After the chaos of Tropical Storm O’Donnell, I half expected to wake up floating down the Liffey after being flooded out of my flat. This was not the case and glorious sunshine was the order of the day for day five of WJUC 2012 (well the first half of the day anyway). This, however, did lead to an equally disturbing sight; one that a lot of the players and spectators from warmer climates may never have seen – droves of pasty Irish men in the park with their tops off. As was to be expected, the extent of the Irish summer lasted a mere 4 hours before the sun-bathing was over and everyone was running for cover from the wind and driving rain. Thankfully, no more trees fell over.
After a lot of hard work by the organising committee, an emergency schedule was created to try get the tournament back on track after the rain related field closures of two days ago. Emergency fields were used at nearby Plunkett College and the games were shortened (a time cap of 80 minutes, with a hard cap at 15) to try to squeeze all the power pool games in across the divisions.
The difficult decision was also taken to remove The Round Formerly Known As The Quarter Finals (TRFKATQF) of both the Junior Open and Junior Women’s divisions. There were rumblings that removing TRFKATQF, thus losing a round of knock-out ultimate, was like “losing the magic of the FA Cup”, but it was widely accepted that this was the best way to fit all the games in with the resources available. Sadly, we can’t control the weather.
The upside of the new schedule meant that the power pools had that little bit of extra importance – the top two teams from each power pool in the Junior Women and Open divisions would be in the semi-finals, playing for a spot in the World Championship final.
In the Junior Open division, the United States continued into their semi – a North American battle for a spot in the biggest game in Junior Ultimate – against Canada. In the other semi-final, the Colombians will be taking on the only team from this side of the Atlantic left at the top end of the draw – Germany. After their strong start against the US where they took half, the Germans will be looking to be the first team this week to take a win off Colombia. This will not be easy – this week the Colombians have shown some tremendous disc skills, good structures, in addition to the sensational athleticism that they are renowned for and will be confident after beating the Canadians in their power pool. Lower down the draw it will be an all European affair in the 5-8 bracket, with France, Great Britain, Italy and Sweden duking it out.
In the Junior Women’s division, its a similar situation as the Junior Open, with Canada, Colombia, Germany and the United States making up the semis. The last game of the day found Colombia and the United States bidding to qualify for their semi top of their power pool. In weather conditions that even a local was over-heard describing as ‘pretty average’, the level of Ultimate was fitting of two teams that were undefeated up to this point. The effort and intensity, in combination with fantastic disc movement in the wind and rain, showed that none of these women wanted to lose their perfect record. As the evening gloom set in, the US edged out an 8-6 win to set up a semi-final with Germany. Colombia will have to take on Canada, a re-match of the semi-final two years ago in Vancouver. Will we also have a rematch of the final from that tournament as well?
Today finally saw the commencement of the U17 Women’s division proper. Earlier in the week these teams had been in the initial pools of the Junior Women’s division and they showed that experience isn’t everything, picking up a few wins over their older rivals on the way. Great Britain are playing Austria in the final of this division. The U17 Open division power pools also drew to a conclusion yesterday with Germany, France, Italy and Israel making it to the semis.
So as the tournament draws to a close for most, we hope that you have had a great week. Good luck to everyone in their last matches and congratulations to the lucky few that get to play on in to Saturday. Events like this don’t come around too often…savour every moment of it.
With material from the official newsletter under www.wjuc2012.com .
Edited by Keith Hodgson / Mark Earley (Editor in Chief of the Newsletter)