by Deo (Skyveld)

My hands were cold, the air was crisp, and Keith was wearing a suit – I was still asleep, surely. Nope, his jokes were still bad so it definitely wasn’t a dream. Rocktober brings out the best in people. The tournament was intense to say the least, it tested Skyveld on different fronts. Although a number of our players couldn’t make it, the team’s ambition to jam hard didn’t fade. It was exciting, groovy, heavy and hilarious.

Day 1

Our first bout was against the Rangers who were eager to get cracking. Coupled with strong throwers and layout-happy-speedsters, they weren’t afraid of the long option. We traded points the whole game. It felt like the recent match against the All Blacks. Both teams were desperate for a first win but fortunately we took it on universe. The final score was 10-9.

Ultimaniacs was a wild card, we had no idea what to expect. To say the least, they hit the ground running. They were comfortable with the disc and their hands were spot on. Their uncapped energy forced us to hustle on defence. We traded points for most of the game, but we pulled away slightly towards the end to win 11-7. This is a team to look out for in the future.

Our third game of the day was against Chilli Heat. The first half was a close affair, at one point the score was 4-3 to us. Just before the half ended, our captain took nasty fall after a valiant bid. In spite of our hopes, Sipho was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. We huddled together, took a couple of breaths and encouraged one another to push on. Chilli took the half 6-4. We managed to score a point in the second half but Chilli showed great composure and took the game 11-5. It was a well spirited game from start to finish.

The last pool game saw us up against Da Bique. Side note, I was quite touched when my fellow Tanzanians couldn’t make it – high hopes for next year though. Notwithstanding, the game was delightful. The folks from Mozambique are ridiculously quick, determined, and constantly have smiles on their faces. Although the score line was much in our favour, they made us work for it. The final score was 11-2 to us.

The cross-over game was against Catch 22. This is a team that consistently exhibits great intensity and fun vibes. Skyveld had a slow start to the game with a number of unforced errors. The second half showed some improvement on offense and defence (shout out to George Thomas for boxing out a player for the first time). We switched on a bit too late in the game and Catch won 11-5 quite comfortably.

Day 2

Our first game was against Ultimaniacs. It felt like we were playing a different side because they were relentless. Our zone had little to no effect on them. They took the first half 8-7. Bling ‘Crutches’ Mhlambi hobbled graciously towards us to deliver one message with “equal” grace – focus. We switched from zone to man in the second half which proved to be effective. We managed to take the lead for the first time but they fought back to level the score. Universe point. We worked it up to their half – turnover. Ultimaniacs moved the disc past the halfway mark – turnover. We moved the disc quickly and finally scored in the end. It was too early to deal with those emotions. The final score was 10-9.

The second game was another rematch, this time against Rangers. The Rangers were pumped and hell bent on settling matters. Their long option was ruthless and their defence looked tighter than before. We hustled hard on defence and our offence stepped up from the previous game. We worked it up to their quarter a number of times but often succumbed to ‘end zone fever’. Rangers capitalised on our errors and unleashed their speedsters. Rangers took the game 12-7

Our last game was against our friendly neighbours, Ultitude. They dominated the first half with a number of unanswered points and slick interplay. We came together at half time and urged one another to muster one last effort. We did just that. The team played with enthusiasm and patience in the second half. It was encouraging to see the team switch their mindset when the chips were down. The final score was 15-7 to Ultitude.

Although it wasn’t the result we were hoping for, I’m proud of the team. They persevered to the end and always had enough energy for a ‘CoinciDance’.To my teammates, thank you for being weird and wonderful all day er’day. I look forward to what 2018 has to offer.

The shadow proves the sunshine. For now, laugh and dance in the rain. We’ll get there team, we’ll get there.


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