What Went Down At: Mixed Tour 1 2018

Main Chair/Editor: hazard (Reading A)
Additional Editing/Contributor: ali (Cambridge 1)
Contributors: geegee (Reading 1), callum.spiers (SMOKE), Dom Norton (Deep Space), Alice Hanton (JR), gyanhan (Birmingham), hogi (Thundering Herd)
Additional Contributions*: Black Eagles Captains, Tiger (Guildford President), George Hudson (JR), Sean Meaney (Brixton)
*These people could not see the chat, but were kind enough to give us quotes

tSG preview


Headlines
Mighty Hucks finally don’t finish 5th - they destroy their quarter and semi, but fall short to Reading A in the final
Black Eagles fall from their perch atop Tour after being beaten in a semi-final
Cambridge, Birmingham and Thundering Herd both had their best Tours in a long time
Deep Space, JR, and Reading 1 probably the most notable absences from the top 8
SMOG and Reading both split into two development squads - and it seems to pay off

Top 17 Final Placement
1. Reading A
2. Mighty Hucks
3. SMOKE
4. Flat Perth
5. Black Eagles
6. Cambridge 1
7. Thundering Herd 1
8. MIST
9. TBC
10. Reading Ultimate 1
11. JR
12. Deep Space
13. Birmingham
14. Guildford
15. EX
16. Manchester Mixed
17. SMOG 2 


hazard
Welcome to the first post-Tour chat of the season! And we start with a great one. Only a week after snow called off UXON early, we were blessed with some great weather and some fantastic Ultimate down in Cardiff. Starting at the top, we found two teams who started in the same pool - Mighty Hucks and Reading A.


I want to begin with Mighty Hucks. After a decent Tour season last year which saw them consistently finish 5th, it was great to see them crack the top four in emphatic fashion, claiming second place with dominant quarter-final  and semi-final wins (15-4 vs MIST and 11-5 vs SMOKE respectively). Did we see any differences between this year and last year?


geegee
There has definitely been a shift. Hucks pride themselves on aggressive defence to help them win games but have often fallen short when it comes to offence. Captain Ben Bruin has identified this and really pushed for better cohesion within the squad despite varying the players year to year, and definitely living up to the Mighty Hucks name with incredible long shots! Speaking to some of the squad, they said they gelled well against zones to move the disc towards the endzone, and brought their own zones into play, breaking down anything they could. They are very proud and happy to have progressed this much for Tour this year.


callum.spiers
Mighty Hucks look strong this Tour season, especially with the addition of Ben Burak amongst others. If they bring that much talent to every Tour, it'll be hard to keep them out of the semifinals.


hazard
My personal view is that they seemed to be using the depth of their squad much better this year. Sure, Rollo Sax Dixon was still a dominant long threat - but we actually had to keep an eye on their whole squad this time, as everyone was a potential target. A bit of a change from previous years, where a stall count of nine meant you knew where the disc was going.
Also, picking up Sarah Harrison and David Sparks for a weekend wasn’t going to hurt them. Sarah in particular was strong at the back. Do you know if they’ll be changing the line-up a lot for the next couple Tours, or is it going to be a fairly consistent squad?


geegee
The squad should be fairly consistent as far as I’m aware. They also lose Ben Burak for Tour 3, but they will have some extra pick-ups along the way!


Dom Norton
I would definitely echo what Geegee said, Hucks brought the same great defence from last season but seemed to have much more cohesion on offence. While the deep shots were very effective, it was patient shortfield play that extended their possession.
We (Deep Space) knew they'd be looking deep and we were happy with how we were able to take those options away early in the point but found it difficult to also challenge the shorter throws. They played a great game against us - it was one of those games where we felt we were close in play but they just pulled away in terms of actually scoring points.


Ben Burak was a welcome addition to Hucks this weekend
Photo by Sam Mouat for the ShowGame
hazard
Sweet. Let’s move onto Reading A (we’ll talk about Reading overall later in chat). Claiming a Tour 1 title, and Reading’s second ever Tour victory - the first being at the notoriously windy Cardiff 2015 Tour. Reading split into two squads, and the ‘A’ team may have looked a bit different to Reading teams of the past. I was playing on this team, so I’m going to open up for any comments before I add my thoughts, to prevent myself from monologuing, except to add that the teams were supposed to be balanced between A and 1 (although I definitely claim any team with Ania Godbold should receive a minimum ranking of 5th).


