What you missed at UMIR 2019...

Editor: Nic

Another cold November morning, another Indoor Regionals. Men’s Regionals passed through the seven regions and although not everything was a surprise, there were some impressive performances from underrated teams. These gave the universities some of the best results they have ever seen in recent years. Special mentions to: Salford, Leicester, Loughborough 2, Oxford Brookes, Imperial. We had writers cover some of the highlights from the tournaments, so read on...

Full Results

Photo: University of Exeter

Scotland - That Scottish dominance!
Writer: Ed Graham

​1. Strathclyde 1
​2. Edinburgh 1
​3. Glasgow 1
​4. Heriot-Watt 1

​5. St Andrews 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
​6. Strathclyde 2
​7. Dundee 1
​8. Aberdeen 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Another indoor tournament for the Scottish universities to battle it out took place in the form of Men’s Indoor Regionals (otherwise known as Scottish Nationals). With five Division 1 Nationals’ spots and a further three to Division 2, there was plenty to battle for and it wasn’t just the first teams that saw success.

Strathclyde continued their winning streak from mixed indoors by polishing off their pool in their usual fashion. Edinburgh and Glasgow also topped their pools going undefeated, but it was Dundee who took the top spot in Pool D over the higher seeded St Andrews. Strathclyde 2 drew with St Andrews, showing that the strength doesn’t just lie in their first team, which is slightly scary when you think about it.

The power pools saw Strathclyde 2nd’s pushing the first teams once again, taking Aberdeen and Glasgow to the brink in close defeats, but they lost to their superiors proving that there ‘second teams’ are not to be underrated. St Andrews found better form, topping their power pool and keeping them in contention for one of the Division 1 spots, with Glasgow 2nd’s coming in a close second. Edinburgh were also victorious in their power pool, winning it comfortably. The second teams were coming out in force, with Edinburgh 2nd’s winning their power pool over Stirling 1st’s.

Into bracket play and a St Andrews versus St Andrews saw the first team appropriately beating the second team by a large (but expected) margin, this put the first team through to a semi-final against and leaving the second team fighting for ninth place. St Andrews 1 faced Strathclyde 1st’s, in a respectable match finishing 9-7 in favour of… (you guessed it) Strathclyde. The Strathclyde boys went on to beat Heriot-Watt in the semi-final and entered the final against a feisty Edinburgh, who had convincingly beaten Glasgow to get there. The final was set and it was a close one, with Strathclyde taking it 8-7 but both teams had secured their Division 1 spots before then.. Glasgow and Heriot-Watt also had a close game that finished with Glasgow winning 8-7, sending both to Division 1. St Andrews found themselves in the game-to-go against Strathclyde 2nd’s. A monumental effort by the Strathclyde lads to get this far, however it was only to be Division 2 Nationals this time following another close game that ended 7-6. Aberdeen and Edinburgh 2nd’s battled it out to join Dundee and the others at Division 2 Nationals. Running with the theme of close games-to-go, it finished up 8-7 to Aberdeen, an unfortunate loss but huge achievement for another second team aiming for Nationals.

The North - Merseyside rise up!
Writer: Ed Graham

1. Durham 1
2. Liverpool John Moores 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3. Liverpool 1
4. Manchester 1
5. Newcastle 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6. Northumbria 1
7. Lancaster 1
8. Salford 1

Following University Mixed Indoor Regionals, it was clear there was hot competition in the North’s ultimate scene and the Men’s division was further proof to this. Twitter beefs and Instagram memes aside, the players descended onto the wooden sprung floor of Northumbria Sport Central to decide who would take the five spots to Nationals, with only two of these being to Division 1.

The pool games were business as usual for the top 4 seeded teams. Durham, Liverpool, LJMU and Newcastle topping each, all undefeated. There were some closer second team games however, with Newcastle 2nd’s topping Northumbria 2nd’s for the first of several derbies’ to occur between the locals. The mighty Newcastle 3rd’s were scoring some outrageous points but victories were hard to come by. Into the power pools we go.

