Windmill 2024: Final Recap (Women’s Division)

Rewind the track - jinX Midnight vs. Grut, a spectator’s dream 

Grut and jinX battle for a high disc in the Windmill 2024 final. Photo by John Kofi.

After two long days of thrilling games and two nights of unbeatable entertainment, the time came for us to watch Windmill’s best women’s teams go head to head in an exhilarating final to see who would take home the coveted crown. In a match that was the class of the tournament, jinX Midnight topped Grut 15-14.

The Finale

After a lackluster semi, the time came for the long awaited final, between home side, Grut, and Berliners jinX Midnight. We were in for a treat. Grut are three-time European Champions in the mixed division but this is the team’s first season as a single-gender team and they are shaking up the division. On the other hand, this is not jinX’s first rodeo. The team lost out on a gold medal at EUCF last year to BFD Shout1 and is gunning for that top spot at Euros this year. So far this season, the Germans are top in the EUCS rankings and already have a wildcard to their name after winning Elite Invite. 

A brief look at these two team’s journey to the final, told us that this was going to be a close, hard fought game after what had otherwise been quite a breezy journey to the final. In the fourth round, Grut beat GB Women, who many would have thought would be in contention for the final, 15-9. In the second round, jinX beat third place finishers 3SB 12-9. The tightest finish for both teams, prior to the final, had been against each other in the fifth round, where the win went 5-4 to Grut in a game shortened by organizers due to that morning’s thunder and lightning.

The final itself was picture perfect. Both sides punched in the first few points cleanly, taking the score to 2-2. Then, a dropped pull from Grut led to a small roll from jinX, with some incredible hucks and pinpoint break throws from Anna Gerner and Levke Walczak, taking them three points ahead to 7-4. Grut’s defense was arguably the stronger side in the first half, with some incredible blocks from players Aurora Lesnik and Janne Jansen, but they experienced a few wayward discs on offense and struggled to score off the back of turns. JinX generally looked better offensively. Gerner and Walcazk’s around break backhands allowed the Berliners to stay expansive within their play. JinX took half 8-5.

The tables turned shortly after half. Anne Minnaard came down with a skying catch, Floor Keulartz brought down a wayward disc in Grut’s end zone and a handler-led score was delivered by Lesnik to level the score. From here on out, the teams were neck and neck. Grut continued to excel on defense and they found their offensive rhythm with some beautifully timed hucks. JinX pulled out a zone in the latter half of the game to slow down Grut’s quick-hit offense and went up by two on the Dutch side, 13-11. From there, it seemed like the pressure of the final points began to take a toll on jinX. After the most incredible layout block from Lesnik prevented a jinX score, a long shot to Keulartz and a quick hold from jinX took the game to universe point. The pressure was on and Grut were on offense, but a drop from a high pass early in the point led to an assist from no other than Walczak to Oda Homlong for the score. 

JinX celebrated wildly, having come from behind and held their nerve right at the death. Grut will have undeniably been heartbroken, but can leave the final with their heads held high after an incredibly hard fought game and brilliant tournament in their first season as a single-gender team. 

“Windmill is always super special…there is no other tournament in Europe like it,” said Gerner after the match. On the game, she added: “These are the games we’re here for, it’s a preparation tournament for us so [playing in front of the big crowd] really helps us a lot.” With a view to the rest of the season, Gerner explained that the team are working towards Euros, with a goal to win the tournament after coming second last year. The team won Elite Invite so they have already qualified. That said, this game was also the final ranking game the team needed to cash in on, so they’ve got a 2-in-1 result here in the final. 

Final word goes to Levke Walczak who also went on to win the mixed division with the Tokay SuperTeam, playing her second final of the day in the last game slot. Her endurance, tenacity and accuracy are all remarkable – what an incredible athlete. 

3SB Earns Bronze

Pre-final, we watched a fight for dirty gold between GB Women and 3SB (České Budějovice). 3SB woke up on the right side of bed that morning and looked confident as ever, taking big shots downfield whenever the opportunity came up. A skip in their step, the Czechs used their aggressive FSU zone to contain GB, keeping their opponents from the endzone and forcing them to complete passes. The final score was 9-6, in a well deserved win for 3SB and a tough loss for GB which just wasn’t in its element with space constricted so much.

Champagne Moment

Aurora Lesnik’s pulls to the back corner in the women’s final were fantastic, allowing Grut’s defense to lock in early with great field position. She also got one of the most ridiculous layout blocks I’ve ever seen2 on a jinX huck in the back end of the game – you can bet it will be on highlight reels for years to come. She’s certainly put her name on the map (if it wasn’t already) after that one in her first season back after an extended break. 

  1. Not present at Windmill. 

  2. Another angle of that block in the link. 

  1. Maya Israel

    Maya is based in Manchester. She's played ultimate since 2014, and has been writing since 2019 (intermittently). On pitch, she plays for SMOG Women and off pitch, she's a paralegal.

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