Alice Hanton
I only saw a bit of their game against Flat Perth, but the team looked very strong. As for Reading, I was surprised to see both teams seeded fairly low to start with, but Reading A smashed it.


Dom Norton
Reading are obviously a great club and have been for a few years now. Last season, however, we sometimes felt we were beaten by individuals doing great things, rather than the whole team playing well top to bottom. The thing that most impressed me about Reading A was that they played a pretty complete game without any of their top players (I won't bore you all by naming names) doing anything outrageous. Particularly with development players in their ranks, I was impressed how well they used their whole squad.


hazard
Reading A had a bit of a fun Tournament overall. Mighty Hucks took us to sudden death first game, and the Deep Space pushed us hard in the pool. Enough so that we were shattered by our final game, when Guildford beat us (and, tiredness aside, deservedly so, they played some lovely Ultimate and deserved the win).


This followed tough games against Herd and Flat Perth, before victory against Hucks in the final,when I think their small squad size had finally hit them hard. But Reading A was a quick, athletic team. We had some strong handlers (Sam Gunbie is known to many), and some really good receivers (like Rachel Naden). Also, fair play to those development players who came and played their hearts out for the squad. Emily Peach played only her second ever Tour, and so has a 50% rate of winning Tour! I think everyone on the team handled, and everyone was a cutter at some point. We learnt loads, and I was so impressed at how strong we played, particularly with injuries to Ben Withers and Andy Mitchell (arguably two of our strongest male players) early on.


Rachel Naden is a good option to have on the end of your discs.
Photo by Sam Mouat for the ShowGame


Alice Hanton
It's great that Reading included development players on the squad. In the run up to WUCC I imagine it's tempting to isolate the Worlds squad, but good to see the focus on long term development, of which they'll reap the rewards in future years (and Worlds cycles!).


Also, Guildford pushed us (JR) pretty hard too, they were looking good


hazard
As an extra point for Guildford, their president Tiger gave me this quote:
Guildford Ultimate have made some changes this season, bringing in new coaches, some new strategy and some new additions to their squad (though the core is made up of players from recent years). The aim is to build a Mixed-focused club with the eventual aim of consistently competing right at the top of the Mixed division. Cardiff gave us a great chance to test this out against proper opposition and we learnt a lot from it. We have shown that we can go blow for blow with the big boys/girls, beating eventual winners Reading A by a couple of points in a great contest during pool play. However, the weekend’s losses are a sign that we still have a good way to go yet in terms of consistency.


hazard
Moving on to what I think is the next biggest story of Tour - Black Eagles didn’t win! After being so, so dominant last year, it says a lot that a 5th place finish can be considered a disappointment. I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this.


geegee
Looking at last year, Black Eagles had two teams with a lot of incredibly strong players across Scotland, and they won everything because they were just unstoppable. They’ve narrowed down their WUCC squad concentrating that power to one squad, but this weekend they were not at full strength and that was evident. They were certainly missing a few players over the weekend, which seemed to weaken them (Cardiff is a long way to travel for a Scottish team so that is just understandable really). I don’t think this is going to knock them at all.


callum.spiers
It looks like Black Eagles are focusing on their processes, trying things out and getting used to playing in a big squad. I don't think they'll be overly concerned with their finishing place.


hazard
I think the fact Bleagles won’t be fazed much seems fair. The Black Eagles captains were refreshingly blunt, saying: Not much to say just personal errors cost us. We were below par, will come back stronger next Tour.


Dom Norton
Can't really comment on Black Eagles' play this weekend but I think the result (and others this weekend) is a testament to how much strength and depth there is now in Mixed Tour. Even strong clubs like Black Eagles are going to struggle to win when they're missing top players.


hazard
I would definitely agree with that. Sometimes Tour 1 contains some really lopsided games, due to the schedule being much more open (top 20 sorted into 4 pools, as opposed to top 8 into 2). This time we had one lopsided game all Tour, and that was against a team (Black Sheep) who admitted they’d suffered a big roster loss.


Dom Norton
The short games contribute to that as well, once you go down by a few breaks there's no time to recover. It forces you to play more aggressively when down, which isn't normally the case outdoors.


hazard
I’m actually going to continue this theme before going back to talk about this Tour’s winners, and talk about three teams which were noticeably absent from the top 8 - Reading 1, Deep Space, and JR. All top 8 last year and established Mixed teams. So, what happened?


