Ultimate ‘Fish’ for success

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Lancaster University’s Ultimate Frisbee team (The Fish), were in action at nationals last weekend. Held in Manchester, the 32 best university teams in Britain competed for BUCS points.

The tournament was split into two divisions, Lancaster played in the 2nd division after finishing 4th at the Northern Regionals Tournament in Newcastle last term.

The first day saw games against Strathclyde, Birmingham and Plymouth.  A tight game against Strathclyde ended in a sudden death loss for Lancaster, and a key player injured, but they vowed to come out strong against Birmingham.

Although the Fish started well, Birmingham soon recovered, and returned to equalise 10 all. With sudden death again, Lancaster were able to score this time when it counted, and took the game 11 – 10.

This victory was followed by another against Plymouth which saw Lancaster use their endurance late in the day to establish a convincing win. This result saw them qualify from the group stages, booking a quarterfinal spot against Exeter the following morning.

The day started with heavy rain and winds which dictated much of the play, however both teams performed in a manner worthy of the national’s stage. There were few turnovers of possession from either side, despite the difficult conditions. As the pitch turned to mud, Lancaster players continually put their bodies on the line going to ground to catch the disc and keep possession for the team. Even a late surge, including a pitch-length throw from Vice Captain Mat Francis to Captain Will Doole for a score could not match an impressive Exeter performance.

With BUCS points now unavailable, Lancaster faced a strong St Andrews side. A poor start saw the Fish adjust tactics by working hard to mark out the opposition’s key players. After a close game, St Andrews held on with a narrow two point margin setting up a Lancaster – Bangor game.

The balance of the game swung but a couple of late points took the game beyond Lancaster’s grasp. This placed Lancaster a respectable 8th in the division and 24th overall in the UK and Ireland.

The team will want to take this success into Roses 2012 where they are the reigning champions after taking all 6 points last year in a whitewash of victories including a 13-0 routing in the Open Outdoors division. The Fish will be competing for 8 Roses points starting on Friday 4th at 17:30 in the sports centre and continuing the day after on the college football pitches at 13:30.

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