Monday, August 11, 2014

D*ck of the day

During the course of an Ireland tournament in 2009, Enda Naughton and Rory Kavanagh turned up with a red cap that had a soft toy style penis hanging from it. It became the Dick of the Day prize, a tradition that made it to Prague in 2010 (in the form of a pink tutu - one I had the joy of wearing repeatedly) and to Lecco. In Lecco it the 'award' was a 15 lbs watermelon that had to be carried around the following day, until the dinner-time vote. As you'd expect the award was won by any sort of perceived mistake/wrong-doing and was often a dimple lynching by a biased kangaroo court!

Below are some of the recipients. Brian Henderson, with his hurt shoulder, wasn't photographed. And the award winner for D*ck of the Week went to Conor Hogan, who will be presented with a gift at training soon. Well done Conor.
 Mr. Cillian Flynn

Mr. David Perry

Mr. Enda Kelleher

Mr. Sam Mehigan

We won Spirit!!

Wow! What an incredible feeling and justification for positive attitude and hard work. Given they publish the Spirit scores each evening we got wind of this on Friday night, although one of the team's many mathematicians had worked out that a score of 20 from Revolver to Sockeye would send it to the Seattle boys... It wasn't to be though and during the last half hour of the Open final we were told the good news.

UltiPhotos: WUCC 2014 - Awards &emdash; Ranelagh Team Photo (Open Spirit Winners) - WUCC Saturday Awards We'd played a few physical games during the week but throughout each one we'd spoken with other teams and players and we'd all agreed on what needed to change. It's rare that such discussions happen and the game changes as a result - we saw it firsthand in games that we lost and won, something that I reckon other teams appreciated too. To come home with a medal from this week means a lot to me, it being my last run out in Open (even if it ended in injury!) at this level. Collecting the medal in front of hundreds of friends and even more strangers, all clapping and cheering is a moment I will never forget... A great team of friends.

Friday, August 8, 2014

43rd place for Ranelagh!

So this post will be brief, mainly because I have an end of tournament party to attend and my beer is only getting warmer.

Today we played 2 games - the first was against Gigolo and we started poorly, giving up 4 of first 5 points. It was about as badly as we've played all week and with half at 9-3, the game was all but beyond us. A much improved second half display saw us make a game of it but in the end a 15-9 loss was the result and we left the field angry, knowing we'd let ourselves down.

Game 2 was against Mor Ho from Slovakia, a team who had beaten some of us in Prague in 2010 when we played with DU. We started well, forced lots of turns and converted with ease. It ended up being a one-sided game that we dominated, leading to a 17-6 rout. A great way to finish a tough week.

More news tomorrow when I have time. For now, it's beer o'clock! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

And we are on the board!

Our second two day game of the tournament started with our first 9am game of the tournament. To be honest, the sweet schedule we'd been dealt couldn't last forever. We faced our hotel buddies and current NZ Open Division champions the Wellington Wildcats, knowing that a win would guarantee us beating our seeding. We got into the game after a strong warm up but simply didn't perform. We couldn't shut down their O and our O turned on shots we were hoping to avoid. It was a scrappy, disappointing and ugly performance from us - our worst of the week - and it hurt. 15-9 to the Kiwis, a result that sent us down to the 41-48 bracket.
Our second game of the day was against Flying Angels Bern from Switzerland who were having a strange tournament. They'd won 2 pool games but lost out on a 3 way tie and had then plummeted downwards. We were fired up and keen to improve on the morning display. It showed. A tigh first half saw them shading it 9-8 but we came out and got the breaks back up until 13s when we realised we needed to hold serve to win. Instead the D line closed the game out - a big scalp for our young squad and a welcome win too.

Elsewhere we watched LMS beat Bristol, a huge result for the girls, and further proof of this teams ability. Later int he day they lost a nail biter against a gutsy Bologna team, 14-15. It was one of the best fightbacks I've ever seen and the LMS team can hold their heads up high and proud.

We also saw the now famous quarter-final between Clapham, the 8th seeds and Revolver, the 1st seeds. It was a superb display by the London team who went toe-to-toe with the US boys until it came down to 16-16, winner takes all. Revolver have been here before and a 3 pass goal wrapped up an absorbing contest. We were gutted not to see Clapham advance but delighted for them for how well they played.
I'm shattered so signing off. A swim, pizza, some free beers and postcards (thanks Five & Get Horizontal!) and bed. Fun end to a good day. Tomorrow we play Ukranian team Gigolo. Only 2 games left so lots to give!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The WUCC according to Spike...

I've been a bit quiet about Spike and his adventures. There are a few reasons for this:
  1. He's a busy little cactus
  2. I've been busy blogging about the team
  3. He's a popular spikey amigo
Either way, here is a pictorial update of the team's WUCC mascot.
 Spike with his WUCC swag

 Getting the shift

 Even world class athletes need down time...

