PMB’s Long Donkeys retain frisbee crown

2016-05-11 06:00
Pietermaritzburg’s Long Donkeys being crowned Ultimate Frisbee National Mixed champions for a third year in succession.                               PHOTO: supplied

Pietermaritzburg’s Long Donkeys being crowned Ultimate Frisbee National Mixed champions for a third year in succession. PHOTO: supplied

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PIETERMARITZBURG’S Long Donkeys have been crowned the Ultimate Frisbee National Mixed champions for a third time in succession after going through the recent tournament in Cape Town unbeaten.

“We’re very excited to have won three in a row,” vice-captain Ryan McFie said.

“The powerhouses are, theoretically, in Cape Town. They consider themselves the powerhouse of South Africa, but Maritzburg, little Sleepy Hollow, holds the title for three years now.”

When they won the national title for the first time in 2014, the Long Donkeys were the first team from outside of the Cape to claim the honours. They have since proved it was no fluke by establishing themselves as the number one team in the land.

As is so often the case with success, however, it has taken long-term commitment and a never-say-die spirit for the Long Donkeys to ascend to number one. Before they won their first national title they finished as runners-up for five years in a row.

They were well prepared for this year’s tournament at the University of Cape Town and showed they would not give up their crown without a fight by crushing their opposition in the pool stages, scoring 68 points and conceding only­ 10, eight of which were against Durban’s Bunnies.

In the quarter-finals, the Long Donkeys overpowered East London’s Hammerheads, which earned them a showdown with former national champions Ghost Ultimate. Again, the Long Donkeys triumphed, claiming a 15-10 win.

After that success, they expected to face Cape Town’s Chilli in the finals, but Chilli, the only team to have beaten Long Donkeys in the past three years, were shocked by UCT’s Tigers.

The title decider featured excellent lay-outs and stifling defence, but it was a new twist on the Long Donkeys’ zone defence, which had been implemented for the first time at this year’s nationals, which made the difference.

“It worked like a bomb. It made a difference in the final by getting us a couple of points ahead at crucial times,” McFie said.

Top performances by two of the team’s younger members, Marcel Fenziel and Pia Steyn, who were named the tournament MVPs, also helped the Pietermaritzburg club successfully defend their title with a 15-12 win.

In 2017, the Long Donkeys will be aiming to make history by becoming the first four-time winners of the national title.

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