Stratford Thunderbirds won the final regional round of the ENG U16 Netball Cup after a 17-5 win over AP Saints NC U15 in the final. It wasn't a straight forward win for Stratford who suffered a defeat to Poole NC in the groups and survived a scare in the semi finals against AP Saints NC U14 on the way to becoming the champions of the East.
This competition was the final installment of this national netball event and like the first two served up some exciting and unpredictable results which is the most exciting thing when putting on these competitions with small game times.
In Group A Team Beds and Brookside Bees dominated the group with Team Beds finishing top after a thumping win over Brookside Bees in their bonus game winning 14-2. Storm NC & AP Saints NC U16 both won one game with Storm placing above AP Saints after scoring more goals.
Group B had the competition favorites Stratford Thunderbirds placed with Poole NC, AP Saints U14 & U15. Stratford started well but were made to work for their next couple of wins against Poole NC & AP Saints NC U15. Poole NC who lost to Stratford got their revenge in the bonus game where they won in the final seconds to joint top the group on points but miss out on first due to scoring less goals. The AP Saints sides navigated a tough group which set them up for the quarter final ties in a positive way.
As we went into the knock-outs shocks were in store for the top two in Group A with both being defeated by the 3rd & 4th place teams in Group B. The top two in Group B though didn't suffer the same fate and easily glided through to the semi-finals. In the semis the shocks continued with AP Saints NC U15 overcoming Poole NC to reach the final, a great example of what happens when you don't perform to a high standard in these shorter games. Stratford were made to work for the win over AP Saints NC U14 who showed great determination to replicate their U15 side. It wasn't to be though and Stratford finally got hold of the tie and won 7-5.
In the 3rd/4th play-off and final the drama stopped with Stratford Thunderbirds getting the win against
AP Saints NC U15 and Poole NC winning with ease also.
Brookside Bees 12 Vs Storm NC 6
Teams Beds 5 Vs AP Saints NC U16 (3)
Brookside Bees 8 Vs Team Beds 7
Storm NC 2 Vs AP Saints NC U16 (4)
Brookside Bees 9 Vs AP Saints NC U16 (2)
Team Beds 9 Vs Storm NC 2
Team Beds 14 Vs Brookside Bees 2
AP Saints NC U16 (6) Vs Storm NC 9
Stratford Thunderbirds 11 Vs AP Saints NC U14 (3)
Poole NC 9 Vs AP Saints NC U14 (2)
Stratford Thunderbirds 12 Vs Poole NC 7
AP Saints NC U14 (11) Vs AP Saints NC U15 (4)
Stratford Thunderbirds 8 Vs AP Saints NC U15 (5)
AP Saints NC U14 (10) Vs Poole NC 11
Stratford Thunderbirds 7 Vs Poole NC 8
AP Saints NC U14 (6) Vs AP Saints NC U15 (6)
Team Beds 5 Vs AP Saints NC U15 (9)
Stratford Thunderbirds Vs AP Saints NC U16 (0)
Brookside Bees 7 Vs AP Saints NC U14 (12)
Poole NC 12 Vs Storm NC 0
AP Saints NC U15 (10) Vs Poole NC 9
AP Saints NC U14 (5) Vs Stratford Thunderbirds 7
Poole NC 14 Vs AP Saints NC U14 (6)
Stratford Thunderbirds 17 Vs AP Saints NC U15 (5)