Alice Hanton
Without the prospect of Worlds qualification that drove us last season, JR are taking a bit of a rest year. We still had a strong squad, but didn't put ourselves under too much pressure. In the pool we had wins against EX and Cosmic Manatees which felt reasonably comfortable. Our first loss was to Thundering Herd, who we last saw at 2017 Regionals in a very hotly contested game that JR won. This weekend some of the team will be frustrated to have lost to them, but Herd played very well and I was impressed to see how high up they finished. I look forward to seeing how they do in the rest of the season. We lost to MIST in sudden death, but were very pleased with our performance in that game, and to have done so well against a Worlds team! On Sunday we only lost to TBC who were a very strong squad; I was surprised to see them in the 9-12 bracket. It's worth noting that in our final two games we were left with only four women (two others had to fly back to Norway!) which was a challenge, but we're all proud of how they (/we!) played despite that! On a different day our losses in the pool may have gone the other way, but overall the team's happy with our performance. Sadly we aren't entering MT2, but will be back for MT3!


Dom Norton
Probably my favourite game Deep Space have played yet was against JR (even though I wasn't actually playing). You could see they were super chilled and it translated into smooth play. When we've played JR previously we've been able to go on big D rolls when they got frustrated, but that wasn't the case this weekend.


hazard
I’ve also received this message from one George Hudson, which he asked me to add to the chat:
The stand out positive of MT1 for us (JR) was seeing players like Alice Hanton and Harry Miles take on bigger roles within the team with massive success. Alice Hanton receiving undisputed MVP.


JR may be taking a rest year, but they'll still be up there with the top dogs.
Photo by Ed Hanton for the ShowGame


Dom Norton
Similar to last season, Deep Space are treating Mixed Tour as our 'pre-season' and we are therefore focusing on processes rather than results. While winning is obviously fun, we made the decision before the weekend started to stick to the things we wanted to practice and not make lots of in-game adjustments, as we would at Regionals/Nationals. We have lots of competitive players in our club, who are used to winning a lot, so we were hugely proud of how much everyone bought into those team goals and stayed fantastically positive despite less than desirable game results. A lot of our mistakes, particularly those that gave away shortfield turnovers, resulted from players trying to play within the systems and make good decisions, and that's great to see at this stage in the season. We're confident we can build from this foundation and compete at the highest level as the season goes on.


Alice Hanton
We (JR) enjoyed playing Deep Space again (after matching up a few times last season) to end the Tournament. Shoutout to their excellent Spirit!!


geegee
Echoing Alice’s point, we loved playing against Deep Space. It was a super fun game for the whole team and we’re looking forward to seeing them again throughout the season!


hazard
It was actually my first time getting to play against Deep Space. I’ve seen them around a fair bit (enough to have figured out that all their chants are space-themed), but it was enjoyable to actually get a chance to share a pitch with them. I still claim their roster is one of the strongest in Tour.


Alice Hanton
Agreed, Deep Space's roster is super strong!! They'll only improve as the season goes on.


geegee
For Reading 1, we were intended as an even split team with Reading A, and had some incredible games. Took half against Black Eagles only losing 10-8, won our next three games in pool play. Flat Perth causing an upset against Black Eagles meant that we had to beat FP by 2 points to remain in the top 8. We only beat them by one so it was a hollow victory, and we dropped to the lower bracket. A lot of connections grew and developed, boding well for the next Reading teams going up to Durham in a few weeks.


hazard
@geegee, any comments on only managing 10th? I was surprised to see TBC victorious in the 9-16 bracket, they seemed a bit of a mishmash of players to me.


geegee
TBC was our last game of the weekend, and one that was immediately after an intense and draining matchup against Deep Space. We put so much energy and focus in to the previous match, that we had less than we wanted to give to a much more focussed TBC opposition.


hazard
Ok. Let’s move on to one of the big success stories of the weekend - SMOG. Two teams in top 8 (SMOKE and MIST), and SMOG 2 were undefeated, climbing from 24th to 17th. @callum.spiers, fairly happy with how the weekend went?


callum.spiers
SMOG teams were blighted by last minute dropouts - two players got hurt in a car crash the previous week, we had some injuries, some family reasons; you name it, it happened to our players. This meant we had some last minute shuffling of our teams, promoting some second team players onto the split Worlds teams, shuffling across split Worlds teams and finding some last minute Mixeds for the second team.


SMOG 2 went undefeated all weekend, winning plate (17th)! A lot of potential on that team, predominantly from northern universities, definitely one to watch.


