TAMESIDE NC WIN ENG NETBALL CUP
Tameside NC won the first ever ENG U12's Netball Cup National Finals after a 9-5 win against Turnford NC in the final. The team from Manchester dominated the event from start to finish and memorised the 450 strong crowd with truly breathtaking movement and passing skills. This capped off a very successful ENG Netball Cup tournament for them after they had won our Northern Finals and tickets to watch England play New Zealand live.
The ENG U12's Netball Cup National Finals was easily one of the most exciting and rewarding netball competitions in the country. Not only did ENG Sports have the best teams through-out the country competing, we also had some of the finest personalities from the entertainment and sports world come down to give this competition the VIP factor it deserved.
With 450 spectators in attendance waiting to see who would triumph, IMD Legion got the event underway with a breathtaking performance. Everyone now was energized and ready, Kat B got the competition going and we were finally going to see who was the No.1 team in the country.
With the group stages all being decided by how teams placed in their regional heats, all eyes were on whether the winning teams would all qualify as winners and go straight into the quarter-finals. Tameside got their title challenge underway with a 10-3 win against MK Netters, Turnford edged past Parkside 5-3 and Stratford Thunderbirds just got the better of Kingston Phoenix winning 3-2. With three of the top teams winning initially there was a shock in Group B with our Southern Champions Eagles Netball losing 4-2 to our Eastern runners-up Comberton NC. This showed this event won't be as straight forward as some people expected.
The next round of fixtures saw our regional runners up try and get a win on the board after opening game defeats to the top teams. MK Netters were up against Teignbridge Titans and they only could manage a 3-3 draw, Kingston Phoenix just squeezed past Magnet 5-4 and Parkside were defeated again after a 5-4 loss to Matrix NC. Comberton NC who were the only runner up regional heat side not to lose their opening game carried on their winning run with a 4-3 win against Civil Service NC.
We were heading into the 3rd round of fixtures and it was becoming a make or break situation for some teams. The 3rd place regional heat teams were not doing to bad which showed how evenly matched this event was. Wodson Park having won their opening game were tamed by Tameside in their second, but bounced back to defeat MK Netters in their final game and finish the event in the runners up spot. Saffron Hawks NC also won their opening game against Civil Service NC, but were beaten by local rivals Comberton NC in their final game 7-5. In the most competitive group of the event Leeds Athletic were playing really well and going toe to toe with their opponents. Having just lost their two opening games they recorded a fantastic win in the final tie winning 8-0 against a strong Parkside side.
Into the final round of fixtures and it was win or bust for some of our fourth place regional sides. In Group A Teignbridge had a daunting task of trying to score as many goals as possible against Tameside NC, they managed only one and had to wait to see if they had got into the knock-outs on goals scored after drawing on points with MK Netters. In Group B Civil Service had to win against Eagles Netball to stay in the competition after opening game defeats, but the task was to much for the Suffolk side who went out the event but had played really well. Group C saw Matrix finish in the runner up position after a fantastic performance. They won their first two games and played a great game against Turnford NC, only losing 4-3. Finally in Group D Magnet Netball were defeated in all their three games, but played a great game against Kingston Phoenix losing 3-2.
Tameside 10 Vs MK Netters 3
Wodson Park Navy 8 Vs Teignbridge Titans 4
Tameside 13 Vs Wodson Park Navy 0
MK Netters 3 Vs Teignbridge Titans 3
Tameside 13 Vs Teignbridge Titans 1
MK Netters 4 Vs Wodson Park Navy 8
Eagles 2 Vs Comberton 4
Saffron Hawks 5 Vs Civil Service 2
Eagles 8 Vs Saffron Hawks 3
Comberton 4 Vs Civil Service 3
Eagles 8 Vs Civil Service 2
Comberton 7 Vs Saffron Hawks 2
Turnford 5 Vs Parkside 3
Leeds Athletic 5 Vs Matrix 8
Turnford 6 Vs Leeds Athletic 5
Parkside 4 Vs Matrix 5
Turnford 4 Vs Matrix 3
Parkside 0 Vs Leeds Athletic 8
Stratford Thunderbirds 3 Vs Kingston Phoenix 2
Sutton Town 6 Vs Magnet 1
Stratford Thunderbirds 7 Vs Sutton Town 0
Kingston Phoenix 5 Vs Magnet 4
Stratford Thunderbirds 7 Vs Magnet 2
Kingston Phoenix 7 Vs Sutton Town 4
Quarter Final Play-offs
Our runner up and 3rd place teams had to battle it out for a place in the quarter finals, with there being some great match ups in this round. Wodson Park won their game against a strong Saffron Hawks side. Both teams went toe to toe in a very competitive fixture which was eventually won 10-6 by Wodson Park.
Eagles were the only side who won our regional heat but failed to secure top spot were up against MK Netters who they defeated in the Southern Finals to win the event. That game was very one-sided in November, but MK Netters put up a great performance in this one. With Eagles flying into the lead you would be mistaken into thinking this was going to be a routine victory for the Maidenhead side. MK Netters though fought back and if it wasn't for a couple of missed shots in the final minute could of forced the draw. Eagles were through and set up a mouth watering tie against Turnford NC.
