University Men’s and Women’s Indoor Nationals 2024: a (Scottish) review

Coverage, Features

University Men’s and Women’s Indoor Nationals happened last weekend, with many Scottish teams competing across both divisions. There were strong performances from Scotland across the board, with 4 Scottish teams placing in the top 8 at Division 1 level, plus a bronze medal in men’s Division 1, and a shiny gold in men’s Division 2!

Following our UMWIN previews, we’ve taken a look at the results from the tournaments – keep reading for the full details. Our women’s summaries were written by Hannah Millard, and the men’s by Joel Terry.


Division 1

Saint Andrew’s 1: seeded 2nd, placed 4th

Saints 1 came out firing and topped their pool with ease, with a comfortable (minimum) five-goal advantage over each of their opponents, despite only having a six-person squad due to injury. They earned themselves a glorious midday start on the Sunday, and their crossover set up another Saints vs Glasgow showdown. Glasgow had already won two games that morning so were fired up and ready to avenge their regionals final loss. Saints showcased their smart offence once more, quickly recognising poaches and open spaces and making sure to exploit them. Saints have great overheads and, coupled with excellent receivers such as Sophie Chowgule, these throws brought them a handful of impressive scores under intense defensive pressure.

Whilst starting on offence gave Saints an early advantage, both teams worked hard to get several breaks. At the buzzer, the score was 9-8 to Saints and they ramped up the defensive pressure. Glasgow’s final throw went just out of reach, allowing Saints to take the win. With a guaranteed top-4 finish, they met Birmingham 1 (the eventual gold-medal winners) in their semi-final, but lost 8-9. Their 3 v 4 game against KCL 1 slipped away from them, with a 6-10 loss; perhaps their small squad was finally catching up with them. But nevertheless, a very strong performance from Saints, seeing them finish in an impressive 4th place and retaining their title as the best Scottish women’s team.

Edinburgh 1: seeded 15th, placed 5th

Despite a tough pool, Edinburgh 1 performed well. The only pool game they lost was against KCL 1, who went on to take the bronze medal. As usual, their play was characterised by quick handler weaves, fast and precise inside break throws (especially from Zoe “pivot queen” Todd), and excellent grabs. Their crossover was against Sheffield 1, and their 8-6 win brought them a chance to jump into the top-4. Unfortunately they also met Birmingham 1, the aforementioned gold-medal winners, where they lost 4-10. This set up yet another Scottish match-up as they met Glasgow 1 in the 6 v 7. Despite Glasgow pulling away with an early lead, Edinburgh showed great resilience and rallied, fighting to draw level once more.

As the buzzer went, the score was 7-7, and Glasgow had possession. A floaty reset throw was speedily swiped out of the air by Sophie Wilson. Edinburgh switched into offence-mode immediately, taking advantage of defensive miscommunications and finding two upline passes for the winning score. They ended their weekend in a game against Loughborough 1, where they kept focused until the last moment, winning 7-5. Their final position was 5th, up ten places from their original seeding, showing the UK university scene that they are a force to be reckoned with. 

Glasgow 1: seeded 12th, placed 8th

Glasgow had a slow start going into their first pool game, but managed to escape with a draw against Exeter 1. Their captain, Becca Hardman-Carter, picked up an injury early on in the tournament but still managed to generate countless interceptions and blocks. The team switched on for their game against silver medal winners Leeds 1, but were bested by the team’s impressive agility. This loss was followed by two solid wins in their pool, setting them up against Lancaster 1 in their 7 v 10 crossover which Glasgow won with a 10-6 scoreline. Their chance to jump into the top-4 was snatched away by Saint Andrews in a hotly contested game and a loss by one point. Despite the scoreline not going their way, Glasgow had a great game where they found their flow and took their forcing and endzone defence to the next level.

Next, they met Edinburgh 1, and often successfully neutralised their main offensive advantage of rapid up-the-line cuts, disrupting their flow. Unfortunately, at the end of a tense game, Edinburgh punished Glasgow’s mistakes and took the win. After two intense games, Glasgow seemed to have run out of juice by their final game against Southampton 1. They finished on a 5-8 loss, landing them with an 8th place finish. Although they were gutted to miss out again on beating Saint Andrews, they were pleased to succeed in their aim of placing in the top 8.

