Ladies and gentlemen,
It was a beautiful, sunny weekend of Ultimate at Northern Regionals, upwards of 30 degrees with low wind. Here's the breakdown.
The morning games saw Black Betty and Cherry Bomb setting themselves apart, taking easy wins over the less experienced Blackberries and Purple Llamas. The quality of all four teams' uniforms was outstanding, as was the fact that we had four teams at women's Regionals! An exciting outcome, and kudos to everyone who played, and everyone who made it happen.
After lunch, the Blackberries took a golden point thriller over the Llamas for third place, while the established force of Black Betty had their way with Cherry Bomb. I saw little of the game, but a 13-5 scoreline seems an emphatic victory. Both teams should qualify for Nationals without difficulty, and we're excited to see two Queensland teams competing in the women's division.
On the Open side, this day's results had no bearing on Nationals qualification/seeding; it was simply a long day of fun Ultimate. Kudos to all those teams who came together for this, especially those who fought through with low numbers on a hot day. Firestorm, reigning champions for several years, split their team into two squads for extra challenge and more game time. Congratulations to Fire, who swept through the day convincingly to take the win.
Congratulations to the Blackberries, who took out the women's Spirit win, and to the Griffith A-Team for taking Open Spirit. The spread of different finishing times meant we didn't have a chance to acknowledge you on the day, but well done.
Full Saturday rankings:
2. Slamtown Flatball Club
3. BPL Retirement Village
6. Griffith A-Team
7. UQ Lovers
1. A-Team (51)
=2. Fire (48)
=2. Villains (48)
=2. Lovers (48)
5. Village (47)
6. Storm (44)
7. Slamtown (41)
1. Black Betty
2. Cherry Bomb
4. Purple Llamas
1. Blackberries (24.5)
2. Cherry Bomb (23)
3. Purple Llamas (22)
4. Black Betty (20)
Sunday saw the Open competitive playoffs. With Ignition losing several players on Saturday to injuries or changed minds, a late decision was made to merge Townsvillains and Ignition and create a three team draw.
In the first two games, the composite Ignillains group (got any better ideas?) worked hard, but were outmatched by Slamtown and Firestorm, in that order. It set the stage for the match these teams had been looking forward to.
Slamtown have a number of big-time playmakers, and use these talents to play a high-risk, high-reward style on both O and D. In previous matches against Firestorm, this hadn't worked out in their favour, and a revamped Firestorm offence was able to score consistently as their defence generated turns. When the risks work out, though, Slamtown will be able to put points on any team in the country, and this game saw their throwers absolutely on point.
Firestorm's offence was put under big pressure by a hard-working Slamtown unit, and when they generated turnovers, Slamtown were unwilling to give back the disc. They forced early turnovers and converted, going up 6-3. Firestorm's time-out didn't change the direction, as Slamtown took half 8-4.
The second half continued in a similar fashion; Firestorm were struggling to generate turnovers as Slamtown continued to nail pinpoint hucks down tight sidelines and leading hammers in the back of the endzone. The lead continued to extend, and only a couple of late points brought Firestorm to double digits, as Slamtown handed out Firestorm's first ever Regionals loss.
It was a convincingly display from the Gold Coast/Brisbane mix, and one that will presumably be celebrated in true Slamtown style. To both teams' credit, the game was played in excellent Spirit despite the level of intensity and desire.
Slamtown will take the #6 seed to Nationals, while Firestorm is likely to attend in the #15 position, but must wait for confirmation of AFDA wildcard allocations. Townition (definitely not better...) will be heading to Div 2 Nats to represent the North.
It's extremely exciting to see a second strong club emerging here in Queensland, and we look forward to battling with others from around the country.
Well done to our winners and our Spirit winners.
Thanks to Dom, Myles, Gary, Mat, Timocles, Luke for significant help with running the tourney.
The QUDA AGM was also held, and reports from that will come separately.