ENG U14'S NETBALL CUP
Chester Tigers won the ENG U14’s Netball Cup National Finals after a thrilling final against Hatfield NC. With the score being 4-2 at half time the team from the North East had to dig deep to secure a 8-5 win and become the first ever ENG U14’s Netball Cup National Champions. The victory also meant they completed the Road to Liverpool and will enjoy a VIP weekend away watching the Netball World Cup.
The ENG U14’s Netball Cup kicked off in Leeds on April 27th with sixty teams all hoping they can become the first champions of this event and win a VIP trip to the Netball World Cup. With the sixteen best teams from around the country ready for the national finals at the impressive Hull University Sports Centre we couldn’t wait to find out who would be No.1.
Chester Tigers and Turnford NC got this event underway live on Facebook and we were officially underway in one of the most eagerly anticipated youth sporting events of the summer.
This group was started with two evenly matched games. Chester Tigers took on Turnford NC in a thrilling contest which was going to be a great indication of the credentials of both sides. With both sides not giving an inch the tie was finally won by Chester with the score 6-4. Wodson Park Marines and Charnwood Rutland played out a close contest which again showed how competitive the group was. Charnwood Rutland just edged the tie after a 5-4 win.
Chester Tigers continued their winning form into the next game against Charnwood Rutland winning 5-2 and Wodson Park Marines and Turnford NC couldn’t be separated after a 5-5 draw. With one game to go before the bonus games were decided this group was well set up for a grandstand finish.
Chester Tigers in their 3rd game made it three wins out of three against Wodson Park Marines and guaranteed themselves a top place finish going into the bonus rounds. Turnford NC got their first win of the competition after a 7-2 win against Charnwood Rutland.
The bonus games were decided on where you came in the group and that meant Wodson Park Marines had a tough task of qualifying into the knock-outs due to playing Chester Tigers again. To be fair to Wodson they performed superbly to give themselves a fighting chance of victory but were defeated 7-5. Turnford NC were now going through the gears and recorded a impressive 6-0 win over Charnwood Rutland to qualify as the groups runners up.
Chester Tigers 6 Vs Turnford NC 4
Charnwood Rutland Warriors 5 Vs Wodson Park Marines 4
Chester Tigers 5 Vs Charnwood Rutland Warriors 2
Turndord NC 5 Vs Wodson Park Marines 5
Chester Tigers 8 Vs Wodson Park Marines 3
Turnford NC 7 Vs Charnwood Rutland 2
Chester Tigers 7 Vs Wodson Park Marines 5
Turnford NC 6 Vs Charnwood Rutland Warriors 0
1st: Chester Tigers W 4, D 0, L 0, PTS 8 (Q)
2nd: Turnford NC W 2, D 1, L1, PTS 5 (Q)
3rd: Charnwood Rutland W 1, D 0, L 3, PTS 2 (Q)
4th: Wodson Park Marines W 0, D 1, L 3 PTS 1
Another tough group which would showcase if one of the competition favourites Hatfield NC had what it takes to win the event. They played against Northern Finals runners-up Saddleworth Fierce in the opening game and it was a close with Hatfield just edging it 8-5. In the other tie Leeds Athletic got off to a flying start in their first game with a 11-1 win against Team Bath NC
After losing their first game Saddleworth Fierce knew a win in the next game was important. They were playing Leeds Athletic who already had won 11-1 so the pressure was on. Saddleworth Fierce though are not a team who you measure on previous results and they came flying out of the blocks to bring Leeds back down to earth with an impressive 7-3 win. Hatfield NC on the other court continued their winning streak with a 10-4 win against Team Bath NC who performed better in this tie, but were finding this group a tough challenge.
Final games before the bonus round and Hatfield NC won again, 7-3 against Leeds who’s opening game win was now a distant memory. Saddleworth Fierce won 14-6 against Team Bath NC.
In the bonus round Team Bath NC were going to need a performance of their lives to overcome the impressive Hatfield and try squeeze into the knock-out rounds, but also hope Leeds lose to Saddleworth Fierce. Both outcomes unfortunately didn’t happen with Hatfield winning 8-1 and Leeds writing a wrong against Saddleworth winning 6-4.
Hatfield NC 8 Vs Saddleworth Fierce 5
Leeds Athletic 11 Vs Team Bath NC 1
Hatfield NC 10 Vs Team Bath NC 4
Saddleworth Fierce 7 Vs Leeds Athletic 3
Hatfield NC 7 Vs Leeds Athletic 3
Saddleworth Fierce 14 Vs Team Bath NC 6
Hatfield NC 8 Vs Team Bath NC 1
Saddleworth Fierce 4 Vs Leeds Athletic 6
1st: Hatfield NC W 4, D 0, L 0, PTS 8 (Q)
2nd: Saddleworth Fierce W 2, D 0, L 2 PTS 4 (Q)
3rd: Leeds Athletic W2, D 0, L 0, PTS 4 (Q)
4th: Team Bath NC W 0, D 0, L4, PTS 0
A close group which saw three teams from the Central Finals all compete in the same group. Matrix NC took on Ryland NC in their first game which was a repeat of the Central Finals final game which Matrix easily ran out winners. Matrix NC carried on the same form that crowned them champion of Central England with an 8-1 opening game win. One of their rival teams Barr Beacon Blaze also recorded an opening game victory with a 9-4 win against Kent County Netball Club.
