The University of Sunderland ultimate frisbee team saw their winning run come to an end last week by Hull University, who put in a commanding performance to win 15-2 at Ashbrooke Rugby Club.
Sunderland Spinner’s originally came into the match with high hopes after their outstanding away performance at Keele University.
Captain Kieran Thirlwell hoped for the same result when he sent out an unchanged side, carrying on the three-handler system which worked so effectively in their previous fixture.
But, these hopes were soon dashed as the Spinners came up against Hull’s peculiar zone defence which featured three defenders in a cup shape around the handler.
The tactic putting Sunderland’s offence off from the start, leading to an early mistake and subsequent point for Hull.
The East Yorkshire outfit continued to take advantage of Sunderland’s stuttering start, quickly racing into an 8-0 half-time lead without much resistant from the red and white’s who gladly welcomed the half time break
After a stern half-time team talk Sunderland raced out the blocks in the second half, exploiting the gaps in Hull’s zonal defence, leading to several chances for the Spinners which were frustratingly put down.
Hull’s superior quality soon shone through, managing to break down Sunderland’s commendable defence after long spells of pressure to extend their lead.
However, the Spinners did manage some points of their own.
After a fantastic catch under pressure, Mark Laing spread the disc wide to handler Harry Hughan who managed to pass the disc over the top of Hull’s defensive cup to Sunderland’s MVP Teo Nistri who produced a backhand huck up the line to Kyle Thirlwell after he had found space in Hull’s endzone.
The Spinners soon grabbed another, noticeably encouraged by the first point.
After some lovely link up play between Hellier, Ballantyne and Davison the disc reached Nistri on the right by-line, who turned provider again to swing a looping forehand to Harry Hughan in the far left of the endzone.
This would be the only consolations for Sunderland though as Hull’s experience lead them to keep out the Spinners and win 15-2.
After the game, Sunderland’s captain, Kieran Thirlwell believed it was a good experience for the Spinners.
He said: “I was initially disappointed with how we started.
“We’ve mentioned time and time again about how much we’ve improved from the start of the season, but for most the first half that progress seemed to go out the window.
“It was clear Hull were more experienced but after we calmed down a bit we actually started playing the Ultimate which we are capable of.”