European Ultimate Championships: Day Three (Open and Women’s)

Chalky day with some huge games in store tomorrow

Germany open try to dent Denmark on a deep shot. Photo by Oliver Hülshorst for EUF.

The open and women’s divisions didn’t offer quite the same level of excitement today as the mixed division, but both are set up nicely heading into the bracket. The pre-tournament favorites are all doing well so far, but that could be something to keep an eye on heading into tomorrow.


France and Germany both had very tight wins, with France being pushed to universe point by Sweden. The Swedes competed hard with Germany and France, losing those games by a combined two points, but were blown away by GB while star player Sarah Eklund, who has been struggling with a swollen knee following a collision, sat for the game. Germany won 15-13 over Switzerland, breaking to win the game. Vera Forsch came away with an assist and five goals, catching all of Germany’s final three scores. GB made relatively light work of the Czechs, winning 15-8.

Tomorrow is a big day in women’s. The power pools will finish and we’ll have six quarters teams confirmed at the end of the day, with two crossover games for the final spots taking place on Thursday morning.

Germany will play GB in the morning with the winner on track to take the top overall seed heading into the bracket. While GB have had the more serene progress, only conceding in double digits against Ireland on the first day and defeating good teams like Sweden and Belgium heavily, the Germans are also undefeated. It should be an excellent indication about where both teams stand, although both will also inevitably be keeping something back. Germany will also play the Czechs, while GB will play Switzerland.

The French will play Italy tomorrow, after Italy came away with a nice 15-10 win against Belgium. The teams played on day one with France running out 14-11 winners, but Italy have done a good job of building from there and enter the game in the running for top of the power pool. Italy will also play Sweden, while the French play Belgium later on.

The lower power pool will have two teams cross up for a shot at the bracket, and the Dutch have done a good job at putting themselves in a strong position. Wins over Austria and Ireland put them top of the pool with two games to play tomorrow, while Austria, Spain and Ireland all have one win each.

The division could have experienced a shift today for a more disappointing reason. Germany star Anna Gerner appears to be injured, leaving the venue on crutches. The Germans, and fans hoping to see Gerner light up the later stages with her team, will be hoping that the injury is not too severe. Even without the injury to Gerner, the way GB have performed so far seems to indicate that it’s them who should be considered tournament favorites at this stage.


The open division had another day of being pretty chalky at the top. The top two of each power pool advance directly to the bracket and avoid the pre-quarters, so those places are valuable to save legs and prevent further fatigue injuries.

GB defeated Italy 15-12 early in the day and then beat the Czech Republic 15-10 later on. The British are making good progress and, thanks to the win over Belgium on day two, are in pole position in the power pool. They have only one game tomorrow, against Switzerland. The Italians and Belgians meet tomorrow morning to decide second place, and the game is set up to be another tight affair looking at their scores against common opponents.

The other side of the draw has a similar story. Germany remain undefeated thanks to 15-12 and 15-10 wins over Denmark and France, respectively. The Germans are using a variety of defensive looks and are clearly finding their feet nicely on offense. Jonathan Meyer-Bothling is bringing his form from U24s to Limerick, switching from a central player to a steady and reliable force deep in the German zone and doing a good job downfield on offense1 once they get the turn.  Nico Müller also looks to be in peak form as a distributor, and Holger Beutenmüller has fitted back in seamlessly pos injury.

After beating France, Germany captain Steffen Döscher spoke about his team’s progress so far: “This was our most intense game until now, very glad that we managed to win it and win it confidently. In the end I think it was a very tough fight on every point. The tournament is going great. We want to improve over the week and we don’t feel that we are at our top [yet] and obviously in every game you can find things to improve. We are happy to be in a good position in the power pool and we can be at our best for the knockout games.

“Obviously it’s all about preparation that we had in previous months. The London Invite was our first and only tournament in the preparation phase so a couple of things weren’t clicking that well. This week, every day is also another game because of the conditions. That’s very challenging, as well as different styles from our opponents to adjust to. I thought we made France work a lot and it was really good, but when we play another team maybe we need to have another zone or another defensive style to disrupt them. We are for sure feeling confident, we have a focus on staying healthy as well. There are a few guys with minor things but we are glad that we only have one game tomorrow, and then for the rest of the week until Saturday!”

Germany play Sweden again tomorrow, while France play Spain in a game that looks likely to decide second in the power pool.

The lower pool will also have two teams cross up for a shot at the quarters. Ireland beat Israel in a comeback victory to join Austria on two wins and no losses. Ireland play Slovenia early tomorrow while Austria play Israel. If both win, their game in the final game slot will be largely academic with their places already sealed.

  1. With some huge, highlight grabs today. 

  1. Sean Colfer
    Sean Colfer

    Sean Colfer is based in London. He’s played for teams across the UK since 2006 and has been writing about and commentating on ultimate since 2010. Follow him on Twitter @seancolfer, or follow @ShowGameUlti on Instagram for more on UK and Irish ultimate.

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