The next game in the group was between Matrix NC & Barr Beacon Blaze, a game that was highly anticipated after they played out one of the competitions most exciting games in the regional finals. In this tie there was not going to a repeat of the drama that took place in Walsall with Matrix NC showing their class in this with a 9-4 win. Ryland got their first win of the competition with a hard-working win against KCNC winning 8-5.
Matrix NC who were flying in the group came un-stuck in their third fixture which saw the biggest shock of the group stages. KCNC lost both opening games but showed they have quality in the side and won the game 7-5, which really made the group interesting leading into the bonus game decider. Barr Beacon won their third game against Ryland NC 7-2 and were now hopeful of a top place finish.
In the bonus round Matrix NC got back on track with a 11-2 win against Ryland NC and Barr Beacon just edged KCNC 5-2 to guarantee a place in the knock-out stages. It was left to goal scored to see who would go through between Ryland NC KCNC.
Matrix NC 8 Vs Ryland NC 1
Barr Beacon Blaze 9 Vs Kent County NC 4
Matrix NC 9 Vs Barr Beacon Blaze 4
Ryland NC 8 Vs Kent County NC 5
Matrix NC 5 Vs Kent County NC 7
Barr Beacon Blaze 7 Vs Ryland NC 2
Matrix NC 11 Vs Ryland NC 2
Barr Beacon Blaze 5 Vs Kent County NC 2
1st: Matrix NC W 3, D 0, L 1, PTS 6 (Q)
2nd: Barr Beacon Blaze W 3, D 0, L 1 PTS 6 (Q)
3rd: Kent County NC W 1, D 0, L 3 PTS 2 (Q)
4th: Ryland NC W 1, D 0, L 3, PTS 2
This group was very evenly matched with all teams being of the same quality. Wimborne NC after a long journey were hoping of a good start to this event but came up against the unpredictable Abbey Flyers Nomads who won the tie 7-4. Grangetown NC who qualified after a team dropped out of the event took full advantage of the opportunity winning their game 11-3 against Crystal Palace NC.
Abbey Flyers Nomads and Grangetown NC who both won their opening games were now up against each other to see who would take the initiative on potentially claiming top spot in the group. A good battle commenced but it was the team from Middlesbrough who came out on top with a 7-3 win. The other game saw the two teams in the group who both lost their opening games compete against each other. A win was important for both and it was Crystal Palace who came out on top to win 8-3 and give themselves a huge chance of qualifying into the next round.
Last games before the bonus round and Grangetown were in destructive mood winning their final game against Wimborne NC 9-1 who know they are far better than the results suggested. It was now a race for second place and Crystal Palace had a spring in their step after the previous round win. They recorded an impressive 10-6 win to cement themselves in second place heading into their bonus game where they would have to play Abbey Flyers Nomads again.
The bonus round saw a much better performance from Wimborne NC who played Grangetown NC previously. Un like the previous game where they lost 9-1, they put up a good fight to only lose 7-4 which was going to be their last game of the competition. Crystal Palace who have beaten Abbey Flyers Nomads in the round before and won came un-stuck against a team who you just don’t what they are going to do. Abbey Flyers Nomads did a great job to win 7-5 and guarantee a place in the knockouts.
Wimborne NC 4 Vs Abbey Flyers Nomads 7
Crystal Palace NC 3 Vs Grangetown NC 11
Wimborne NC 3 Vs Crystal Place NC 8
Abbey Flyers Nomads 3 Vs Grangetown NC 7
Wimborne NC 1 Vs Grangetown NC 9
Crystal Palace NC 10 Vs Abbey Flyers Nomads 6
Wimborne NC 4 Vs Grangetown NC 7
Crystal Palace NC 5 Vs Abbey Flyers Nomads 7
1st: Grangetown NC W 4, D 0, L 0, PTS 8 (Q)
2nd: Crystal Palace NC W 2, D 0, L 2 PTS 4 (Q)
3rd: Abbey Flyers Nomads W 2, D 0, L 2, PTS 4 (Q)
4th: Wimborne NC W 0, D 0, L 4, PTS 0
Quarter Final Play-Offs
Leeds Athletic NC (6) Vs Turnford NC (5): Close game between to evenly matched sides. With Turnford NC finishing second in their group and Leeds 3rd, this was going to be a flip of coin situation to see who would win this one. Both teams battled hard but its Leeds who would come out the eventual winners.
