loughborough)!!!
Nadine was our main handler and advisor, Mags did awesome long and short cuts, Helena got amazing Ds, Nancy handled and got sweet Ds on people twice her height, Clare run hard and scored beautiful points, Marie was mainly responsible for ridiculous post-game speeches and fitting entire pies into her mouth. Special thanks go to Josie, who not only ran, scored and D-ed as hard as everyone else but also drove the maxi-mobile up and down the country (possibly illegally?).
Everyone enjoyed themselves, the Cambridge girl is fine and we got into Nationals for the first time ever. What else could you possibly want from an Ultimate weekend?