Friday, July 16, 2010

WUCC DU Awards

In a true captain's performance Niall was the big winner when the voting took place in the run down stand on the side of a pitch with 2 crates of beer (courtesy of our raucous supporters!). He lead by example all week and was more than deserving of the two awards.

As for Sam, well it was testament to a player who's worked hard, made huge sacrifices and has shown that with enough determination you can make the step up if you really want. A great season's work - well done Sam.

MVP: Niall Harbourne
MIP:Sam Mehigan
SHRP: Niall Harbourne

In other news, here's some stats from the WUCC Website. A quick summary:
- We came 38th overall, of 48 teams
- We came joint 8th in the Spirit standings
- Derryk Boyd was involved in an impressive 37 scores
- Derryk Boyd & Mark Earley threw 24 scores
- Enda Naughton pipped Dave McAlester by one goal, scoring 20 goals
- Our biggest win was by 7 points
- Our heaviest defeat was by 10 points

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Full report coming soon...

Hey everyone.

A full run down on the last few games, some photos and a party report will follow soon. Some of us lucky ones are still holidaying around Europe so the blogs been on the back burner. We beat Redbacks, Fire and Mooncatchers (revenge!) but lost heavily to Cambo. The fact that they had over twice as many players might've played a part!  :)

In other news:
- New website ready to go soon
- Training details to be finalised shortly
- DU accessories in the pipeline!

For now, ciao!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Four wins and two losses!

The last three days of our week in Vienna were like a synopsis of the story of our week -  a mix of the excellent and the frustrating. At some points were gelled and were unstoppable and at other times we lacked intensity, looked tired and succumbed to teams no stronger than us.

Day Four
the Big EZ
The Big EZ hail from Vienna and are a team based around physicality, both on the mark and around the field, and aerial aggression. They were relatively unpredictable and had a decent, but not spectacular zone. We started slowly - an Achilles heel we were more than aware of - conceding a few points in a row with the offence not on form. There a few calls, a few cynical fouls and the atmosphere wasn't a particularly pleasant one. We clawed back into the game, losing a turnover-ridden point to concede half but then faded away. Again, a very disappointing result that hurt us. We'd worked hard and come away with nothing. Heads were down.

MVPs - Kev Timoney who got some big Ds and played assuredly when the rest of us lost it.  
- David McAlester scored a load of points and didn't run over - an asset to a misfiring offence!

The first of our two UK battles and one that meant a lot to us given the 2 defeats we'd been handed by the EMO boys on Tour. The difference in this game was that all 14 of us played the best defence we'd produced to date. We fronted the handlers and shut down long threats and whent he pressure came on perhaps their lack of team-ness caused them to crack. That said, they were brimming with talent and experience but we beaten by a team who wanted it more, worked harder and most importantly, shut the game out in style winning 4 D points on a row.

MVP - Mark Earley - lots of assists, few turns and some big forces causing turns allowed me sneak an MVP vote by a single vote.

Day Five
An Aussie outfit who had played little together, picked up a few players and were enjoying the trip Europe in every sense, the Redbacks had lost every game before meeting us and we weren't going to let them scalp us. We spoke about a strong opening half and we got it after the usual gentle start. The O line had ample space to put away all their goals and once the D line got going we won well. We leaked a few at the end of the game to put a slight gloss on the score from their point of view but a 7 point win was enjoyable all the same.

MVP - Kev Timoney - another display of good hands and simple throws. Brilliant on offence especially.

Fire Of London
We knew going on to the pitch that we were facing a team who had set their sights on much higher a finish than they achieved. They'd lost a couple of tight games against higher seeded teams and weren't happy about it. We'd played FoL 2 at Tour and won with ease but this was a different kettle of fish altogether. We started well and some smooth offence and feisty D got us fired up. Then came a 3 point swing which we worried might let them take the game from us but we replied and went in at half a point to the good. Nialler stirred the troops with some great battling words at half and we came out refreshed and determined. The heat was tough but we kept calm and won out by 3 points (I think) to record a great victory that we'll remember for some time.

MVP - Derryk Boyd - fired up, concentrated and all over the pitch (well, his face was anyway), Gags had a huge game when we needed big players to stand up and be counted.

Day Six
Revenge was the word on everyone's minds. We were fired up and they looked tired. From the opening 5 or 6 points it seemed to me like there was only going to be one winner and there was. The 1 point loss earlier in the week had really hurt us and despite losing a couple of players to injury (including Super who turned his ankle walking down some steps) we played well, getting turns with a strong front up and converting our offence despite having to mix the lines. A 6 or 7 point victory was just reward for a strong display. The tanks were close to empty though and the heat was relentless...

MVP - Enda Naughton - Reliable all week long, Enda was full of energy when we were all wilting. Got some huge grabs and threw a load of point winning passes.