Matrix NC and Sutton Town were drawn against each other this round and like the Eagles tie this was a repeat fixture of the regional heats where Sutton Town defeated Matrix in the 3rd/4th play-off game. Sutton Town raced into the lead in this game and it was looking like a repeat result of our Central Finals game, but Matrix kept going and slowly forced their way into the game and eventually winning the tie 8-7.
After getting through a very competitive group Leeds Athletic were in fine form against Kingston Phoenix. A superb performance saw the Yorkshire side win 8-2.
The heavy hitters all came into play in this round and were eager to get going. After a great performance in the play-off game Leeds Athletic were rewarded with a quarter-final tie against Tameside. The Manchester side weren't effected by the break they had and won the tie 16-2 to cruise into the semi-finals. Comberton NC took on Matrix and this game was as evenly matched as you could imagine. With the game going back and forth it was eventually Comberton who took the initiative and won 8-7. Stratford Thunderbirds were in fine form against Wodson Park and won 5-1 which left us with the tie of the round to watch.
Eagles took on Turnford in this blockbuster tie which was packed full of drama and excitement. Eagles dominated the opening half and went into the break supposedly 5-1 ahead. Turnford had a mountain to climb, but weren't going to give this game up lightly. With about two minutes to go they forced their way back into the game and when the final whistle went the score was 6-5 to Eagles. With Eagles thinking they had won, Turnford questioned the score after someone had interfered with the score taking process. Luckily the game was live streamed and when re-watched the end score was 5-5, which meant we went to overtime. In the overtime game Turnford were in fine form and blew away the Eagles who mentally were not in the right place after thinking they had won and then having to play again. The final score in this one was 11-7 to Turnford.
Tameside were up against Stratford Thunderbirds and this was going to be a true test of their ability to win this competition. The first half the team from Warwickshire battled well and if not for a interception could of gone into the half time break only one point behind the Manchester side. As the second half started Stratford Thunderbirds clawed the tie back to 5-4, the next phase of play was crucial and after a interception from Stratford they had to make it count. With Stratford in a good position one more pass was needed to potentially draw the tie and put Tameside under pressure for the first time in the event. The final pass to potentially shoot for the tie was wayward and was a crucial moment in the tie. After this Tameside grew in confidence and ended up winning the tie 11-4 and a place in the final.
In the other semi-final tie Comberton who had done superb all day were finally defeated by Turnford who had defeated them in the final of our Eastern Finals on January 12th. A very one sided tie saw Turnford win 11-3 and a place in the final against Tameside.
Comberton NC and Stratford Thunderbirds had been incredible all day and were playing for the 3rd and 4th place positions in this national event. It was Stratford who claimed the 3rd place award and those iconic ENG bronze medals in the end, with Comberton having to settle for a 4th place position.
Two heavyweight teams of the youth netball world went head to head to see who would become the first ever ENG U12's Netball Cup National Final Champions. Tameside started brightly and raced into a 3-0 lead which was going to be a tough ask of Turnford to turn this around. At half time the score was 6-2 and Turnford needed all heir skill and will power to turn this around. In the second half Turnford were more in the game and matched Tameside goal for goal which meant the final score ended 9-5. Tameside were crowned the ENG U12's National Champions.
Wodson Park Navy 10 Vs Saffron Hawks 6
Eagles Netball 6 Vs MK Netters 5
Matrix NC 8 Vs Sutton Town 7
Kingston Phoenix 2 Vs Leeds Athletic 8
Tameside NC 16 Vs Leeds Athletic 2
Comberton NC 6 Vs Matrix NC 5
Turnford NC 11 Vs Eagles Netball 7
Stratford Thunderbirds 5 Vs Wodson Park Navy 1
Tameside NC 11 Vs Stratford Thunderbirds 4
Comberton NC 3 Vs Turnford NC 11
Comberton Vs Stratford Thunderbirds NC
Tameside NC 9 Vs Turnford NC 5
With over 450 people watching this event it was an incredible day for everyone involved. ENG Sports UK are all about creating a platform for grassroots sports to feel like superstars when competing in competitive sporting competitions and we feel we achieved this with the event structure and special guest appearances we built into it. All the teams competing were incredible and whether they lost early doors or got into the latter stages they all played with pride and a infectious energy. We all know there could only be one eventual winner, but believing you can win regardless of reputation or skill level is something special and very empowering to watch.
Massive well done thought to our top four teams, in particular to Tameside NC. They dominated this competition from start to finish and the way they play the game at their age level is quite incredible. All the teams now know what is expected because in 2yrs time they most probably will be all coming up against each other again and having that awareness of what to expect is going to make these competitions even more competitive and entertaining for everyone involved. Also a big well done to our MVP of the Tournament Ruby Ellis who was truly outstanding through-out the whole event.
For our opening national netball event it has been quite a blast and ENG Sports UK want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved through-out the regional and national level.
See you again in 2yrs.