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7Hills Classic, day 2

We arrived at the fields, more stiff from the cramped car ride than from the previous day’s action. Fortunately, the first round of games started late and we had a chance to warm up and stretch before playing our first game. We faced Kampala B in the semifinal after they won the 4 – 5 match-up against Rwanda. Just like the previous day, it was an even game to start before we pulled away for a 13-6 victory, setting up a finals match-up against Kampala A, which had narrowly defeated the Makindye team in the other semi.

The Easy Mwizis - "mwizi" is the Kiswahili word for theft; given Kenya's high crime rate, it seemed like a great team name.

The Easy Mwizis – “mwizi” is the Kiswahili word for theft; given Kenya’s high crime rate, it seemed like a great team name.

Because everyone wanted to watch the final, the tournament organizers combined the two fields so that the final could be played on a regulation size field. The wind picked up and it started raining. The Kampala squad was definitely the hometown favorite and every time they scored, loud cheers and vuvuzela blasts would erupt from the spectators. Hey, it wouldn’t be an African tournament without vuvuzelas. But we also had our supporters, who would cheer our good plays. We took the first half 7-3, but faltered after the break, giving up five unanswered points before finally scoring one just as time ran out. So, with the game tied 8-8, we put out our top line out on the field to play the decisive point. Kampala received the disk and, somehow, their top handler found himself entirely unmarked, which enabled him to unleash a full field huck for the game winning catch. After fighting tooth-and-nail for each score, the last point of the game took less than 30 seconds to score.

Those of you who play Ultimate might recognize Nick Handler, who has been training the Kampala team. Nick co-founded Revolver, which won the 2010 World Club Championship and the 2010 National Club Championship.

Those of you who play Ultimate might recognize Nick Handler, who has been training the Kampala team. Nick co-founded Revolver, which won the 2010 World Club Championship and the 2010 National Club Championship.

It was an anticlimactic end to our good run, but as we shook hands and exchanged post-game hugs, there was no sense of disappointment. The best thing about Ultimate frisbee is that it is a sport where the spirit of the game matters more than winning or losing.

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