What Went Down At: UMON Division 3 2017/18

Chair/Editor: Clackers
Additional Editing: Hazard
Contributors: Slender (Sheffield), ali (Cambridge), Louise Webster (Stirling)

Headlines:
Cambridge make it 3 for 3 in Div. 3 for the Midlands region - is there anything stopping the Midlands?
Liverpool pip Sheffield out in an all-Northern semi-final/league grudge match
Bath 2 - what happened?
Were the groups fair? One group had all the second teams in.


Final Results:
1. Cambridge
2. Liverpool
3. Sheffield
4. Brighton
5. Stirling (Spirit)
6. St. Andrews 2
7. Cardiff
8. Chichester
9. Bath 2
10. Warwick 2

Clackers
Welcome to the Men's Div. 3 Nationals Chat! We'll start at the top with Cambridge. Losing to Liverpool in the group stages, and then able to get revenge when it counted, in the final. Ali, how pleased are the Men's team on winning the title?

ali
The men were very pleased, obviously, after a loss to Liverpool in the pool stages they were a little trepidatious going into the final, especially since the game was so close. But they pulled out the stops when it mattered and made some big plays. Most of the resting happened on Saturday in some of their less challenging pool games (not sure if that includes Liverpool) - they had a big team and quite a few players graduating next year, so they wanted to make sure the second years got as much pitch time as possible.

Slender
Word on the grapevine was Cambridge rested players in their group match with Liverpool in preparation for later rounds.

Clackers
I believe James "JR" Richardson was only playing at most a couple of points in each group game to save his dodgy legs.

ali
JR, Jonny Slaughter, and Adam Borchert (Canadian pickup) were all hanging around on the sideline a lot.

Clackers
Rumour has it (aka Word of God/Tejas) that Cambridge were playing clam in most of their games. Did this relatively unused zone trip up their opponents.

ali
Clam was very effective - teams tended to be turning over on swings a lot, or forcing shots through the middle that were easily 'D'ed. Force middle can be a tricky one to handle against if you've not come up against it before.

Clackers
I was surprised to learn they were using it, as far as I know it hasn't been utilised since I was there, but any zone that is new to teams is bound to trip some teams up.


Cambridge were seeking to trip teams up this weekend.
Photo by Sam Mouat for the ShowGame

Clackers
Liverpool were a force to be reckoned with, far exceeding my prediction of them (which they have been mercilessly hounding with me since), and even defeating Sheffield, who came in as a definite gold medal contender. Slender, did Liverpool surprise you? It must be disheartening losing such a vital game.

Slender
Not particularly. They have a relatively solid squad and Siôn Regan. We beat them in the league in some of the mildest conditions I've ever played in. At the wind farm it was a completely different story and their throwing experience really showed and comfortably beat our athletic and keen (But not very good at throwing) team.

Obviously it was quite hard to lose such a season-defining game, we came in aiming for gold and then didn't get it. We rallied for our last game though only for Chris Bamford to come over and break our hearts a second time by telling us Div. 3 don't get bronze medals.

Clackers
Siôn may have been the turning point Liverpool needed. He didn't play Saturday, and to have him fresh for their first Sunday game vs Cambridge helped tremendously. Maybe if he was there Saturday, Liverpool could have topped their group defeating Stirling. Do you think that if things had panned out differently, would you have been able to beat Cambridge?

Slender
Narr not really, they're a team like Liverpool: experienced and good at throwing. Self-written narrative can only take a team so far.

hazard
I think lack of experience against tough teams is a real issue when you're in Div. 3. Some of the Cambridge guys (who were perhaps being polite) said the varsity vs Oxford was probably their most important game, in terms of preparation for Nationals.

Clackers
How was Sheffield's tournament generally?

Slender
I can't speak for all the team and not winning it probably skews my perspective a bit but I thought it was a pretty rubbish tournament. A few people in the organising committee have apologised but we only played 2 first teams all weekend. The majority of our games were non-events and I'm not too sure what our freshers and less experienced players will have taken from those games. I'd like to see a bit more common sense prevail next year to be honest, I don't care about regional re-matches if it means we get decent and challenging games. And yeah, hazard, there is definitely a lack of parity at Div. 3, mostly due to experience.


Sheffield brought some intensity this weekend.
Photo by Alberto Rossi for the ShowGame.

Clackers
This might bring us to the next point - Bath 2. They were seeded second in Sheffield's group, and they did not have the best weekend. Considering Bath 1 won the tournament, did people expect Bath 2 to show promise? Also, that contributes to the lack of group strength in group K. Watching their games they just seemed to have trouble keeping hold of the disc.

