Saints Ultimate win historic BUCS Indoor National Championships
Friday 17 February 2017
Having finished third in the country at last year’s BUCS Indoor National Championships, expectations were high coming into this year’s competition. With only two players having graduated from last year’s squad, Captain Schechter felt that this year’s team had both the chemistry and skill required to make a deep run in the tournament. The pool draw for St Andrews, however, was not so kind and they were placed into what came to be known as the group of death. With last year’s runners up Manchester and regional rivals Dundee in the same group, this promised to be a tough challenge for the Saints. Despite the obstacles, a well-deserved sudden death draw with Manchester gave the team the confidence they needed, and showed that they could compete against any team in the tournament.
Nevertheless, an overtime loss to Sussex in a seeding match placed the Saints on the tougher side of the competition for the elimination rounds. Captain Schechter described how important it was for the team to regroup and play up to their potential following the tough loss if there was any chance of advancing further.
The next day the Saints were able to dismantle an inferior Liverpool team to secure their place in the quarterfinals against a very talented Portsmouth team that really challenged the St Andrews side. Going down early required a vigorous comeback from the Saints who were able to sneak a narrow one-point victory in sudden death.
The semi-final turned out to be a rematch from the pool stages against local rivals Dundee. Having not lost to Dundee all year, the Saints were quietly confident heading into the match but they knew Dundee could cause them some problems. As Captain Schechter pointed out “you can never underestimate a local rival”. It was always going to be a tight game and similar to the quarterfinal, sudden death was required to determine a winner. A place in the final was secured and for the second match in a row it would be a rematch from earlier in the tournament.
Facing Sussex, a team that they had previously lost to, the Saints wanted to come out strong and prove that they were able to overcome their previous loss. To the Saint’s credit that is exactly what they did, they came to play and quickly gained the lead, and maintained it throughout the match never really letting Sussex back in. Playing incredibly tight defence the Saints went on to record a 7-4 victory and claim the title of best indoor Ultimate Frisbee team in the UK.
Captain Schechter said that, “when the whistle blew everyone was in shock because we had so many close sudden death matches up until that point and we beat what was considered the best team quite handily”. Gabriel continued saying that “this title has been 4 years in the making and it has been a culmination of so much hard work and dedication.”
With the indoor BUCS title now in the past, the team is currently looking forward to the outdoor BUCS National Championships in late April. Having recently won the BUCS Scottish 1A Outdoor league for the second year in a row, the Saints will be heading into the outdoor BUCS Championship tournament as the number two seed. This means that they will be the top seed in their pool and expectations are now higher than ever to the squad to do the double. While it is very hard and rare that a team wins both the indoor and outdoor BUCS tournaments, Schechter considers the team to be a better outdoor side and hopes to improve on last years 5th place finish.
Ultimate is one of the University’s fastest growing clubs and is always looking for new members to join. A really welcoming community, they are always excited when new players come to secessions and try it out. On Monday afternoons the club runs a recreational league for anyone looking to play, regardless of experience. If you are looking to improve your game they host casual training sessions on Wednesday afternoons as well. They promote a very inviting atmosphere and encourage everyone to give it ago. While they introduce students to the sport their focus is on player development and it seems to be working, as out of the ten guys who went to nationals six had never played before coming to university. The club encourages anyone who may be interested to come down and give it a go. If the trends continue, the Ultimate Frisbee team has a bright future ahead and we wish them the best of luck for the rest of their season.
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