Cambo Cakes
Everything went wrong in our last game of the week - we lost players before the warm up, we warmed up late and without intensity, we lost Perfect to a nasty clash of heads in the first few points and we suffered in the heat. Not to take away from a purposeful, hard-working and hard-running Cambo Cakes performance but I dont think we turned up at all. We fought, we huffed and we puffed, but we never really got any sort of a foothold in the game. Throws were overthrown, catches were dropped at chest height and we chased instead of anticipated.On a personal level, I found it really hard to finish the week like this. It wasn't anyone's fault - we were 14 players reduced to 10 by the end of the game! - and were playing a well drilled team with more than 20 players. It just hurt. We'll play them again next year no doubt, and if I'm there, this loss will be in the front of my mind stepping on to the pitch.

MVP - Podge who played brilliantly when we all crumbled around him. A rock on D and calm on O.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The monkeys off the back...

Yes, we won a game! And it was on my birthday. I'll post details tomorrow given we're up in 6hours time. Ugh! In more important news, Dom won the 'D*ck f the day award' and our MVPs today were the execellent Kev Timoney & David McAlester from Game One and the simply incredible Mark Earley from Game Two.

Me with my birthday cake (& candle) and presents (lollipop & porn!)

Big thanks to everyone following us! :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

DU go formal

Blue shirts, navy ties, biege slacks/chords and posh shoes (or at least most of us!). The style went down a treat with all and sundry.

News from elsewhere at WUCC

 So, with the busy schedule and supporting the 'wetsers' (read ladies!) I've not really had any time to update ye on anything other than our games. Needless to say the banters been non-stop with evenings of cards, flubberguts (quite a dangerous sport!), World Cup, show games (Clapham one was boring but Mavis did well) and much more. Five Ultimate have a massive tent with games etc at it and Kirby, an ex-Broc player is manning it - he says hello.

Ireland's Fergus Weldon playing for CU vs Euforia

Tonight we went formal and wore blue shirts, navy ties and biege trousers. It went doen well. We ran a race that was streamed live apparently and regardless of waht Dom says about him 'joke running' I didnt even come last! A personal highlight. Anyways, here's a few other photos.

The lads in the Five Ultimate tent
Early stages of Niall's lucky win in the suit & tie race

More tomorrow - hopefully with some good news!!

WUCC - Day Three

Day three began with us scheduled to play 2 games but after a lightning storm (!!) our day was shortened to just one game. The game that survived the mental weather was the opener - DU vs. Mor Ho! (Slovakia). We didn't know much about this team except that they, like us, had finished last in their original pool and were lower than us in terms of seedings. No doubt both teams were targeting the game after three losses.

Unfortunately we started slowly again. Well, it wasn't so much a slow start as some missed opportunities. Early in the game we had chances to convert blocks but our shot selection was off. We traded with ease until they put a zone on the offence. It took us a while to adapt and during that while we conceded maybe 4 points. We fought back but they closed out half 9-5. There wasn't anything between the two teams but their style of play - huck on sight - was reaping rewards despite the goals shots going up late and, generally speaking, being high risk throws. Their completion rate on 50-50s was huge. The second half saw the D line go on a run of sorts but we couldn't get a real hold in the game. Suddenly, the big black, threatening clouds opened and rain, lightening and thunder forced us all to abandon fields. The score was at 13-8.

                                                                 On O before the storm

                                                                          Derryk getting milled!

We regrouped under the shelter of the stadium and grouped together 'like King Penguins to conserve heat'. We laughed at the state of the weather and were informed that the following happens in a thunder & lightening scenario:
1. Abandon pitch
2. Wait 15mins to see if it passes over
3. If it passes over, go back onto the field and re-start the game
4. If not, the time re-starts and trickles away until the team winning wins
Luckily it sort of stopped and we got back out. We pumped ourselves up and got awrm in a gale. We were fired up and came out and scored 4 of the next 6 points. It wasnt enough though and despite getting turns, and scoring a huge upwinder, we found it hard to convert in the conditions and lost 17-14.


MVP: Enda Naughton
- big grabs, huge Ds and a calm head saw Enda get over half the teams votes. The best deep in Ireland? Without a doubt.

Another tough loss for the boys in blue but we'll be back tomorrow and we'll be hitting the field all guns blazing...

WUCC - Day Two

We went into the second day knowing we had a chance to improve our seeding by beating Mooncatchers -  a team Irish teams have a mixed history against. We were quietly confident and knew it'd be a close game, what we didn't know was just how close it would be in the end...