Durham were on top form, toppling LJMU and Manchester to cement them as the team to beat for the weekend. The discovery of Spirit of the Game seems to have boosted Liverpool’s performance from UXIR, as they took Newcastle, who were obviously still in the marveling in their universe possession win over Northumbria. Salford seemed to be having a tough time with several losses but pulled a strong performance out to take Northumbria 1st’s to 9-9, being the best finish Salford has had (8th) and it was well deserved.

Time for bracket play. Manchester 1 had a strong start, beating Lancaster 2nd’s convincingly and then, putting on the best performance they could to beat Newcastle 1st’s in the quarter-final (4v5). Manchester’s luck soon came crashing down when they fell to a Durham team 8-4 who seemed to just be on cruise control. The scouse derby came after an easy run for both teams. A close match saw Liverpool take it 12-11 sending them to face Durham in the game for top spot. It was not as close as Liverpool would have liked it to be however, with Durham capping them 15-4. Will Collier really does love university ultimate, will he ever leave? LJMU having beaten Manchester 1, lined up for the second scouse derby of the weekend, this was for the final spot to Division 1. A close game saw the boys in the tank tops (LJMU) win with the 12-11 score line, knocking Liverpool down to Division 2 for the second time this year. In the other game-to-go, the local derby wasn’t as close, Newcastle taking it 9-3 but credit to the Northumbria lads for a great fight! If only Scotland weren’t so greedy with the nationals spots.

Dream Team:
Will Collier (Durham), Alex Hately (Liverpool), Tom Jackson (LJMU), Ben Oliver (LJMU), Andrew Baker (Manchester)

Yorks & East Midlands - Can Loughborough be stopped?
Writer: Matt Rowlinson

1. Loughborough 1
2. Sheffield 1
3. Leicester 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. Nottingham 1
5. Loughborough 2
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6. Huddersfield 1
7. Nottingham Trent 1
8. Leeds 1

Despite a very close loss between York 1 and Loughborough 1 in pool play on Saturday, Loughborough did not let it affect the rest of their games. After strong performances against Leeds and Leicester, Loughborough proved they were in a league of their own and could very well be in contention for the final at Nationals. They played hard and got the results needed to face Sheffield (regional winners 2018) in the final, and they took the top spot convincingly! Sheffield were unbeaten (by a long margin) for the whole weekend, this included a nail biting 9-8 semi-final against Nottingham 1st’s. They remain a force to be reckoned with at Division 1 Nationals, and maybe they may break the top 8 this year?

Nottingham were unable to carry their success at Mixed Regionals to the men’s category, and missed out on Division 1 after going down to the wire against Sheffield for a spot in the final. Nottingham were unable to bounce back against Leicester in the game-to-go (to Division 1) and have to settle in the top spot at Division 2, again. You never know, they may win their third consecutive Division 2 National title. Leicester have shown massive improvement compared to previous years and absolutely smashed expectations to take the final Division 1 spot this year, deservingly. They had to face formidable Loughborough teams to earn their spot, and they did not disappoint. It is a wonderful thing to see them challenging the top spots again. 

Nottingham Trent didn’t seem to have the capacity to carry their successes from last year and unfortunately, lost out on a place at Nationals, finishing seventh. Trent lost their derby game against Nottingham 6-3 and weren’t able to come out on top against Huddersfield, finishing 6-5 in Huddersfield’s favour, and securing Trent’s ineligibility for Nationals. Leeds didn’t have the finesse to close out the semi-final game with Loughborough 2 (finishing 7-6), which meant they were faced with playing a seeding game against Nottingham Trent to finish bottom of the top 8. Both Loughborough 2 and Huddersfield were deserving of the final spot at Nationals however, the depth of players Loughborough University blatantly has meant it just wasn’t meant to be for Huddersfield. Huddersfield lost out on a spot at Nationals, finishing sixth in the region. 

Loughborough may have had a significant loss due to graduations, yet it’s evident that they need not worry. An impressive level of ultimate from Loughborough, yet again and I’m sure they’ll be looking to continue this all the way to Nationals.

