Hardfisch @ DDC 2017

Only a week after reaching the finals in Delft, the Hardfisch went to Cologne to play in DDC. We had a big crew on the HKX train, joined by a crew of Seagulls, and made our way expecting a great tournament. Our expectations were already met on Friday night as we arrived to ASV Köln, with free sandwiches, live music, and a dog with an unending desire to chase after a disc.

On Saturday the first pool games were going to be a very short 50 minutes and with the chance of tieing, every point counted. We started off our first game again Funatoren from Hannover with a few points of jitters until it was 3-3. Then we tightened up and finished off a fun and spirited first game with a win. Hardfisch 12 - Funatoren 6.

In the second game against Bad Raps we knew we were playing a stronger opponent, and one that seems to get better every year. The game was quite close throughout, but we developed a lead that we thought would carry us to a win. But they fought back hard, and at 11-10 with time expired we had the chance to close the game. A miscommunication on our side near the end zone led to a full-field march for Bad Raps. They score and the result is a slightly unsatisfying tie. Hardfisch 11 - Bad Raps 11.

In our third game of the day, as the day gets hotter and hotter, we again play a team that is a step up from our last opponent. We meet Flying Angels Bern on the artificial turf field, which seemed more like a pressure-cooker than a sports field. We start off the game getting back in to the form that brought us to the finals the week before - hard intense defense, and swinging the disc on offense. The intensity of our defense seemed to catch the Swiss off guard, and we continue generating turns and converting a few breaks throughout the game. But of course FAB is not an opponent to lay down, and they generate turns as well. In the end we have a tie, having the chance also to win this one, but it somehow is more satisfying than the previous one. Hardfisch 9 - FAB 9.

Our performance gives us second in the pool so we immediately are placed in to the quarterfinals against thebigEZ from Vienna. The day has gotten less hot by this point, but the sky is a bit darker and the wind picks up significantly. We start the game off by giving away a few crucial points. Still, we don't lose confidence in ourselves. Although we were down by 4 at the worst point, we get more blocks in the wind and crawl back steadily. We get a small lead and pull the disc at 13-12, preparing mentally for a universe point since cap is approaching. But we get a turn, and at a high stall Wolle slices a downwind flick in to the endzone. Caught just at the back line, Hardfisch wins! Hardfisch 14 - thebigEZ 12.

We spend the evening enjoying each others company, devouring the delicious food-truck dinner (and what a fancy setup!), playing 'cups' and a bit of DDC. Of course we don our panda costumes and join in the singing of 'Viva Colonia', and at least two of us enjoy the one free cocktail. But the last of us is bed around 12:30, and at least one of us fell asleep in said panda costume. We had a semi-final game to get ready for!

We meet the guys from Heidelberg on the stadium field in an action-packed semi final. We have met them before and know well their biggest weapons. Crafty and fast handlers and some big receivers. We do our best on defense to contain these threats and do a respectable job, while performing very well on offense. we trade a few breaks, but the game stays close throughout and eventually it's universe point. We pull, and they execute a set play quite well and end a very tight semi-final with break-huck to a receiver in stride in the endzone. The Heidees head to the finals against FAB and we head to the third-place game. Heidess 14 - Hardfisch 13.

The last game of the weekend is against the Mooncatchers from Brussels/Uccle, with a few German pickups. The wind has now picked up a bit more again, and our legs are approaching jelly. But still, we have a game with good plays and high spirit. It stays close throughout, but the Mooncatchers get a small lead midway through that we can't overcome. Mooncatchers 15 - Hardfisch 13.

The Hardfisch crew head back to Hamburg with a proud 4th place performance in an incredibly fun tournament. Our eyes are focused on the first DM weekend in Munich, with a few of us playing in the beach WM in the meantime. Plenty to work on, It's not enough!

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