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team huddle at nationals

All four of Durham's men's teams cooked up a storm at the University Men's Indoor Regionals 2 weeks ago. 3 fighting finishes and a spot in the national finals.

Having qualified for Division 1 Nationals at Mixed Indoor Regionals a fortnight earlier, off the back of an impressive top 8 finish at a tournament won by Team GB, the Durham men's team arrived in Newcastle for Men’s Indoor Regionals on the 12th/13th November. The 4 Durham (DUF) teams would put on a showcase of the strength of the Ultimate Frisbee set-up at Durham University, delivering impressive results across the board.

After a harsh awakening to the realities of the standard of University Ultimate Frisbee, the fourth team fell to an 11-1 defeat. The improvement over the weekend was unparalleled, finishing 12th out of 16 – above two major universities’ second teams. Such a result and rapid improvement serves as a great testament to the effectiveness of the college frisbee scene in producing talent, independent of Team Durham. 

The third team showed early promise, forcing both Liverpool 1 and Lancaster 1 to work hard for wins in the pool stage, whilst comfortably dispatching Newcastle 4. Saturday afternoon brought an equally comfortable win over Newcastle 3 before a vital narrow success over Lancaster 2. Durham 3 was denied what would have been a stunning top 8 finish by a 6-7 defeat to Newcastle 2 in a hotly contested Sunday morning cross over, seeing out the day with a win over Durham's own 4's team to tie up a very respectable 11th place finish.

Durham 2s suffered a Saturday defeat to Liverpool, Lancaster and eventual runners-up Manchester; demonstrating how tough the competition was, but the 2s outclassed everyone except the major first teams to keep themselves in the running. The team secured a winning performance against Lancaster 2, before ultimately falling short with a much-improved showing in a rematch with Lancaster 1. Finishing 6th overall, the 2s were the best of the rest who failed to qualify, which, however agonising it may be, is an impressive result. 

Last but not least was the ultimate performance by Durham's first team. Saturday morning’s pool stage delivered no challenge, with every game being cut short as the team routinely hit the points cap, leading them to a power pool with Newcastle and Liverpool John Moores University. Against the former, DUF put out a statement result, cruising to probably their most eye-catching win of the weekend before a draw with the latter. In a back-and-forth game, Durham prevailed 9-8 in the best game of the tournament. DUF had lost to the same team in the final a year ago, and would now return to the tournament’s centre-stage against Manchester. Durham's first team demonstrated depth of quality unmatched by any university in the North, which Manchester soon felt the full force of, being swept aside in a final Durham made comfortable for themselves.

Best of luck to Durham 1s on their road to nationals.