West and Wales - Birmingham’s reign...
Writer: Matt Rowlinson

1. Birmingham 1
2. Warwick 1
3. Swansea 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4. Bangor 1
5. Cardiff 1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6. Warwick 2
7. Aberystwyth 1
8. Keele 1

Birmingham 1 retain their regional title, by winning every game of the weekend for the second year running. Birmingham can go to Nationals feeling confident about improving their fourth place finish last year. An impressive Warwick team excelled in their pool, and dominated their quarter and semi-finals. Their closest game was the final which finished 7-5 to Birmingham, but they are a huge contender for the top 8 and possibly higher at Nationals. 

After having both taken heavy defeats in the semi-finals, Bangor and Swansea were eager to bounce back and claim the last available Division 1 spot. Having only lost one game at the hands of the Warwick, Bangor went into the next game against Swansea with the ambition to win the welsh bragging rights. The rivalry goes without saying and the game was guaranteed to be a close one, but it was Swansea who had the edge and stole the final Division 1 spot with a 9-6 win. Leaving Bangor with a Division 2 place, to be joined by either Cardiff or Warwick 2. Cardiff, trying to improve on their game-to-go loss from last year proved that hard work and determination really does pay off, securing their place at Nationals with a 7-4 win. 

This years qualifying teams have consistently proved they are the real contenders from this region and it will be interesting to see if the likes of Keele (who only missed out on the game-to-go by 1 point), Aberyswyth and Worcester can break this trend in the near future.  

East & London - Rise of Imperial.
Writer: Clackers

1. University College London (UCL)
2. Imperial
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3. Hertfordshire
4. Kings College London (KCL)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Cambridge
6. Imperial 2
7. University of East Anglia (UEA)
8. St Mary’s

My first insight into University Ultimate was during 2013-4, at a time when my alma mater, Cambridge, dominated in the Men’s competitions, both regionally and nationally. How times have sadly changed. The London powerhouses of UCL or Imperial regularly rule the roost here now, and this year is no exception. On the back of their Mixed Regionals success, UCL pip Imperial to the post in a nail-biting final game. However Imperial did not let this close defeat get into their heads, and secured the second Division 1 spot from Hertfordshire, a team they found themselves in the same pool with to start the weekend. Another credit to Imperial is sending four teams to Regionals, a rare feat indeed, with their second team achieving a very impressive 6th place.

Hertfordshire continued with their regular qualification to Nationals, on their home turf, taking the first Division 2 spot. And to add to this accomplishment, they were the all-important winners of spirit! Hertfordshire’s compatriots in Division 2 are a surprising KCL, who managed to up-heave London School of Economics in the group stages and see off Cambridge in the game-to-go to Division 2. KCL’s took the scenic route through the brackets, with a very low scoring 4-3 victory over Imperial 2.

UCL are going to perform strongly in Nationals, it’s hard to see them finishing outside of the top 8. But predicting Nationals results on 3G pitches from a hardcourt Regionals is risky; Imperial could have every opportunity to prove themselves the best in the region come February. For the Division 2 qualifiers the same is true, however Hertfordshire should have what it takes to finish well.

South East - The Mohawks take first!
Writer: Clackers

1. Sussex
2. Surrey
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3. Oxford
4. Chichester
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Reading
6. Oxford Brookes
7. Sussex 2
8. Surrey 2

Sussex hold onto their Regionals title for another year, in a very dominating fashion, conceding only twenty points over the entire weekend! And it is fitting that their opponents in their closest game were Surrey, the other qualifying team to Division 1. They didn’t have a second opportunity to face each other after the power pool, perhaps there could have been a different champion. Surrey were able to qualify to Division 1 via an incredibly tight final game-to-go against Oxford. Oxford came out on top in their semi-final clash, also by only one point, but the old adage that close results never go the same way twice came to pass. Alongside their qualification into Division 2, Oxford well-deservedly won spirit.

