In a break from tradition, caused by the UK hosting U23 Worlds later in the year, the new Open Tour season kicked off in Nottingham and in another break from tradition the gale force winds we’ve come to expect from Nottingham were unusually calm! Don’t get me wrong though, it was still windy.
Brum 1 went into the Tour season seeded 16th of 20 in a slightly expanded A Tour to accommodate the various GB teams. That put us seeded fourth in group B with GB Open ‘A’ (seed #2), Brighton City (8), Ranelagh (9) and Reading 1 (18), with the primary aim being to survive in A Tour by avoiding the bottom 3.
First up were Brighton City, we started well but looked like we were expecting them to take control of the game at some point. Eventually we started to believe this was a game we could win and in the end it was only one break that made the difference – taking us to a 9-7 win!
Straight away we were into the game with GB. As expected they came out strong and took a commanding lead (4-0), capitalising on our mistakes and making none themselves. Whether they took their foot off the gas or we stepped up our game can be debated, but for a while in the middle of the game we traded out a few points with our long game coming off (think that got us to 8-4). However, at this point they decided to put an end to the game and we couldn’t get another point on the board, falling to a 15-4 loss.
After a rest we were back to take on Ranelagh. We didn’t get off to a great start but were always in the game, battling hard and getting joy on both O and D. Using that quick start they managed to keep us at bay for most of the game. Despite us closing the gap, we couldn’t get that crucial break back and eventually we just ran out of time and they put it to bed, it finished 15-12.
Straight after that we were back in action against Reading… For whatever reason we just didn’t get going in this game at all, making uncharacteristic mistakes on O and failing to get or convert turnovers when on D. Once they had a lead, they just kept their foot down and didn’t let us get any momentum going, forcing turnover after turnover (I think we got point blocked about 5 times in this one game alone!) and putting the points away. Before we knew it, the game was over and we’d been smashed 15-4 again.
All that meant that we placed 4th in the group and stayed in 16th and in the relegation bracket for Sunday.
First game on Sunday was NEO, a team at home in the wind and rain. It showed in the first few points as we struggled to get to grips with the game, while they stuck with what was working. As we started to figure out their game plan we started turning up the pressure on D and shutting their main players down enough to start getting some turnovers. We managed to convert a couple of these and keep the game close as we headed towards the cap, but we always felt that we could win the game. The cap came into effect at 10-12, game to 13. From there on it was all us as we played some of our best Frisbee of the weekend to take 3 points in a row and with it the game, 13-12!
That result meant that we had avoided relegation, but we still had two games left to move ourselves up the standings. The opposition in our next game were Chevron, a team that we’re not used to seeing so low down, but they had been hit hard by the GB teams and only had 10 players. To begin with I think we gave them too much respect and let them get away with a few ropey upwind throws that we really should’ve stopped. Once we realised that we were allowed to get Ds, we were consistently getting turnovers but were struggling to convert against their zone and there are only so many times you can give these guys the disc back before they’ll find a way to score. In game that was a lot closer than it sounds, they took it 12-4.
So onto the last game of the weekend; Pelt. We played them twice at Tour 1 in 2014, losing in a close game and then getting revenge by winning by a large margin in the rematch. Another tight game ensued here, and like the Chevvy game it was their zone that won it for them as we just struggled to get into our flow. Both teams were playing a bit of Huck and D when going downwind and they just handled the wind a bit better than we did to take a 10-7 win.
So we finished the weekend where we’d started in 16th, but we’d shown that we’ve got the potential to push on and take ourselves further up over the season!
That’s it for the first team, second team report will be coming soon!
Full results can be found here.