Slender
I thought Bath 2 would be a bit better than they were. I don't know how Bath selected their 1st team so potentially the best players on that team during the league season might have been moved up for Nationals. 2nd teams' final position can also vary massively regardless of actual ability though. It only takes a match where you challenge a much better team to give you a lot of confidence and momentum for later in the tournament. Yeah they were very athletic but gave us the disc back quite a lot, they didn't have anyone who could punt it upwind as well so we just smothered them on unders. I was very impressed with Saints 2's technical ability, can definitely tell Benji has been coaching them.

Clackers
St Andrews definitely performed well, beating the other two second teams. Brighton also performed well at the weekend, against Cambridge in their semi-final it took the better part of 40 minutes for Cambridge to secure an upwind break, and Cambridge are known for the ability to throw through a zone. Brighton were also Sheffield's closest match in the group. I saw that they were a very athletic team, much like Sheffield - they definitely deserved top 4.

Slender
They were good, a few had Brighton City tops on so hopefully the club is providing support. They might have done better using their entire team though. A few players were never passed the disc allowing us to poach off and stop their good deep game. The semi against Cambridge seemed to take it out of them a bit as we crushed them in the rematch in the final game though.

hazard
It says a lot that Brighton have thrice qualified for Nationals out of a difficult South East league. But also that neither Brighton not Chichester (who are in the same league) got promoted. In the North, Midlands and West, if you make Nationals, you're also likely to have been promoted.


Brighton were able to get round Bath 2 fairly easily.
Photo by Alberto Rossi for the ShowGame
Clackers
Most, if not all, of the South Eastern teams that qualify from the cup come from the same league, 2A. That's such a tough league, and there tends to be a relegated team from 1A that joins them as well.

Clackers
Stirling may have been a bit unlucky losing out in the three way tie in their group, and then a really tense crossover against Brighton. Louise Webster do you know how they feel about the weekend?

Louise Webster
Stirling did pretty well as they lost one of their more experienced players to a hamstring tear and there were five freshers who have come on even more. I've never seen them play as well as they did at the weekend. The team were very pleased with winning spirit. The boys weren't that happy about the schedule as it messed them up a bit. They pushed hard the whole weekend and had some very tough games but they were happy about how well they came together in the first game.

Clackers
During the Brighton crossover I saw that being a few points down was getting to the Stirling players, and they had a habit of trying to rush a score. If Cambridge had beaten Liverpool in the group, Stirling would have crossed over with St Andrews 2, a team they beat quite comfortably in the end in the 5-6 final.

Louise Webster
I completely agree Stirling struggle with mentality at points and sometimes get ahead of themselves and try to rush things.

hazard
Well done on spirit though!

Louise Webster
The boys are very proud of that.

Clackers
Yeah throughout the weekend Stirling I saw were really well spirited, and probably with the best chants in the division.

hazard
Oh, you can't just tease that. What were the chants?

Louise Webster
The main chant before a point was 'Ryan's hammy, Ryan's Ryan's hammy' this started after the first game, as Ryan Hill tore his hamstring after the first game playing macline.

hazard
No such thing as a stupid game of macline.

Clackers
Moving to the bottom of the division, Cardiff had a tough Saturday, but turned it around on the Sunday to beat Bath 2 and Chichester (in universe), the latter whom they lost to on the Saturday. Warwick 2 were generally quite unlucky the whole weekend, they were quite fortunate with their cup progression in the strong Midlands region, perhaps suffering a similar curse to Bath during the weekend.

Slender
I think Cardiff probably suffered a bit from being in the harder pool, their tournament would be a been very different I feel had they been in ours.

Clackers
Any thoughts on how the schedule could be improved in the future?

Slender
It's always difficult, especially with roster changes between years but with only 10 teams in it maybe a more subjective system could be used. Split the 2nd teams evenly if there is an abundance of them, don't stick them all in the same group. I don't know about other people but I couldn't care less about regional rematches when there is only 1 other team from your region there. *grumble grumble*

Clackers
Ok thanks everyone, do you have a starting 7?

Slender
Siôn Regan, Fraser MacDonald, Ben Alba, Ricardo Fungairino, myself ('cos journalistic integrity), and any two of the Cambridge squad (tbh you could make a case for an entire Cambridge line, put together they've been playing for almost a thousand years surely).

Clackers
Mine would be: James Richardson (Cambridge), Will Carter (Liverpool), Siôn Regan (Liverpool), Fraser Macdonald (Stirling), Ricardo Fungairino (Brighton), Max Larkinson (Sheffield) and Tejas Guruswamy (Cambridge).

The Cambridge guys certainly have been around forever though... Tejas taught me how to throw a disc!

No comments:

Post a Comment

What Went Down at: UXIN Div 1 2018

Chair/Editor: Alun P Contributors: Rush (Scotland), hazard (Oxford), Slender (Sheffield), Axel (UCL, ex-Glasgow), geegee (Birmingham) ...