XEUCF 2021 Open Semifinal Recap: Clapham Master Gentle

The Bullfrogs cruise to the final!

In the first semi-final of open division, Clapham (London) knocked out fellow undefeated squad Gentle (Ghent, Belgium) 15-10. The 9-time European champions were in control all game long and will look to avenge their 2019 loss to La Fotta in the final.

Clapham came off a challenging encounter against Wall City (Berlin) in quarters. Gentle only shook off FUJ (Prague) on universe. For the British this semi was the last entry before their patented final. For the Belgians, top 4 was already a big success and no-one would blame them losing to the mighty Clapham. If Gentle wanted to stun Europe, they had to be at their best from the first minute. The Londoners immediately gave Ghent a reality check running off 3-0. Lander Decraene sent his brother Tobe deep to put the first score on the board for Gentle.

Both teams traded from then on although Gentle had opportunities to break back. Clapham was not flawless either, but kept their cool. Captain Josh Briggs directed the offense stacking up assists. On defense, the London elite set up a trap zone, but Gentle pulled out their deep game. Pieterjan De Meulenaere sent an assist to Tobe Decraene and the other way around. At 7-5 Gentle had two shots at shifting momentum. First they threw away the disc into a pack and the second time Justin Foord flew in to make a layout D to prevent the break. Clapham took half 8-5.

Clapham started the second half on defense and a Gentle mistake put Clapham into position to work their way up the field and take another break. Gentle kept fighting and Joren Sanders made it to the livestream highlights with a cheeky no-look behind the back assist.

Ashley Yeo deserves a mention for collecting quick Clapham goals by getting the short continuation or sprinting for the deep shot. The short last point was typical for a game between a strong squad and a superb one. Clapham sealed the game 15-10.

Tobe Decraene can again presented impressive stats. The Belgian prospect got five goals and two assists. “I wanted to show myself on the biggest stage”, Tobe said after the game. “In a couple of years I would like to be at their level of play.”

Clapham’s Connor McHale stressed the advantage that they still didn’t need to tighten their roster. “We can bring so many people in and they’re all fresh.” On the La Fotta rematch in the final: “We have a point to prove after CUSB snapped our seven-time winning streak last year. We have built a solid foundation since EUCF 2019. It will be a good final.”

  1. Robbe Wets
    Robbe Wets

    Robbe Wets is nineteen years old and lives in Bruges. His home club being Freezzzbeezzz he was brought up at the legendary Tom's Tourney. Winning bronze with Belgium U17 at EYUC 2017 is his ultimate career highlight. In real life Robbe studies sports journalism.

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