Like Deep Space, the SWOG (SMOG Worlds) teams are focusing on our processes rather than results. We're trying out some new things this year, with some new people and it's going well!
Both of our teams grew a lot over the weekend but were both ultimately hurt by our aforementioned lack of legs. Mixed Tour 2 will see some new teams (possibly even a SMOG 3...) and those new combinations are an exciting prospect!


As I've already said, process not podium - we aren't too fussed about where we finish, it's about how we get there.


hazard
Did you originally plan to have any non-Worlds players on the top two squads? And will you keep having some non-SWOG players in the top teams for MT2 (car crashes aside)?


callum.spiers
Last year, we enforced rotation between the 1st and 2nd team, guaranteeing at least one player would move up and down each Tour. This year, we don't have that rule as we're preparing for Worlds. We did plan to have a couple of people on the first teams. At MT2, I wouldn't expect to see as many 2nds on the SWOG teams (we had 3 on MIST and 2 on SMOKE).


hazard
Interesting. As a comparison, Reading had at least seven non-Reading WUCC players (Andy Hillman is going with Clapham) in our squads. Will be interesting to see the results of the two approaches.


SMOG were on the Hunt for victory (within the overall scheme of development and progress) this weekend.
Photo by Alice Hanton for the ShowGame


This seems like a natural point to turn to the ShowGame preview article, which had a particular focus on how clubs have changed the Mixed scene in the UK over the past four years.  Do we think the days of the strong pick-up team dominating Tour are over? And how do we think this has changed the way a new player might see the Mixed scene?


Dom Norton
I think it depends hugely whether you're talking about 'Tour' or 'Mixed in the UK'.


hazard
Feel free to elaborate, with whichever way would suit your point. Four years ago, I played Mixed with DED - and we weren’t much more than a pick up team (we had to go round names at every Tour). Yet we finished third at Nationals, and high at most Tours - with RGS (another pick-up team) being the top team at Tour. As such, I didn’t see a distinction.


Alice Hanton
I do feel there were fewer calls from teams for pick-up women this year, although that is purely anecdotal. From a uni/new player perspective, Mixed Tour can be a good introduction to club frisbee, and it hasn't normally been difficult to find a low-level team for new players (especially women). So if there is a shift away from pick-ups, then new players may find it harder to break into the club scene. However if it means that clubs are focusing on developing their own players that will stick with them, rather than pick ups who move on after a season, it’s probably better for development in the long term. The club focus represents Mixed being taken as seriously as Open and Women's, which is ultimately a good thing.


Dom Norton
I think that pick-up teams will always have some success at Tour if the Mixed Tours continue to be so early in the season. With Nationals in August, most Mixed teams aren't going to do selections and start training until Feb/March which means you're inevitably going to have a lack of cohesion by Mixed Tour 1 in particular. By contrast, pickup teams tend to be made up of a few different sets of players who have played together a lot and will therefore already have those connections. Also, teams who are less trying to stick to specific systems will likely be more high-risk,high-reward Ultimate, which pays off early in the season when other teams haven’t yet built connections.


hazard
Dom/anyone, do you see any potential solution to that? (e.g. Interleaving Mixed with Open/Women's Tours, switching which Tours are first, etc.)


gyanhan
Interweaving them sounds like a nice idea, can't think of any reasons against that right now.


Dom Norton
I think it depends what you want to achieve. If we want to achieve better Mixed clubs who do better on the world stage, then I'd suggest aligning the Mixed Tours with Women's/Open. If we want pure participation then it’s probably better as it is right now, but not as participation continues to grow. In the long term I think it'd be better all round to have Mixed aligned with the other Tours because it shortens the season and would allow for the development of spring league etc. locally where top players play with local teams and support development (not dissimilar to the U.S.).


geegee
To be honest, pick-up teams doesn’t feel like something that needs a solution. It can cause upsets, like Flat Perth has done, but it provides players from Open and Womens teams an opportunity to play some high quality Mixed, and allows for Mixed teams to become exposed to different opposition. Playing SMOG, Deep Space, or Black Eagles over and over again can often become predictable and easy (saying that very loosely, not saying they’re easy teams), so pick-up teams gives another level of competition like we would see at WUCC.


ali
Flat Perth did pretty well and they're basically a pick-up team. Will be interested to see whether they enter Tours 2 & 3 though.


Alice Hanton
How much of Flat Perth were in the U24 Mixed team?


ali
Honestly I don't think any of Flat Perth were on the Mixed team?


geegee
There were only two U24 Mixed (Bea Perks and Vix Willby).