Chichester had a more eventful tournament than most. A tricky pool to start in, and losing out on countback, placed them in the bottom 8 at the start of Sunday. Having to face Sussex in the quarter final placed Chichester on the long road back up to Nationals contention, including a semi-final clash against Sussex 2, whom they drew with on Saturday. They were able to pip Reading to the post in the game-to-go to Division 2, which as a Reading alumnus hurts a bit.

Spirit in the region does tend to raise some eyebrows, with suspiciously high results in a few games. The region reports far higher maximum scores than the other regions, but also some lower minimum scores.

I imagine Sussex to go far at Nationals, in the top 8 at least, and Surrey shouldn’t be too far off their tails either. It will depend if the Southerners can cope in the harsh realities that Scotland can bring.

The South West - Exeter are HUGE at the moment.
Writer: Nate Sanders

Bath 1 Exeter 1 University of the West of England (UWE) 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Bristol 1 Exeter 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Southampton 1 Plymouth Bristol 3 Despite Sweetnam’s concussion from Saturday nights antics, Bath have a flawless run through University Men's Indoors Regionals for the second year on the bounce. They’re showing everyone that they’re better than you even with a hangover.
It was a extremely comfortable weekend for Exeter with big wins across the board only coming unstuck in the final against Bath 1. Some missed connections on their endzone options allowed bath to pull away and leave Exeter wondering if it really was the girls who carried them through that Mixed Regionals win.
This is their second consecutive year UWE qualified for Division 1 for them. Saturday saw them take a loss to Skunks 1 and throw them into a quarter-final against Bristol. UWE take a big win into the semi finals which saw them leading Exeter to start but they couldn’t hold onto it and have to fight for their spot at Division 1 Nationals. An outstanding performance from long standing UWE rock, Peter Rawlinson, sees them take the game away from their Devon based counterparts.
Bristol 1 had a rocky start to the weekend with some big comebacks to take clutch wins against some second teams. One thing they can’t do is beat those boys over at UWE. Two losses to their kryptonite sees them miss out on Division 1 and have to make the long trip to Scotland for Division 2.
Exeter 2 performed incredibly well at Mixed Indoor Regionals and have done one better down in Plymouth. They do a number on a well drilled Southampton side to take the last spot at Nationals, qualifying for Division 2. Two teams at nationals for the first time since 2013 for Exeter.
Southampton 1 suffered a tremendous fall from grace, with nothing but wins on a flawless Saturday to come out top of the group. Sunday finds that Bath are too much for the Skunks to handle, and this is the start of the end for Southampton. Subsequent losses to Bristol and Exeter 2. (that’s right Exeter 2) mean Southampton lose out on qualifying for nationals to a second team two years in a row.

There were some big matches, and incredible wins! Plenty of time to train and prepare for Nationals in February, and it would be safe to say that although Strathclyde won the Scottish region yet again, there could be some strong competition for the winning trophy. Watch this space!

Previously on What Went Down at UXIR 2019...

Editors: Clackers / Nic

There’s a nip to the air, the clocks have gone back, and it can only mean one thing… The indoor season is underway! University Mixed Indoor Regionals has just passed, it’s the first chance of the academic year for universities to prove themselves against their local competitors. Regionals always has a few surprises, and this year is no exception. We have  summarised your results and scrutinise your region to bring you a run down on what happened. First, we begin all the way up in Scotland, where a certain university manage to reign another year longer.

Photo: Loughborough Students Ultimate
The only club in the UK where two teams have qualified for University Mixed Nationals this year.

