The 2013 edition saw a seventh place finish for DreadLAX, with a squad looking good on paper and some new faces eager to get going in DreadLAX colours we were hoping to improve on that.
Thursday saw most of the team assemble in Vienna after journeys from Prague, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as well as from the UK via Philadelphia or Brussels! By early evening we were all checked in to our usual hostel, Wombats and had set up shop in the Wombar getting to know our new teammates.
It turned out that the winners of last year’s men’s tournament Zurich as well as their ladies’ team had chosen to stay in the same hostel so we had a good evening chatting with them until the bar shut and most of them hit the hay before the start of the tournament on Friday. A couple of their more hardy players and most of our team moved the party on to Bar Mozart around the corner and had a few beers to see out the night before heading back and getting some rest before the games started the next day.
After waking up in time for breakfast we made our way to the grounds and chilled out watching some games before we hit the field at 13:45 for our opening game against the German team Tübingen. Despite a bit of sloppy play and some trouble getting to know one another we ran out winners 8-1 and hoped to have shaken off some of the haze from the previous night.
We had a bit of a break to watch some of the other games and then faced off against last year’s winners Zurich in the last game of the day. The game was pretty tight and played in the way we like, hard and fair with some good chat thrown in. In the end the Lions came out winners six goals to four.
Following the game it was time to hit the BBQ on site and have a few beers with the other teams, refs and the friendly bar staff. There was plenty of beer flowing and the dice came out. The Zurich guys once again made sure everyone knew they were there with a small camp fire before helping the organisers put the goals away, Swiss style.
The evening was a good one and once we had to make a move the tram back to the hostel with the whole DreadLAX and Zurich contingent was a good one!
After a few beers at the local bars we hit the hay in preparation for a 10:45 game in the morning against Bratislava Tricksters in the quarter finals.
As always we weren’t the best in the early game, this was compounded by a very quick and organised Tricksters team who eventually took the win five goals to two. With the loss we were out of contention for the main tournament and had to play the mixed Vienna team in the early afternoon.
We got our heads together and went out for the game aiming for a win to set us up for a good night at the party.
We played well and strung some nice plays together, particularly with Bobby moving into attack and turning out to be an all-out superstar. We took the win and moved to the bar area to have some warm up beers before heading back to prepare for the evening.
We played some games with the Swiss, rekindled our love of the water balloon sling and generally got into the party spirit.
It was a time to formally celebrate Pedro’s birthday and so we made sure he had his fair share of Jägermeister and carried on the games until we had to head back to the hostel to get ready.
After we got ready and had a couple of beers in the hostel we hit the town and braved the metro ride across town to the nightclub the organisers had booked.
The club was the same as last year and had a big dance floor downstairs and a bar area upstairs with the day’s pictures from the fields looping on one of the walls. As always at the ALO the party was awesome with plenty of drinks flowing, teams mingling and tables being danced upon.
As the night went on we continued to celebrate the birthday boy and eventually hit the road to get some food before bed and the next day’s 11:30 start against Zurich.
The game was once again a very good one played in good spirits. Both teams were feeling the night before but left it all on the field and in a close game we came out winners to earn fifth place in the tournament. Not as high as we had hoped but all in all a very fair placing and a two step improvement on last year.
After the celbrations and presentations we shared some beers with the Austrians and arranged to head out for dinner with Coach Arnold of the national team.
He took us to a very nice pub where we had a well earned meal and a few beers followed by some of the local schnapps.
After once again meeting up with the Zurich contingent we shared a last few beers before heading back to the hostel for the last sleep in Vienna.
Once again we had a fantastic trip to Vienna and the ALO proved once again to be one of the most enjoyable and well run tournaments out there. A huge thank you goes to all of the organisers and opposition teams who helped make it such a great weekend. This won’t be the last time you see DreadLAX in the ALO!
Credit to some photos to the Austrain Lacrosse Open and Richard Hauer.