Edinburgh 2: seeded 16th, placed 16th

Edinburgh 2 came to UWIN ready to work hard – and work hard they did. They had a tough pool which included Birmingham 1, and managed to come away with a draw against Bath 1. They won their crossover game against Leeds 2 (6-5) and finished 16th, holding seed. The team performed well at regionals in November, and their Nationals performance was no doubt characterised by the same intelligent handler movement, fast throws, and willingness to fight for every disc. They came into the tournament with the aim of claiming the title of the best 2nd team in the UK, and they did just that.

Final standings:

1 Birmingham 1
2 Leeds 1
3 KCL 1
4 St Andrews 1
5 Edinburgh 1
6 Loughborough 1
7 Southampton 1
8 Glasgow 1
9 Lancaster 1
10 Exeter 1
11 York 1
12 Sheffield 1
13 Imperial 1
14 UCL 1
15 Bath 1
16 Edinburgh 2
17 Durham 1
18 Bristol 1
19 Loughborough 2
20 Leeds 2

Division 2

Dundee 1: seeded 7th, finished 10th

Dundee 1 had a solid win in their initial pool against Durham 2 (9-2), but a draw and a loss followed. However, their power pool performance was much stronger where they came away with two more wins: a decisive 9-1 victory over Newcastle 1, and a 7-4 win over Keele 1. They were apparently set to meet as many Scottish opponents as possible from here with games against Aberdeen 1 (7-8 loss), Saints 2 (who they capped 13-2), and Heriot-Watt 1 (8-9 loss), plus a satisfying win over some southerners in the middle (9-6 against Cambridge 1).

Handler Ellen Barclay proved to be an invaluable player as she was unfazed by any defensive pressure and churned out beautiful, pinpoint rollcurve flicks. A handful of impressive wins and hotly contested games left Dundee with a weekend to be proud of.

Heriot Watt 1: seeded 9th, finished 9th

Heriot-Watt 1 also had a strong start to the tournament, with two wins in their pool. They had a tough power pool, losing to Bournemouth 1 (4-8) and drawing with Oxford 1 (4-4). They came out firing on Sunday, winning the 10 v 15 and 10 v 11 games to meet Dundee 1 in their final match. This was another very tight game, with Heriot-Watt emerging victorious with a one-point lead, taking 9th place. French student Flora Girard is the team’s driving force, with her precise flick hucks and nippy handler movement. Considering they didn’t enter a team to Scottish Regionals last year, it is very exciting to see the Heriot-Watt women’s team make a comeback; qualifying for Division 2 and holding seed. 

Glasgow 2: seeded 10th, finished 13th

Glasgow 2 had a tough start to the weekend with 2 losses, but still took a solid win away from their initial pool in the form of a 7-2 victory over Saints 2. They took a win in their power pool too, a close 6-5 victory over Cardiff 1, alongside an unfortunate loss to Surrey 1 (2-7). These results landed them in the bottom half of the brackets, where they lost to Durham 2 (4-8) but found their feet against Keele 1, winning decisively at 9-4. For their final game, they met Saints 2 once more but the result was much tighter this time. Glasgow won at 8-6, finishing the tournament in 13th.

This is a team of fast cutters and fully committed defenders. Captain Tara Dow kept their offence moving with well-timed cuts and excellent grabs (and even got herself a cheeky Callahan). Their final standing and results throughout are particularly impressive as they had perhaps the greenest players of any team, with some players having only weeks of experience.

Aberdeen 1: seeded 14th, finished 7th

Aberdeen 1 started strong and performed well in their pool, coming away with two wins and only losing to bronze-medal winners, Nottingham. Their first Sunday game was the 8 v 9 crossover where they met fellow east-coasters, Dundee 1. The game was very tightly contested but Aberdeen emerged with the win. They dominated in their final game, coming away with a solid 11-4 win over Cardiff to finish in 7th place. Aberdeen didn’t qualify for women’s nationals last year but came back with a vengeance this year; not just qualifying for Division 2, but progressing up seven places from their original seeding. They showed impressive patience with the disc, trusting their teammates to get free and providing good options. Katie Henry was undoubtedly an asset to the team, being an intelligent and hard-working player with great disc skills. Many more exciting things to come from this young team!