Scotland – Strathclyde stay strong!
Writer: Ed Graham

1. Strathclyde 1
2. Glasgow 1
3. St Andrews 1 
4. Edinburgh 1
5. Dundee 1
6. Heriot-Watt 1
7. Aberdeen 1
8. Stirling 1

Strathclyde proved themselves worthy of retaining their top seed in the Scottish region but, they did not go unbeaten on their journey. A loss to Glasgow in the pool stages was their only disappointment however, comfortable victories against Stirling and Edinburgh saw them through to the final, and a rematch against Glasgow. This game got intense and could only finish on universe point, which allowed Strathclyde to utilize their skill and call themselves the Scottish Champions for the second year in a row. Glasgow are still heading to Division 1, they fought off the likes of Aberdeen and Dundee to earn their place. Edinburgh topped their pool on Saturday with convincing wins all round but found tougher opposition on Sunday, losing key games to Strathclyde and then St Andrews in the game-to-go (to Division 1). Giving them a 4th place finish, and the top spot heading to Division 2 from Scotland. St Andrews had a strong performance and came out on top when it mattered, especially in the game-to-go (to Division 1), where they won 8-7 over Edinburgh.

Two more spots going to Division 2 remained after Edinburgh. Dundee taking victory over Aberdeen secured their place but, in a final game-to-go, it appeared that Nationals was not for Aberdeen as they lost against Heriot-Watt in their last game of the weekend. The Scottish universities are always a force at Nationals and this year will be no different. Keep an eye out, as the top three teams of this region will be looking to push for the top prize once more.

The North – Newcastle push to victory.
Writer: Hately

1. Newcastle 1
3. Durham 1
4. Liverpool 1
5. Lancaster 1
6. Northumbria 1
7. Durham 2
8. Newcastle 2

The biggest surprise of the weekend was Manchester 1. They’ve had a tough time of late, with a large proportion of the first team players (Steve Dixon, Robbie Kyme, Natasha Torres-Coote) graduating, and leaving university Ultimate behind. A lack of cutting-edge play saw them lose three pool games and eliminated from Nationals contention before the Sunday knockout stages began. Although they had a big win; including comfortably beating Northumbria (who qualified for Division 2) in their last pool game.

The remainder of the region played out more predictably. Newcastle 1; utilising their range of strong women, carried a winning streak throughout all of their games. Lancaster 1 were the other stand-out team from Pool A; they ended up in second place. The second pool finished with LJMU comfortably at the top, primarily through patient offence looking to isolate athletic female receivers downfield. Their only close pool games were a 9-9 draw vs Liverpool 1 and a 5-4 victory over Durham 1, who finished second and third in Pool B, respectively.

The knockout stages saw Liverpool 1 throw away a four-break lead against a resurgent Newcastle 1 to lose by one, and a confident 8-6 victory for LJMU over Lancaster 1. Newcastle eventually ran out the final as champions, winning 10-7 vs LJMU. An exhausted Liverpool dropped down to forth missing out on Division 1 qualification due to a 12-3 loss in a rematch vs Durham, whilst Lancaster settled in fifth. Northumbria took the final spot going to Division 2, winning the game-to-go 9-8 against a strong Durham 2.

The three teams that qualified for Division 1 can look forward to Nationals knowing that there will be squads capable of playing at an equally competitive level. All have both strong women and men however, the depth of their rosters will be challenged. Durham to finish top 8 is a safe bet; assuming their mental game holds out, and both LJMU and Newcastle to avoid the bottom four. 

Dream Line: Will Collier (Durham), Kate Gibson (Newcastle), Tom Jackson (LJMU), Grace Prior (LJMU), Emily Atkinson (Newcastle)

Yorkshire and East Midlands – Nottingham power through the region.
Writer: Maya Israel

1. Nottingham 1
2. Loughborough 1
3. Sheffield 1
4. Huddersfield 1
5. Leeds 1
6. Loughborough 2
7. Leicester 1
8. Nottingham Trent 1

If it was predicted who would finish at the top; Loughborough 1 and Sheffield 1 would be right up there taking into account their fifth and ninth place finish at Nationals last year, and Huddersfield 1 and Nottingham 1 would have been battling for the last Division 1 places. 

These predictions didn’t quite pan out, although the top 4 were the same. Nottingham 1 shocked everyone on Saturday, capping Loughborough 1 15-6, to top their pool. In retrospect, having lost half of last year’s team, including both captains, Loughborough 1 were due to have a tougher weekend than usual. Huddersfield, on the other hand, powered through their pool, despite having only two girls on Saturday, meaning they were beating teams whilst only having four players on the pitch for half of their games! 

