Mixed Indoor Nationals in Derby presented a good final opportunity for us to show what we can do before heading outdoors. We started seeded 12th in a big pool of 7 along with top seeds Danger, as well as Chesham Kites (7th), Lemmings (14th), Brizzle Kicks (17th), Red (23rd) and Flyght Club 2 (28th) – a top 3 (in the pool) finish needed to have any chance of a top 8 finish overall.
First game was against Brizzle Kicks, a team we know well and always expect a tough game from. This was no different and things started fairly evenly as both teams got used to the new hall. Eventually though we took control and held onto the lead long enough to see the game out 9-4, despite them turning up the pressure towards the end.
As third seeds in the group there was no hint of easing ourselves in as up next were defending champs and first seeds; Danger. Another team we know and another team against which there are no easy points. We started out well and forced them to switch up their defence, but eventually the pressure of their preferred zone started to tell and we made a couple of mistakes to give them the breaks they would need, they took the game 5-8.
Next up were the pools second seeds, Chesham Kites. A fiery game ensued with pressure on just about every throw. In the middle of the game the pace dropped significantly due to the many calls being made, but both teams cleaned things up and finished the game playing some nice Frisbee. We edged it 7-5 on the strength of our play towards the end.
Fourth game was against Flyght Club 2 and we really struggled against their zone. We had plenty of the disc but made really hard work of putting the points on the board against their wall. That meant that we never really got comfortable and just about hung onto a 5-4 win.
Game #5 was another team we know very well – local rivals Lemmings. It was a sloppy start to the game with turnovers from both teams and fortunately we found our composure first and made our way to a much-less-comfortable-than-it-sounds 9-3 victory.
The final game of pool play was against Red and we found our consistency at last. Unfortunately for them that meant that we got plenty of D’s and converted a good chunk of them to run away with it 11-1.
The one loss placed us second in the pool and 7th overnight – awaiting our crossover opponent from the afternoon pools.
On Sunday morning we found out that we would be playing Shakedown who had finished 3rd in what must have been a tough group! Due to S&L not entering the tournament on time Shakedown had a few extra reinforcements from our previous meetings which meant this would be a very tough game.
To make things harder we started slowly and let them take a lead – this played into their hands by allowing their zone to slow things right down. We were getting plenty of turnovers and creating chances to get ourselves even on the scoreboard, but mistakes at critical times repeatedly cost us and they maintained the advantage to beat us 5-7 and knock us out of the top 8.
Feeling a bit sorry for ourselves we had to re-group, the aim now being to finish as high as possible to regain some pride and show that we could’ve/should’ve been higher up the standings.
In the quarters we were drawn against Prone. Another team we know like to play zone D, and so we were determined to put right the mistakes from the previous game(s). They did not make things easy though and their zone was hard to gain any momentum against, but the crucial difference here was that we were not chasing the game and so could take our time and pick our shots. That allowed us to take a 7-4 win and keep the 9th place dream alive.
Our semi-final ended up being a re-match with Chesham, a game I’m sure they were eager to win after our bruising encounter the day before. However, we came out of the blocks really hard and took the early lead. From there we never really let up even as they battled back into the game, taking it 7-3 in the end.
So into the 9v10 final against Flyght Club 1 who – if their second team was anything to go by – would have a hard zone to break. Once again though we started really well and built a good lead, coping as well as we had all weekend against the zone. Things got a bit tighter towards the end but we had built ourselves a cushion and rode it out to an 8-2 win to take 9th and the elusive #platenoplate trophy.
A frustrating weekend then, but also one that we shouldn’t be too disappointed with… the only two teams we lost to both made the semi-finals (no to mention Danger finished 1st), and importantly we finished strongly to come as high as we could after the setback against Shakedown.
All in all, things are looking pretty good for the outdoor season – roll on Mixed Tour!