Charnwood Rutland Warriors (7) Vs Saddleworth Fierce (13): Saddleworth Fierce were on fire in this round and put together a quality display to earn a place in the quarter-finals.
Barr Beacon Blaze (9) Vs Abbey Flyers Nomads (10): Who doesn’t like a Barr Beacon Blaze game at the ENG Netball Cup. Another classic encounter which involved Barr Beacon Blaze, which ended with them on the wrong side of a one-point loss. The game was end to end the whole entire time and Barr Beacon thought they had salvaged a draw but were un-done by a goal in the last seconds by a very tough Abbey Flyers Nomads side.
Crystal Palace NC (8) Vs Kent County NC (3): A local rivalry played out on the national stage saw Crystal Palace NC dominate this tie from start to finish.
Chester Tigers (11) Vs Crystal Palace (3): Crystal Palace knew this was going to be a tough tie and starting well was key to a possible victory. With a minute on the clock the South London side were 2-0 up and really taking it to one of the events favourite teams to win. Chester though didn’t panic and slowly chipped away at Crystal Palace who fought like true champions. Chester eventually got the win, but Crystal Palace left with their heads held high.
Hatfield NC (9) Vs Abbey Flyers Nomads (4): Hatfield NC were highly regarded as one of the events best teams but came up against Abbey Fyers Nomads who could give anyone a good game when they were all playing on top of their game. Hatfield though lived up to the hype and saw off the threat from Abbey Flyers who played with such grit and determination.
Matrix NC (14) Vs Saddleworth NC (8): After a scare in the groups when Matrix got beat by Kent County NC, Saddleworth NC were hoping they could cause another in this time. Matrix were to too strong for the Lancashire side and cruised into the semi-finals.
Grangetown NC (5) Vs Leeds Athletic (6): This tie was a repeat of the 3rd/4th play-off game between the two sides when they met at our Northern Finals in April. In that game Leeds came out on top and that was repeated in this game. Leeds were making a habit of winning games by the finest of margins and edged out Grangetown NC to win a place in the semi-finals.
Hatfield NC (10) Vs Matrix NC (4): Two good solid teams and even though Hatfield were the favourites Matrix still had enough class to cause an upset. Hatfield NC though showed their quality in this semi-final tie and cruised into the final.
Chester Tigers (8) Vs Leeds Athletic (4): Leeds had fought hard in this competition to get to the semi-finals and were up against Chester Tigers who showed some vulnerability in the previous round. Leeds started well and found themselves ahead and Chester like the previous game had to fight back. As the game entered in the second half Chester Tigers showed the mental strength needed to win this event and chopped away at the brave Leeds team. They won the game and Leeds had to settle for a 3rd/4th play-off game against Matrix NC.
Leeds Athletic NC (9) Vs Matrix NC (5): Leeds Athletic NC were desperate to win against Matrix after losing to them in the England Netball National Finals a couple of weeks back. The Yorkshire side wanted to prove a point and claimed the 3rd place position in the competition after a 9-5 win.
Chester Tigers (8) Vs Hatfield NC (5): A great game to finish the event and it was between the two most consistent teams of the competition. The game started nervously between both sides and it was Hatfield NC who looked the stronger and more in control of the game. As the first half was about to end the Hatfield Goal Shooter scored to make it 4-2 and put Chester under severe pressure going into the second half. Chester were making a habit of going behind in the knock-outs and once again found themselves with a lot to do. As the second half started Chester scored and a pivotal moment of the tie was about to allow Chester a way back in. With it being Hatfield’s centre pass they lost it immediately and this allowed Chester to score, make it a draw and now the initiative was with Chester. The team from the North-West now didn’t look back and took control of the game, as the seconds ticked down there was a brilliant goal from the Chester Goal Shooter to seal the victory and crown them the first ever ENG U14’s Netball Cup National Champions.
Champions: Chester Tigers
Runners Up: Hatfield NC
3rd: Leeds Athletic NC
4th: Matrix NC
Tournament MVP: Harriet King
The Road to Liverpool was a long one with many ups and downs but in the end a great competition which showed the brilliance of the youth netball world through-out England & Wales. With sixty teams competing in five regional battles it came down to the last sixteen at this national final competition at the Hull University Sports Centre. All the teams fought bravely through-out, but it was Chester Tigers who claimed the No.1 spot and became the first ever U14’s winners of this competition. Not only that they won a VIP trip to the Netball World Cup which really did reinforce how fun winning is. A big shout out also to our event MVP Harriet King who was exceptional the whole day for Leeds Athletic.
One last thanks to the teams and parents who travelled to watch the competition. These events only work if there is support for the teams and even though we didn’t get as many people coming as we would have liked it was still a great atmosphere inside the venue.
The Road to Liverpool has Ended!
See you next year.
Left to Right: Chester Tigers (Champions), Hatfield NC (Runners Up), Leeds Athletic NC (3rd), Matrix NC (4th)