St Andrews 2: seeded 16th, finished 14th

Saints 2 showed incredible mental resilience throughout the weekend despite losing two players to serious injuries at the start of the weekend, meaning their already small squad was whittled down further. They struggled in their pool and power pool, but in their 13 v 16 game, they came away with a solid 9-4 win over Newcastle 1. Despite losing 2-7 to Glasgow 2 on Saturday, they had a stronger performance when they had a re-match in their final game, taking Glasgow to 6-8. They finished 14th, jumping up two places from their original seeding. It will be interesting to see how the Saints women’s teams develop over the next few years as their strongest players graduate. But, seeing the sparks of potential in this Saints 2 side, with good fundamental skills, the new Saints generation could come out very strong.

Final standings:

1 Warwick 1
2 Oxford 1
3 Nottingham 1
4 Bournemouth 1
5 Surrey 1
6 Chichester 1
7 Aberdeen 1
8 Cardiff 1
9 Heriot-Watt 1
10 Dundee 1
11 Cambridge 1
12 Durham 2
13 Glasgow 2
14 St Andrews 2
15 Newcastle 1
16 Keele 1


Division 1

Edinburgh 1: seeded 9th, placed 3rd

Edinburgh breezed through their pool with relative ease and convincing wins against Loughborough, UCL and Exter (8-2, 9-2 and 11-6 respectively). There was a small bump along the way, with a universe-point loss to the pool’s top seed, Liverpool, in their second game of the day. However, it’s likely they gained a lot of confidence from such a tight game against one of the pre-tournament favorites. This meant Edinburgh ended the day as 6th seed, with a 6 v 11 cross-over to start the day on Sunday. 

Edinburgh continued where they ended pool play with a trouncing of historically strong Birmingham in the cross-over to set themselves up with a quarter-final against Southampton. They came out strong and took the win 9-7, leading to a semi-final against Leeds. Unfortunately, this is where the train came to a stop, with Leeds demonstrating their class with a very convincing 13-2 win. This meant Edinburgh had to face off the original 1-seed Bath for the dirty gold. Edinburgh’s defensive efforts saw them though with a break in the last 10 seconds to make the score 9-7.    

While 3rd wasn’t what they wanted, they should be proud of their achievements and excited for the prospect of next year after the invaluable experience gained this time around. 

Stirling 1: seeded 11th, placed 13th

Stirling knew they would have a tough time after being seeded into a hard group, however despite 8> years of absence from Div 1, they started with a universe point win over KCL. They then faced up against the eventual victors Sheffield, who showed off their quality with a 9-4 win. Their last game on Saturday was a must-win game against LJMU; the winner would most likely get a crossover into the top 8, whilst the loser would be left playing for 13th. Unfortunately, LJMU came away with the win with a tight game ending 7-5, which would leave Stirling playing for 13th after the conclusion of pool play.  

Onto Sunday, when Stirling closed out their pool with a 10-5 loss to Southampton, finishing 4th in the pool and playing for 13th in the 13-20 bracket. Similar victories against UCL and Manchester (12-7 and 11-7, respectively), set them up to play Exeter in the 13 v 14 final. This was a tight game with plenty of breaks for both teams, however Stirling’s tall lads came in handy with some key scores late on, meaning they came away with 13th place. 

While I am sure they are disappointed with not maintaining or bettering their seed, Stirling should leave with their heads held high after a strong showing on Sunday to win out their bracket. It will be interesting to see if this experience will transpire into a yearly trip to Div 1 nationals for Stirling.

Final standings:

1. Sheffield 1
2. Leeds 1
3. Edinburgh 1
4. Bath 1
5. Liverpool 1
6. Southampton 1
7. Loughborough 1
8. Nottingham 1
9. Warwick 1
10. LJMU 1
11. Imperial 1
12. Birmingham 1
13. Stirling 1
14. Exeter 1
15. Sussex 1
16. Manchester 1
17. KCL 1
18. UCL 1
19. Oxford 1
20. Southampton 2

Division 2

Saint Andrews: seeded 3rd, finished 6th

Flatball (St. Andrews) were unbeaten during pool play and power pools, however it wasn’t always easy going.  After an easy win to start the day against Chichester (10-3), Bristol gave some fight in a 8-5 loss before Lancaster took Saints to universe. Saints did well to win this one – a mid-game fight back was required after going 2 breaks down, so they got down and dirty to get the job done. Into power pools, carrying a win over Bristol, Saints came through beating Swansea 9-4, before another universe point win against Loughborough 2. This set up a quarter-final for their return on Sunday morning. After not playing in the crossover, they came in a little cold into the quarter-final against York, losing 10-9 and knocking them out of contention for first place.