From the get-go the two teams were fired up and went hard at each other.  There were a fair few calls and both teams reacted with anger/frustration to them causing quite a feisty atmosphere, one we didn't expect but that calmed as the game went on. We started slowly with some uncharacteristic mistakes on offence. The personal error count grew and the first half looked to be slipping away from us. However, we dug deep and a tight zone began to reap rewards. Suddenly a 4 point deficit was chipped away until we took half 9-8. We had the upper hand and were converting all our breaks. The O line went out and did their job, putting the D line back in to continue the zonal dominance. At 11-8 we had the disc to go 4 points clear but two particularly close calls (both on the scoring pass/play) cost us our concentration and the point. 11-9 became 11-10 and it was game on again. We traded out until 14s (I think) when we went in on D knowing it was winner takes all. We were pulling into the wind and playing man and twice had the disc for the win but it wasn't to be. A very tough loss to take. Final score 14-15.

Super goes ho!

Dom on the force

MVP - Roger Beatty -  despite being absolutely smitten, Podger proved to be an asset throughout the game popping up with a point block when we were feeling the squeeze. His safe hands, huge D and an irrepressible mark on zone won him the majority of the votes. Attaboy!

DU & Mooncatchers

Monday, July 05, 2010

14 Usain Bolts...

WUCC - Day One

We knew from the first time we read the schedule that 15th seeds Phoenix (Ottawa) and 10th seeds Colony (Sydney) was going to be a tough start. We began against the Canadians at 8:30am, and began well - trading through the half and feeling solid. Their D wasn’t bothering our offence too much and we’d turned them in most of the D points. Their approach to the game in general was noticeably more physical, often over stepping the mark with late hits, discussion-free contests and some aggro sideline talk, but it didn’t really bother us. We took half 9-8 and were receiving the pull, confident and ready to take the game to them once more. However, the Phoenix team that turned up in the second half was a different beast entirely to that of the opening half – they were fired up, made some huge bids, rattled our O and shut down our reset entirely. Two quick turns and scores and the game was swinging their way. We made a few errors that proved costly and as our heads dropped their confidence grew. They closed out strongly to win 17-11.

MVP: Niall Harbourne - a few big layout blocks, some huge grabs and an all round star performance saw the cpatin take the honours in the first game.

                                           Derryk 'Jokes' Boyd in action vs. Phoenix

Unfortunately the Colony game was a much different affair. They bullied us around the mark and were strong and clever on defence. Their offence was aggressive and they used fast cuts from shallow to create space deep. We struggled to contain them on D and our O was constantly pressurised. A 4 point lead became a 6 point lead and despite a rally after half-time we never really got going in the game and ended up losing 17-7. It was a frustrating loss, but one dealt out to us rather than served up by us. The Aussies play a hard and fair game and we’ll be cheering them on in the latter stages. Here’s hoping they can cause some upsets and beat their seeding. I for one fancy them as quarter-finalists.

MVP: Dominick Smyth - seldom put a foot worng in a tough game for the O line and a lot of thankless hard work on D. Great perfromance.

Dom taking a grab vs. Colony
DU & Colony after the game

DU has landed!

So we’re finally here. Months of planning, training, saving and everything else for this week and it’s here. I flew in on Friday and the first thing to hit me was the heat – people had warned me but it still took me by surprise when I stepped off the plane. Us pale skinned Irish lads and girls are going to face a tough battle… We checked into the dorms (think Communist era high rise buildings with 2 people per room and 60 rooms a floor!), ditched our bags and went walking through Prague on Friday evening and the town was buzzing – lots of Ultimate players, tourists and a nice atmosphere. We wound up watching the World Cup game in the town square which was a great start to the week.

                               Prague City Centre                                  World Cup Fan Zone

Saturday was an early start for the WFDF Congress, an annual meeting for WFDF representatives from all across the world. It was a long but interesting day that saw positive discussions take place on many different topics from  the U-23s World Championships to the banning on alcohol at Junior tournaments. It served as a reminderof how much volunteer work keeps our sport running. The WFDF organise all the main international tournaments, develop Ultimate world wide and provide support for teams across the globe. They do all this with only one paid board member! 

                                                        The biggest Captains meeting ever?
From the congress we made our way back to the dorms at Strahov (a pretty area of stadia on a hill, about 20mins bus journey outside the city centre) and met up with the rtest of the team. We registered everyone, checked in and got all the players gear - a free disc, a metal water bottle, notepads and other nice bits and pieces. The captains meeting was held and despite our best efforts they stuck with the original schedule. The whole place was buzzing with excitement as we met old freinds, saw the Germans tear the Argies apart and then went down to the Sockeye Throwing Session. It was a pretty useful hour or so with some tips on how to get throws (and catches) game ready in your warm up. A good feed, a bit of banter back at the dorms and off to bed. Finally it was time to play!

                                                            Sockeye's Ben Wiggins