Loughborough 1’s earlier loss to Nottingham meant they had a slightly tougher journey to the final however, following a win over Sheffield in their semi; Loughborough failed to prevail over Nottingham for a second time and finished in second place. Sheffield 1 achieved third place after managing to overcome Huddersfield’s three pass scores with clinical defence. And Huddersfield put up a fight against a formidable Leeds team in the game-to-go (to Division 1), clutching the final Division 1 space on universe point.

Loughborough 2 deservingly took the second and final Division 2 spot having played exceedingly well all weekend, and are the only second team to qualify for Nationals in the country this year.

West Midlands and Wales – Birmingham squeeze ahead…
Writer: Hately

1. Birmingham 1
2. Warwick 1
3. Cardiff 1
4. Bangor 1
5. Aberystwyth 1
6. Swansea 1
7. Birmingham 2
8. Warwick 2

The West Midlands and Wales region contains some of the largest clubs in UK University Ultimate, with Warwick, Birmingham and Cardiff all providing a wealth of squads in this year’s competition. With the additional presence of Bangor, Swansea and Aberystwyth all battling for 5 Nationals spots, this year’s Regionals was always going to be close. Birmingham managed to improve on last year’s second place finish to clinch their region. Whilst last year they lost out to Bangor on universe, instead they held their nerve and defeated Warwick in the same manner. This is a credit to the depth and hard work of the Birmingham club, to lose key players such as Eddie Mason, Adam Vaslet and Georgia Morrison, and yet still improve on their results from last year.

If Birmingham have maintained their strength, then Warwick have matched them step for step. Whilst Warwick again lost to Birmingham in the final game of the weekend, the deficit was reduced from 4 to a single point when compared with last year. Their only loss of the whole weekend, and confirming them a spot at Division 1 Nationals.

The final Division 1 place was snapped up by Cardiff, narrowly missing out on the final. They comfortably dealt with a Bangor squad in transition, in the game-to-go (to Division 1). Bangor, perhaps paying the price for a lack of experience besides the top of their roster, will still be pleased to be leaving with a ticket to Division 2. Fifth place was claimed by Aberystwyth, who saw off a challenge from Swansea to claim the final Division 2 spot. Swansea had an easier route to the game (a 10-0 victory over Warwick 2) but were unable to recreate this form for the big occasion.

East and London – Can’t upturn UCL?
Writer: Maya Israel

1. UCL 1
2. KCL 1
3. Hertfordshire 1
4. Cambridge 1
5. Brunel 1
6. UCL 2
7. Cambridge 2
8. LSE 1

Considering the East and London region, University College London (UCL) 1 and King’s College London (KCL) 1 seemed obvious contenders for Division 1 spots, both being strong teams who finished second and sixth at Nationals last year, respectively. Which teams would qualify for Division 2 was less certain, but it was shocking that neither teams who snagged those places last year, LSE 1 and Imperial 1, were able to do so again.

On the Saturday, Hertfordshire, who just missed out on a Division 2 spot last year, managed to top their pool, beating Imperial 1. Cambridge, who finished sixth last year, also topped their pool, beating LSE 1 in a close game. On Sunday, UCL and KCL convincingly paved their ways to Division 1, whilst Hertfordshire and Cambridge pushed Brunel and UCL 2 out of reach of Division 2. Surprisingly Imperial 1 and LSE 1 did not fare so well this year, falling to eighth and ninth.

Overall, the Silverbacks (UCL) proved there’s no one in the region close to their standard at this present time. They’ll definitely be in contention for one of the top spots at Nationals again this year.