This meant a rematch against Loughborough 2, which Saints won more convincingly this time round (8-3), leading into a final game against Glasgow for 5th. After a slow start going down 0-3, they brought it back to take a 6-5 lead. With the buzzer going off as the scores were equal at 10s, it was anyone’s game to win. Both teams had the chance to win, but unfortunately a miscommunication on an endzone shot gave the disc to Glasgow and eventually, the win. Tough-going for Saints with one poor game costing them an otherwise expected medal. But it will be interesting to see what happens next year with over half the team leaving at the end of this semester.

Glasgow: seeded 8th, finished 5th 

Glasgow came out of the gates slowly, with a loss to Newcastle in the first game followed up by a draw with Royal Holloway. This meant they had a must-win game against Cambridge to progress upwards. After a cagey start from both teams and with the scores level at 2-2, Glasgow’s defence finally showed up and they brought the high-intensity defence they have been known for. This led to a 10-minute long point, which felt like whoever scored would go on to win the game. Fortunately Glasgow got the score, and a couple minutes the later, the win (5-4).

This took Glasgow to second in the pool, and meant they carried their win over Cambridge into the power pools, giving them a fantastic opportunity to finish the day as second seed. After a tight win against York (the less said, the better), Glasgow came up against Strathclyde in the final game of the day, where the winner would get second seed going into the brackets. Strath started strong, taking two early breaks, however Glasgow fought back and took the win 8-6 over their local rivals, and with that, second seed. 

Glasgow started Sunday with a quarter-final against Durham. Another slow start from Glasgow led them to go 2-points down, but they were able to fight back to an even score. Late in the game, Glasgow turned at a pivotal moment and Durham marched up the pitch for a critical score, which effectively won them the game and knocked Glasgow out of contention. Glasgow then topped the 5-8 bracket with wins against Swansea and St Andrews to finish in 5th. 

They will have left Motherwell disappointed, with wins over 3 of the 4 top teams, and will know they could have brought home a medal. However, as it seems is the case in many sports – little moments have big consequences.

Strathclyde: seeded 16th, finished 1st 

Strathclyde came into the tournament as bottom seed, however, they believed they could be the dark horse of the tournament (pardon the pun) and turned this into a reality. 

The team made their intentions clear with a big showing in pool play, starting with a 9-7 win against Durham, who they would later face in the final. They followed this up with an annihilation of the pool top seed, York (12-4), and a comfortable win over Bangor (9-5) to end pool play. In their power pool, they first came up against Cambridge in a low-scoring thriller, ending 5-4 to the Horses, and then had a disappointing (depending which way you look at it) loss to Glasgow in the final game of the day. This meant they ended the day as 4th seed, and on paper had the hardest quarter-final against the 5th seed, Loughborough 2.

Strathclyde’s journey is a perfect example of why seeding should never be taken at face value, as they breezed through their quarter final (9-1), making them the lone Scottish team in the semi’s. This set up a pool rematch against York, which saw a slightly less convincing win (only 11-5 this time around), guaranteeing them a medal and the opportunity to win the tournament. Into the final with another pool rematch against Durham. The game started off tight, until Alex Campbell got a huge layout block to prevent a score. Strathclyde went up the pitch to put away the break point, and effectively the game, with Durham finding themselves unable to break back due to the controlled and patient offence deployed. Strath would go on to take a couple more breaks later on in the game, making the final score 11-7 and took the gold medal. 

Normally, at university level, teams who do well put a lot of work onto the shoulders of a few players, but with this Strathclyde squad it was a team performance throughout with no real ‘stars’ – everyone bought into the systems and played their part. Strathclyde abandoned the conventional match-D looks, which have been a staple of Scottish ultimate, for more zone-ish and wall structures, proving highly effective against the English teams. After not qualifying for mixed nationals, Strathclyde’s focus will turn to the outdoor season with everything still to play for. 

Final standings:

1 Strathclyde 1
2 Durham 1
3 Cambridge 1
4 York 1
5 Glasgow 1
6 St Andrews 1
7 Loughborough 2
8 Swansea 1
9 Bangor 1
10 Chichester 1
11 Newcastle 1
12 Royal Holloway 1
13 UWE 1
14 Lancaster 1
15 UEA 1
16 Bristol 1

Thanks for reading! How did the final standings match up to your own predictions? You can find the full game lists for Div 1 here and Div 2 here.


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