It’s been quite hard to figure out what happened at the Euro Club Championships this year – the website didn’t have a clear tournament structure to it, and reports of Clapham losing games in the group stages have filtered through, but for those who weren’t at the event it feels like Europeans has rushed past with just a passing word or two from the teams involved.
After detailed analysis of the results and the footage, we present the below report so everyone can finally know what happened at EUCF 2015! If you’d like to see some games for yourself then purchase the EUCF 2015 Subscription Package.
Elite pool A was incredibly tight, with no team scoring less than 10 points in any game. Bad Skid got off to a shaky start, losing 15-12 to French team Iznogood, whilst Chevron dispatched Iznogood 15-11, and went on to have a sudden death victory over Bad Skid (filmed by Push Pass) to secure their place at the top of the pool. FWD put up good fights, particularly in their sudden death loss to Bad Skid, but were to finish bottom of this tough pool.
Elite pool B saw several upsets, unexepectedly turning out to be the most exciting pool in the tournament! CUSB La Fotta weren’t daunted by Clapham in their first game, and won it 15-13 – perhaps the only time Clapham have lost this season other than the sudden death Quarter Final at Worlds against Revolver. CUSB continued their strength to dispatch Mooncatchers and Latvian side Salaspils relatively comfortably, whilst Clapham weren’t challenged again until their last game of the day, against Salaspils. A few offensive mistakes from Clapham and some great use of hammers from the Latvian side in this game filmed by Push Pass, meant Clapham suffered their second defeat of the day, this time in sudden death to a team which has never competed in the Open Division of EUCF before! Mooncatchers showed their strength by beating Salaspils 15-9, forcing a three way tie which Clapham came out on top of – but this wasn’t the last we would see of the pool B teams!
In pool C, Catchup Graz‘ 15-11 victory over Crazy Dogs secured their crossover up against the elite seeded teams, with EMO and Crazy Dogs narrowly missing out in a three-way tie – EMO beat Catchup Graz, but 2015 wasn’t to be their breakthrough year in Europe, as they threw away a lead over Crazy Dogs to finish 3rd in the pool (EMO-Dogs game filmed by Push Pass). Helsinki again didn’t manage a pool game victory in Europe.
FAB were favourites in pool D, but it was the German team Frank N who were to go undefeated, with sudden death victories over both FAB and thebigEZ from Austria. The rest of the teams were in yet another three-way tie, with FAB topping it and Devon missing out to thebigEZ.
Freespeed found themselves in pool E, displaying their quality with 15-5 and 15-7 victories over strong teams Fire and Prague respectively. Prague beat Fire 15-13 to secure 2nd in the pool, whilst INNsiders lost out to Fire 15-11, despite giving Freespeed their best challenge (12-15).
Czech team FUJ were the surprise in pool F, dispatching Heidees 15-13 and an understaffed Brighton City 15-11 to top the pool. Otso from Finland continue to improve, defeating Heidees 15-13 for second in the pool, and Brighton lost out in a close 15-13 match to Heidees.
All of the pre-quarters went to the elite teams – possibly because of the heightened level of competition they had experienced the previous day – but in reality three out of the four games were decided in sudden death! Viewed by many as an upset, Mooncatchers had a 14-13 victory over Freespeed – denying the Swiss the top-8 spot they have become used to over the last few years. Bad Skid had a sudden death tussle against the surprising Czech team FUJ, with the Germans coming out 15-14 on top, whilst FWD and Frank N also went down to the wire – Frank N securing the last place in quarters.
CUSB La Fotta, buzzing from their strong first day, never let Frank N into their quarter – 15-7 to the Italians. Mooncatchers weren’t tired from their sudden death victory against Freespeed, and instead the Belgians rode the wave to a 14-12 victory against French Iznogood (filmed by Push Pass). Bad Skid had clearly used more energy than they expected to dispatch high performers FUJ, whereas Clapham showed true Champion strength to come back stronger than ever before after their two losses on the previous day, to thrash Bad Skid 15-3 in their Quarter. Latvian Salaspils, having beaten Catchup Graz 15-11 in the pre-quarters, won a thrilling sudden death quarter against the UK’s Chevron Action Flash, 15-14.
Clapham faced Salaspils again in the semi final, having lost to them in sudden death the previous day. The UK champions came out harder and stronger, capitalising on some early mistakes from the less experienced Latvian side, never letting them back into the game – taking it away 15-9. Check out the full game footage to see how Clapham approach a rematch against a team that surprised them previously.
CUSB have seemed unstoppable, and this didn’t change in their rematch against Mooncatchers. The Belgian side were coming off several incredibly tight games, whereas Clapham were the only team to score more than 10 against CUSB from Italy. La Fotta took the game 15-9, a one-point improvement on their 15-10 group victory against the Mooncatchers. Salaspils took 3rd place in sudden death against Mooncatchers, both teams having an amazing season climax in Wroclaw.
This all geared up for the final – a rematch between CUSB La Fotta and Clapham. CUSB looked strong as they traded until Clapham’s first break at 3-3 – Clapham stifling their long options until CUSB weren’t able to generate flow from their resets, and a tired throw was picked up by a poaching Clapham defender. Clapham started the D-roll around 5-5, cruising to an 8-5 half from which they never really looked back, despite some long points and a break back from CUSB in the 2nd half. CUSB had good flow from their resets, but the time between their flow stopping and their reset being initiated was when Clapham applied effective defensive pressure. When the points dragged on, the Italian side weren’t able to match the sheer depth of athletes, quality long throwers, and powerful deep receivers in Clapham’s ranks, so despite some early upsets, Clapham took the Final 15-8 and retained the title of Open European Ultimate Club Champions 2015!