The South West – Exeter back on top(?)
Writer: Nate Sanders

1. Exeter 1
2. Bath 1
3. Bristol 1
4. UWE 1
5. Plymouth 1
6. Exeter 2
7. Southampton 1
8. Bristol 2

Exeter have done one better than last year and toppled Bath in the final to complete an undefeated weekend and take the first Division 1 spot. Exeter have always been at the top end of this tournament with wins in 2015 and 2016, they’ll be overjoyed to add this one to their collection. Bath had a strong weekend, but it wasn’t enough to take home a trophy. Exeter found a run of form in the final, thanks to some clutch grabs and big blocks, and were one point up at the hooter. Bath had one possession to take the game to universe point, but a miscommunication left them looking onto the game-to-go (to Division 1) against Bristol.

Coming third was Bristol, they held seed through the groups but couldn’t get past Bath 1 in the semi-final. This game saw both teams up at various stages throughout the game, but Bath took the game by 2 points. The game-to-go to Division 1 was almost a carbon copy of their earlier foray. Bristol lost only to Bath 1 all weekend; however twice is one time too many for a spot in Division 1 and Bristol take the first Division 2 spot. Taking the final Division 2 spot was UWE, with their trademark zone and polytechnic flair, they saw off almost everyone they faced. UWE continue their recent trend of qualifying for Nationals, there could be big things on the horizon for them.

Plymouth 1 missed out after losing the game to go against UWE. Plymouth’s new style of handler weave seems to have served them well this year, which helped them see off Southampton in the quarterfinals. But Plymouth falls just shy of qualifying for Nationals this time round. Southampton finished seventh for the second year in a row despite starting out seeded third.

Dream Line: me.

The South East – Sussex are back!
Writer: Hazard

1. Sussex 1
2. Surrey 1
3. Chichester
4. Oxford 1
5. Reading 1
6. Oxford 2
7. Brighton
8. Sussex 2

Last year, Reading won the region, with Surrey coming second and Oxford 1 rounding off the Division 1 teams. Brighton claimed a strong forth, and Sussex beat Oxford 2 in the game to go to Division 2 Nationals. Chichester and Portsmouth rounded off the top 8.

Woking hasn’t really been known for much since it got itself a mention in the Domesday Book in 1086, but now it can be known as the place where SEUXIR 2019 occurred and some teams made Nationals and some didn’t. A lot of teams had suffered graduations since last year, and so the seedings seemed a lot more volatile this year than in previous years.
Oxford had claimed initial top seed, likely by dint of being the only team to make the journey up to St. Andrew’s for UXON in the previous season. Starting out, there were quite a few upsets: Chichester beat Oxford 1 and drew with Sussex 1; bottom seed Sussex 2 finished top eight after beating Oxford Brookes and Kent; and last year’s winners Reading only narrowly made top 8 themselves, despite being ran close by Surrey 2. Also, Oxford 2 initially made top 4 after beating Brighton in the first game on Sunday.

On Sunday, things began to settle a bit more. Sussex continued to play big plays. They got the title. Surrey did whatever they do because in three years I’ve not played them and I’m starting to think it’s personal. They got second. Chichester showed a marked improvement from last year and used a combination of hard defence and overheads to take third and the final Division 1 spot. Oxford 1 fairly handily made their way up the rankings (including beating their second team) but couldn’t finish the job as Chichester dispatched them for a second time in the game-to-go to Division 1. Reading finally started to gel to fight their way up the rankings, beat Brighton on the second time of asking, and eked out a sudden-death win against Oxford 2 to win the game-to-go to Division 2, despite throwing a callahan in the dying embers of the game.

Dream line (3 men / 3 women): Charlie Butt (Sussex), Ben Peppiatt (Reading), Jonah Varney (Surrey), Molly White (Brighton), Vicki James (Chichester), Camilla Spearing (Surrey)

There you have it, Regionals in a (fairly large) nutshell. Many surprising differences compared to last year, a testament to how closely fought the tournaments are but what do you think? Is it the amount of graduating players or the development of Ultimate in general? All that’s left is to wish everyone luck for Nationals, when we will all descend to the Midlands to battle it out to win our respective divisions.

What you missed at UMIR 2019...

Editor: Nic Another cold November morning, another Indoor Regionals. Men’s Regionals passed through the seven regions and although not ...