Five Trinity frisbee players were among the Irish side to take part in an international ultimate frisbee beach championship in Dubai earlier this month. Trinity student Sam Mehigan co-captained the team of 33 that represented Ireland in the mixed and open men’s divisions of the World Championships of Beach Ultimate between March 9th and 13th.
The Irish mixed team won most of their group games quite comfortably, losing only to the USA and to Portugal in a nail biting one-point game in which they came back from a five-point deficit at half-time to draw level at 12 all, before Portugal got the winning point. This left them in third position, qualifying them for the quarter-finals, where they faced Canada, one of the traditional powerhouses in ultimate frisbee. After losing to Canada, they then lost the sixth place play-off to Sweden in another one point defeat before going on to beat Russia 9-4 in their final game and finish in seven position.
The open beach team took a while to find their stride in the pool games and began the tournament with some disappointing losses but towards the end of the tournament had some very close games losing narrowly to Germany and suffering a one point defeat against India. These bitter defeats increased their determination and provided them with valuable experience which they carried with them into their penultimate game against Kenya to win a really close game 8-7. However, this was not enough to see them through their final game which they lost narrowly to Singapore which left then in 14th position.
Both the mixed team and the open team relied heavily on some of the current Trinity players when it came to getting goals. Daniel Purdy on the open team and Sarah Melvin on the mixed team were both the top goal scorers on their respective teams, with Purdy finishing the tournament with an impressive 23 goals and Melvin finishing with 16. Purdy was the sixth highest goal scorer in the entire open division, while Melvin was the fourth highest female goalscorer and the joint 13th highest goal scorer overall in the entire mixed division.