Grad Sport Match vs TSU Alumni

Grad Sports returns! Team Surrey Ultimate celebrated the end of exams and the newfound ability to play competitive matches by taking on TSU alumni in the annual Grad Sport Match.

The line-up for both teams were as follows:

  • Max Winokan (Captain)
  • Omar El-Ashmawi
  • Nicole Fok
  • Harsh Chudasama
  • Nick Adams
  • Thomas Butler
  • Ben Youssef
  • Emile Motte
  • Lea Motte
  • Eve Magowan
  • Jonah Varney
  • Zsazsa Kemp
  • Robert Bloomfield
  • Billy Wretham
  • Claudia Carnell
  • Cam Spearing
  • Ashley Long (Captain)
  • Ross Hurley
  • Ross Clark
  • Tom Davies
  • Jacques White
  • Sam Fowler
  • Ben Robins
  • Alice Brealy
  • Dan White
  • Nikhil Thapar
  • Sam Geddes-Smith
  • Michael Nally

With a similar feeling to TSU’s previous match against GU, this match proved to be competitive with both teams capitalising on their strengths. The prospect of playing against their predecessors had obviously played on the minds of the current TSU members, however rather than demotivating the newer players this seemingly encouraged mature play and an eagerness to step up to the plate.

The Grads utilised their tactical experience to gain advantages throughout the match, adjusting to exploit the weaknesses of the less experienced current members. Notably, the switch from match to zone defence blunting the pace and deep threat of the current members, forcing a more calculated and tactical offensive strategy. This piled the pressure on the handlers, however allowed the more experienced current members (who weren’t handing) to be creative and clinical once the force was broken.

TSU obviously benefited from having much more recent playing and training time, and took advantage of any potential rust showing in the Grad team. Before the zone, players with a fitness mismatch took full advantage, performing deep- and under-cuts clinically. And when faced with a zone, being forced to play a slower and more patient game, the team quickly adjusted and matched the zone with tactical zonal offence including strong hander movement and patient when approaching and entering the endzone.

The heat certainly had an impact on both teams, whether it was the fitness or focus both teams suffered from making avoidable mistakes. This seemed to impact the current members more, with errors being made on both O and D which could have swayed the game.

On the flipside, the Grads seemed to suffer more from frustration, potentially as the opposition was posing a greater threat than they expected. Whether that ‘fire-in-their-belly’ ended up helping or costing the Grads is a mystery, but it definitely made for an exciting match.

There were few standout moments as both teams matched each other well. However, strong positional play from Harsh enabled him to come away with the from a height mis-match, endzone bid with the score at a crucial point in the game. Additionally, a shout-out can also be given to the freshers who held their own against much more experienced players, and the more experienced members of the TSU stack, who were remarkably consistent and tactical regardless of the defensive strategy of the Grads.

The game being decided with an Ultimate Point highlighted how closely matched the two teams were, with the younger TSU members demonstrating the potential the club has to be seriously competitive in coming years, and the Grads reminding us of their experience in winning games in previous years. We’re already looking forward to the rematch at Grad Sport 2022 and just hoping it’s anywhere near as competitive and enjoyable as this year has been.

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