June 30, 2022 by Dana Issa in Recap with 0 comments
London Invite is a new tournament in the European calendar showcasing some of the highest performing European club teams. Hosted by Clapham Ultimate and BE Ultimate Apparel this past weekend, London Invite featured elite teams playing at their peak before they make their way to Cincinnati this summer for WUCC. With eight teams playing in the women’s division, the tournament offered an insight into how the competitors have been preparing for the biggest outdoor club tournament of the year.
- Location: Isleworth, England
- Dates: 25 – 26 June 2022
- Weather: Sunny intervals on Saturday and sunny all day on Sunday with temperatures up to 20C. Moderate wind all weekend.
- WUCC teams: 8 (YAKA, CUSB Shout, Iceni, Bristol, Box, Gravity, SYC and Spice).
- Link to watch games:
A familiar final
Reigning European champion YAKA (Noisy-le-Sec) started at top seed this weekend. Coming out in third place at EUF’s Elite Invite and finishing in first place at Tom’s Tourney, YAKA was clearly a force to be reckoned with. The team won all three of its games on day one; a 13-7 win against Box (Vienna), which it had previously beaten at Elite Invite, an 8-2 triumph against SYC (London) in strong winds and a 13-8 win against Iceni (London) in the showcase game. YAKA maintained its momentum on Sunday with a semi-final win against Gravity (Dublin), leading to yet another matchup against fellow 2019 and 2021 European finalists CUSB Shout (Bologna).
Following its success of second place at Tom’s Tourney, taking fourth place at Elite Invite and most recently coming out in first place in FIFD’s Italian Ultimate Frisbee Championships, CUSB Shout continued to prove its talent this weekend. Like YAKA, CUSB earned three wins on Saturday. In a tight game against Gravity, CUSB scored an upwind first point before Gravity took over. CUSB regained the lead and won within the last ten minutes with a 10-8 score. A narrow 12-10 win against Bristol continued the winning streak, before another close score of 10-8 against Spice (Nottingham), which saw the teams play point for point. Sunday started with a semi-final win against Box, taking the lead after calling a timeout and a knockout D from Saskia Beeck in Box’s endzone.
The final saw CUSB use an effective three person cup defence. The defensive effort drove its eventual victory, with an intercept snatch from Linnea Seibert and a narrow toe-in point from Francesca Sorrenti among the highlights. Despite YAKA’s constant passes, fluid movement and a layout point from Clara Mathias, its defence began to break down as CUSB ended the game stronger and became the women’s division champions.
Iceni struggling on Sunday
Seeded third, south London-based club Iceni made its return this season after COVID restrictions prevented the club from competing in various European tournaments last season. Iceni began with a win against SYC in what seemed to be the longest game of the weekend. As both teams are London-based, they frequently play against each other, making them familiar with each other’s playing styles. After playing each other twice at Windfarm and having one win each, the pressure was on. Lots of calls and turnovers later, Iceni ended the game with a good-natured 7-6 win. However that win was followed by a 10-7 loss to Box and the 13-8 loss to YAKA in the show game. Day two started with a game against Spice, where Iceni called a timeout after three consecutive points from young upstart Spice, then immediately scored a point through Emily Hill. Ultimately, though, the game resulted in a surprising Iceni loss. The team ended the weekend with another win against SYC where it maintained the lead for the majority of the game.
Bristol narrowly misses out on semis
After taking home the spirit prize from Elite Invite and becoming UK national champions, Bristol was looking to continue its momentum before the players made their way to WUCC in July. Starting the weekend with a game against Spice, Bristol called a timeout after a two point lead from Spice, where they then scored five points in a row, starting with a score by World Games player Molly Wedge, then followed by a flick huck from Amelia Durbin and a high grab by Laurel Piper; the game ended 10-6 to Bristol. After a 10-8 loss to CUSB, Bristol traded points against Gravity but narrowly lost the lead with a 9-8 final score. On Sunday it won close games against British opponents SYC and Spice to round out a pretty successful weekend.
Box jumps into the top four
After competing at Elite Invite and achieving first place at Vienna Spring Break, Box was more determined than ever to take on whatever the weekend threw at them. SYC scored first in Box’s first game but the Austrian team responded with two points and continued that momentum for a 13-11 win, thanks in part to two points scored by Franschitz. In its game against YAKA, Box maintained possession during a long first point but ultimately lost the game 13-7. That was enough for a semis berth against CUSB, but despite long stretches were Box maintained possession, moved the disc up the pitch and appeared more relaxed than the previous day. However, even after picking up the pace later on in the game, Box was unable to prevent the Italians from winning.
Dublin Gravity bounces back
After attending Windfarm, Windmill and ending their 2021 season with bronze medals, Dublin Gravity was raring to go this weekend. The team performed below expectations in Amsterdam so was keen for a good result in London. After a close a 10-8 loss to CUSB Shout, Gravity went point for point in a tight game against Bristol. The Irish team called a timeout after scoring three consecutive points, including a layout point from Emily O’Brien, and managed to maintain that lead to win 9-8. In the last game of the day, Spice take three points in a row at one point and asked plenty of questions, but eventually Gravity was able to secure a 9-7 win. Sunday started with a semi-final loss to YAKA despite starting on offense and scoring the first point with a high grab from Kate Daly. From there, Gravity forfeited its game against Box due to injuries, so instead the teams played a friendly match.
SYC takes some tough, close losses
Taking home second place from Windfarm1, SYC was ready to bring their best game to this weekend. After qualifying for WUCC, SYC has been working hard to ensure a strong performance. Its first game of the day began with a swift first point score from Rupal Ghelani to Kirsten Wells against Box. The game was close but ended in a 13-11 loss for SYC. Losses to Iceni and YAKA followed, and Sunday saw SYC lose to Bristol and Iceni again. The team fought hard and there were moments of clean, flowing offense but it was a difficult weekend.
Spice with a landmark win
Like many other teams and players, Spice returned from Windmill last weekend ready to make its way to London. After replacing Troubles (Warsaw) this weekend, Spice stepped up to compete as part of the team’s preparation for WUCC this summer. In the first game against Bristol, Spice had a strong start but couldn’t hold on in a 10-6 loss. Spice maintained a lead against CUSB until half time, where its defense began to break down against strong Italian offense. In the last game of the day, Spice started with three consecutive points against Gravity but unfortunately fell away late again in a 9-8 loss, despite the strong dump and swing continuations between Kate and Heather Gibson throughout the game as well as the rest of the tournament.
Sunday was a big day for the young midlands team, with a huge win against Iceni. The game started with an impressive fingertip catch point by Rosie Bailey, which was then followed by a score from Amy van Zyl to Heather Gibson. Following that high, Spice finished its tournament against Bristol and, despite working hard to throw off its opponent, lost the game.
As well as winning the title, CUSB Shout took home MVP honors as Linnea Seibert won the trophy. Box added the spirit prize to its encouraging semis run.
Losing to Bristol in the final but beating Iceni in the semi-final ↩