Alice Hanton
Oh my bad, thought it was derived from that team.


ali
None of the guys were.


geegee
It was intended as an U24 Mixed “reunion” team - just a bit of fun; that fell through when we all had other teams to commit to.


hazard
Ok, let’s round off by focusing on two long-term club teams that returned to strength this weekend - Cambridge and Thundering Herd. Four years ago, Cambridge sent four teams to Tour, but struggled to recover after their Worlds cycle. Herd have been consistently sending two teams to every Tour, but took until Regionals to click last year (missing out on Nationals by the narrowest of margins). @ali, care to take us through Cambridge’s weekend?


ali
CUlt is obviously a long way from its glory days of beating Bear Cav and making quarters at WUCC in 2014, but we certainly showed that people shouldn't underestimate us. We did have a bit of a nightmare on Saturday with a three-way tie, a misreported score, and a 1 point difference squeaking us into the top 8. We had a great game against TBC and then a crushing 2 point loss to SMOKE that we felt could have gone either way. We hadn't really recovered by the time we came to play Brum and I think our lack of energy gave them the edge over us.


Sunday was similar, we had an incredibly hard fought game against Flat Perth that we just couldn't quite clinch a win in. Close game against Herd and then got somewhat 'boshed' (as Tom White would put it) by Black Eagles' deep game. Great result for our first Tour considering we hadn't trained together much :)


hazard
Do you think there’s anything particularly behind Cambridge’s big rise this year? And do you think you can make top 8 again (or even top 4) at MT2?


ali
I don't particularly know how the squad looked last year, but having the two power couples (out of five on the squad) of Tom White/Tessa Bertozzi on the upwind and Samantha Fisk/Christian Turvill on the downwind certainly gives firepower to a team. Benefit of another year of experience for the uni players as well. Maybe it's the couples chemistry, who knows ;)


Cambridge rose back up the rankings again this year.
Photo by Alice Hanton for the ShowGame

hazard
Ok, let's move onto Herd. I will say it was definitely a tough game for us, I think a couple missed Herd connections on hucks may have swung the game in our favour, the margins were so narrow.


hogi
The 2018 Thundering Herd squad is a very different one to last year. Of the 50ish players on our squad this year, 22 or so are new or returning players after a few years away from the game. We’ve fairly revamped all of our tactics and our playing style is significantly different to last year, which means that everyone started from the same place in January; this has so far been of great benefit to us because it meant our new players weren’t at a disadvantage when trying to gel with the old cows. Prior to Tour, we had weekly trainings, one training weekend away, and had only played 2 games in our Tour teams against Deep Space and Guildford, in what we’ve affectionately called the Clapham Cup (we even had a trophy - £4 from Tiger, bargain). With a relatively small squad for that day of games, we gelled a little but really our main gelling happened in our first day at Tour.


Both teams started very slow as we got used to playing together and had to claw back from early deficits to make our opening games competitive. TH1 ended the weekend in 7th place, with 2 point losses to MIST, Cambridge and Reading A (eventual winners), but the highlights were our 7 point revenge win vs MIST in the 7-8 game, and beating JR on Day 1 who previously have been the thorn in our paw (or hoof as it were).


TH2 went 6-0 down in their first game before taking half 8-7. They would eventually lose that game, meaning they were arguably stuck in a bracket they were better than. Their next very competitive game came at the end of the weekend vs Bristol, which they lost, finishing 26th overall. Bristol had suffered from the bad end of a 3-way tie and arguably could have punched above that bracket too.


Both Herd teams definitely learnt a lot from MT1 and that was our main goal for the weekend so it was a successful first (and a half) outing of 2018. I thought I’d mention the Spirit that each of our (TH1’s) opponents played with this weekend. You can see from our three 2 point losses (and our comeback, universe point win vs Exeter) that we had some really close games. It’s awesome to see how competitive the games are this early in the season, and there were very few contentious moments all weekend. The level of respect and communication was brilliant; I’d go out on a limb to say that I’ve rarely seen so many retracted or uncontested calls in a weekend after the initial discussion would lend itself to a contest.


callum.spiers
Thundering Herd look they want to trouble the top 8 again. They had some teething issues, but the leadership looks focused and determined to get back to winning ways.


gyanhan
From what I know of Herd they have a large team, 10 women made the first team, not sure if all 10 went for Tour 1 but having plenty of fresh legs certainly would've helped.