Reigning champions Iceni immediately faced competition in pool W – CUSB Shout from Italy pushing them to sudden death, but Iceni taking the match 12-11. Box Vienna, despite losing 15-8 to Iceni, were able to take CUSB 15-7, showing that anything can happen between the top teams at Euros. Whatever (Poland) beat Vienna 14-13 but lost 15-9 to CUSB, meaning an immediate three-way tie which Box Vienna came out on top of. SYC put up a good fight against Vienna and CUSB but lost 14-8 and 15-10 respectively.
In pool X, Atletico from Finland (with Russian superstar & coach Inga Ivakina #9) immediately showed that they are a strong outfit – conceding only 10 points combined against other strong teams Bristol, Leeds, and Mantis. FABulous gave them a good match (filmed by Push Pass), but still a comfortable 15-8 victory for the Finnish ladies. FAB came 2nd in the group after defeating Mantis with the help of some killer inside-out backhands, in another game covered by Push Pass. The two UK teams Nice Bristols and Leeds fought to stay off the bottom of the group, Bristol taking the game 15-10.
Onto the knockout stages, where Box Vienna faced Mantis – also from Vienna! Amazing that so much strength in the women’s division has come from the Austrian capital this year. Although Box Vienna beat Mantis in the Austrian Women’s Nationals, Mantis came out very strong in this quarter final and took the game 15-8!
On the other side of the quarters, CUSB knocked out FABulous 15-9 before facing a very strong Iceni side, who dispatched them 15-8 in the semi final. Atletico repeated their group stage win against Mantis in the other semi, meaning a classic UK vs Finland final – Iceni v Atletico!
There was nothing between the teams for the majority of the game – Atletico going 7-5 up at one point, but Iceni pulling it back with a 5-1 run to go up 10-8. Although closely matched, the teams had different strengths – Iceni scoring their points through great catches giving them the advantage in contested situations, whereas Atletico were using pinpoint throws to deny Iceni the chance to use their athleticism in bids. Towards the end of the game, tiredness started to show more in Atletico’s throws, giving Iceni the chance for some successful bids, and Iceni were able to switch up their offence to rely more on breaks than hucks, showing a depth to their game which led them to a 15-11 win and deservedly retaining the title of Women’s European Ultimate Club Champions 2015!
The Mixed division was even more turbulent than the Open division, with the eventual winners Grandmaster Flash losing in the group stage to the eventual last-place finishers Ventspils! Black Eagles (UK) were unlucky not to get a semi-final spot, losing out to Yellow Block 15-13 in the group stage but beating Mainzelrenner 15-13. 2014 runners-up Grandmaster Flash topped pool M with a 14-12 win over Yellow Block, and Mainzelrenner were also very strong contenders – losing in sudden death to both Grandmaster Flash and Yellow Block, they could easily have been contenders for the title.
On the other side of the draw, Czech side 3SB showed their strength with a sudden death victory over reigning champions SUN, but losses to Drop That Smile and UK Champions Reading Ultimate. SUN lost to Outsiterz and Reading beat 3SB 15-8, meaning Reading topped the pool with only one loss, whereas SUN, 3SB and Outsiterz were in a three-way tie which 3SB came out on top of, taking the last semi-final spot!
Reading’s run was ended in a 15-12 semi final by Yellow Block from Czech Republic, whereas the other Czech team 3SB were taken down 15-11 by Grandmaster Flash. In the final (Grandmaster Flash v Yellow Block), Flash got an early 4-1 lead which they never looked back from, increasing it to 7-2 and putting themselves in a position where they were able to control the tempo of the game. Yellow Block never gave up, with a late surge bringing the scores back to 13-10, but after a couple of long points Grandmaster Flash’s patience and shot selection paid off, winning 15-10 and becoming the Mixed European Ultimate Club Champions 2015!
EUCF 2015 has shown Europe that every team is beatable on the big stage – the level of Ultimate has risen so dramatically in recent years that it’s becoming impossible to predict who will win group games, especially between the teams in the top half of each division. It’s also shown that the established champions have an extra edge which the other top teams are still developing – Clapham coming back from two early losses to beat those teams later on, and Iceni not being phased by being 7-5 down in the Final. This ability to adapt over the course of a tournament or just a game is essential at the very top level, helped by the confidence that comes with being reigning champs. The Mixed division is starting to settle down, as we see some familiar faces from 2014 in the top-8 in 2015 – last year the level of competition had risen sharply in this division, this year the bar has been set and the names of the regular title contenders are becoming familiar, giving Mixed contenders real targets to aim for!
Full footage of 11 games from EUCF 2015, including the Open, Women’s and Mixed finals, are available as part of the EUCF 2015 Subscription Package.
1. Clapham Ultimate
2. CUSB La Fotta
3. Salaspils WT
5. Bad Skid
7. Frank N
8. Chevron Action Flash
11. Catchup Graz
13. Fire of London
17. Crazy Dogs Open
18. FAB Open
19. Brighton City
20. Devon Ultimate
21. INNsiders Open
22. Prague Devils
23. East Midlands Open
24. Helsinki Ultimate
3. CUSB Shout
5. Flying Angels Bern ‘FABulous’
7. box vienna
9. Nice Bristols
1. Grandmaster Flash
2. Yellow Block
3. Reading Ultimate
6. Black Eagles
7. SUN Frisbee Club de Créteil
9. Die 7 Todsünden
10. Disctèrics Ultimate Girona
11. Drop That Smile
12. Ventspils Frisbee Club