New evening, new lady #SpikeStyle

Spike being Spike. The scoundrel. 

Chilling with his old pal Richard I

Me and Spike with the Maple Syrup from Mephisto #GoodTimesEh

Perplexed. Gutted. Petrified...

 Who puts egg on a pizza? Crazy Dominick that's who...

Groundhog Day...

Another day, another hard fight and another loss after a tight game until the final stretch. Today can be filed under any of the following: frustrating, disappointing, nearly there, need a W! We were on at 11am playing a team from the Czech Republic called the Prague Devils. They had a host of familiar faces, players who've been playing at the top level of European for the past couple of decades and proved a strong opponent.

We began the game as we have done many at this tournament - confident, aggressive and relatively assured. Our O was flowing nicely and the D line was generating a lot of blocks, but unfortunately we didn't quite convert as many as we got, something that would haunt us later in the day. We traded for most of the half, ahead a break at one stage but went into half 8-6 down. We began on O and the game was close until about 10s. We then conceded 4 on the trot and with our ambitions went the game. Another 15-11 loss against an opponent we felt we could beat - tough times chez the Ranelagh massif.
Ranelagh & Prague Devils (Czech Republic)

After a chat and a long warm down we got the chance to watch some Ultimate, witnessing the biggest upset of the tournament as Canadian team Phoenix eked out a 14-13 win against the highly fancied Buzz Bullets from Japan. This results sends the Bullets in a direction that may well end up with them playing Clapham in the quarters - an unlucky by product of the upset for our UK mates. Elsewhere Emo sent Freespeed packing and Juggernaut (with our own Keith 'Spotty' Hodgson on board) shocked a strong Chevvy unit, sending them out of the top 16. Bad Skid, FAB & Bologna are some other teams in a similar position.
Ranelagh alumnus Keith playing for Melbourne's Juggernaut vs Chevron

LMS played their only game of the day at 5pm against Rogue from Australia. After a tight beginning the girls pulled away and a dominant second half saw them pull off their 2nd win of the week meaning they are currently top of their second pool with Nice Bristols to come. It was a polished and impressive performance full of character and hard work, not to mentioned a few layouts and hammers! Great to see them all playing with such focus and enjoying it too.
LMS' Rosie O'Mahony with a flying catch vs Rogue (Australia)

Another swim, a kebab and the daily gelato re-up and here we are, in the hotel looking for a bit of banter before an early night. Having my first beer of the week, hardly earned but hopefully it will be a catalyst for change  ;)  Onwards and upwards as the saying goes. Wellington Wildcats, see you at breakfast and then on the field...
LMS & Rogue Spirit Circle

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A solid day but still no win...

Today we had just the one game and it was a game that would decide where we would finish in our pool. A 4 point win would send us up to the top power pools by virtue of the maths of a three way tie with Mephisto and KFUM Orebro. A smaller win would leave us in third place (I think!) and a loss would leave us bottom of the pool, as originally seeded.

Going into the game we knew very little about Mephisto. They're from Montreal and Quebec and they speak both French and English. On the pitch yesterday they'd had a close first half with Clapham before conceding most of the second half points (losing 15-9) and they'd beaten the Swedes KFUM 14-9 in a huck happy affair. We were confident, rested and spurred on by watching LMS chalk up their first win of the week vs Brilliance.
The longest fussball table ever?!

The game started tight and stayed tight with neither team able to go on any sort of run. Both offences were very solid and both teams looked pretty even. They took half 8-6 but we fought back to 10-10. With the pressure on and towards the end of such a tight battle we lost our precision and were punished, conceding 4 of the final 5 points to lose 15-11. On one hand it was great to run a Canadian team so close but on the other the bitter taste of a close defeat was ours once again.
Ranelagh & Mephisto (Canada)

After the morning games we got to relax a bit at Tournament Central. They've a load of couches, some games - table football, Spikeball, speed throwing etc - and some live music. It was great to sit down (in the shade!) and chill for a few hours before heading out to cheer on the girls again. Their second game was against Fury who showed why they're seeded 3rd. They're full of impressive athletes and looked confident on both sides of the disc. They won out 15-3 in a tough match. LMS enjoyed it and we probably good for a few more points than they got.
Sinead going up high vs Fury

With the day's play over (for Irish teams anyways) we hit the lake for a cool down. It was bliss. Lovely water temperature, a ridiculously pretty back drop and a gang of the Cambridge lads laying out into the water from a platform. Good banter until Richard (our watermelon) died. Poor Flynner was gutted, much like Richard...
Nomnomnom & RIP Richard the watermelon

Since losing a day the format of the competition has changed. We are now in a group of three teams and will play only 5 more games, 1 tomorrow and 2 on both Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow is against the Prague Devils, a team that Irish teams haven't played in a long, long time. Looking forward to it already, as are these young pups (and Dominick)...