Alice Hanton
I agree with Callum that Herd appear to be very focused this season.


hazard
Alright. Final mention is to Birmingham. They come out the rough way of a three-way tie between them, Cambridge and TBC, and lost a close quarter, but showed enough grit to finish Sunday. I want to hear about how they did.


gyanhan
Birmingham had a decent weekend and came out worst in a three-way tie in the pool, beating Cambridge 1 in an exciting and very close game, but losing to TBC who had a style of play we found tricky to stop; they had the more clinical game. We gave SMOKE a good first game of the weekend (13-8 doesn’t reflect how close the game really felt), we were trading till sixes before they took half and rattled off a couple more breaks. We had a tough cross on Sunday against Reading 1, who had also come off worst in their three-way tie. We lost 13-10 but it was a cracking game, each team traded sets of upwind/downwind breaks, and we were in the lead several times and could possibly even have won the game. Despite the loss we were happy with how well we had played against a team going to Worlds. We then proceeded to win the next two games against EX and Guildford to finish the tournament 13th. All in all a decent finish for a team that hadn’t really trained much or played together before at all, in fact three of us were new to the team, but we managed to gel together quickly over the weekend and played some good quality frisbee. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with them :)


hazard
Ok. Ending with predictions for Tour 2. Who will make up the top four? Any teams further down we see rising up the ranks even more?


gyanhan
I would back Mighty Hucks to do similarly well, especially if there's not much change in roster. They had five women over the weekend, that's insane! Props to their women for working hard over both days!


gyanhan
Glasgow will be the ones to watch, they didn't go to Cardiff but will be possible top 8 challengers in Durham, from what I remember of last Mixed Tour season...


Dom Norton
No real comment on predictions for MT2. You can guarantee two things: it's going to be competitive and it's going to be North.


geegee
Guildford probably won’t have so many players going up to Durham, so I’m unsure how they will do. But I was super impressed with their performance at Tour 1, they’ve grown so much as a squad under new coaching, but have held onto the same core group of friends playing together.
Glasgow will definitely bring their all, especially after missing out on Tour 1.


Alice Hanton
From what I've heard, Hucks may have some different women in Durham (but retaining one or two from MT1).


hazard
From this weekend, SMOKE looked to be the stronger SMOG team, so I’d back them to be in the top 4. You’d have to back a Reading and Bleagles side to join them, as well as Glasgow (who don’t look to be splitting, unlike the other WUCC teams).


Rounding out the top 4, the other Bleagles and Reading team (boring, I know). Then Thundering Herd, and Cambridge. JR and TBC both dropped out, which evens it up a bit. Deep Space will likely end up fighting against the more restrictive MT2 pool structure, so I think the tough schedule would see them more likely to miss out (deja vu, Deep Space?). I definitely think whichever cross they end up in will be the one to watch though.


Alice Hanton
Yeah I'd back at least one Reading and Black Eagles team each to be in the top 4.


hogi
Glasgow to make some waves for sure. Thundering Herd will be down a few people from MT1 but that arguably makes us more dangerous if people underestimate our depth. Reading, Bleagles and SMOG to write the headlines though I'd say. Cambridge are without Big Tom White so will slip.


hazard
I want to end by highlighting a few of the success stories lower down Tour. GreyBH is a team of Mixed Masters players (age 30+ women and 33+ men) who will be representing the UK this Summer, so it was good to see them rise a monumental 15 seeds this weekend (35th->20th).


There's recently been a little bit of chat about a potential "six nations" style Tournament in the UK Ultimate Sofa Sideline group, with some of the focus on development for Wales and Northern Ireland. With that in mind, it was nice to see two Welsh teams representing home turf this weekend, especially the climb made by South Wales Storm 1 (42nd->34th).

Purple Cobras followed their fairly strong showing at Club Mixed Outdoor Regionals last year and reaffirmed their commitment to good-quality Mixed, rising from 29th->19th. A top favourite for winning Mixed Tour 2 South.


Finally, I want to turn my attention to (I believe) the final club that, alongside Reading and SMOG, entered every Tour in every division last year. Brixton have been continually developing behind the scenes, and keep striving to improve. Captain Sean Meaney sent me this: Brixton Ultimate had a very strong MT1, winning 5/7 games, climbing six seeds. Coming off the back of a good indoor season, Brixton have now got a really strong and committed core of both men and women, which should bode well for the rest of 2018, Mixed, Open and Women's Tours! #lovebrixton


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