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KINGSWAY POWER
WIN THE QUADRUPLE

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We've had many great netball teams compete within the ENG event structure, but we may have found the greatest after Kingsway Power U12 won the 2023 YNPL Grand Finals after a hard-fought victory over Leeds Athletic who stubbornly wouldn't allow Kingsway Power the victory without pushing them to the limit. This win meant it was a Quadruple of wins for this talented side after they had won three other titles within ENG in the 2022/23 season.

The competition started with Southern Champions Sutton Town taking on fourth from the north Oldham NC. Sutton Town was slow out of the blocks and gifted Oldham NC a slender lead after the first quarter. Sutton needed to get motoring but missed shots and indecisive passing allowed Oldham to go further ahead and lead the tie 11-5 at halftime. As the game progressed Sutton couldn't find enough fluency in their play to put pressure on Oldham but did manage a late rally of goals in the final quarter to make the score a respectable 26-22.

Leeds Athletic swept aside Starz in their quarter-final tie and Kingsway Power was equally ruthless against Turnford in theirs. The final game of the quarter-finals was an absolute nail-biter with Shan taking on Ellesmere Port. EP started the game well, leading after the first quarter and the tie looked very much one-sided. In the second quarter, Shan got going and were starting to intercept the ball more frequently and their attackers settled down and were executing under the post more confidently. As the game moved into the third quarter Shan held their never and kept the lead, but in the fourth quarter Ellesmere Port found themselves two goals behind and with a chance of a late win. It wasn't to be though with Shan's defence staying focused and frustrating their opponents, which meant they won the tie 18-14.

The first semi-final tie was an absolute classic. Leeds Athletic took on Oldham NC and it was a game that saw Oldham dominate up until the fourth quarter until Leeds mounted a comeback against the odds to secure the win in overtime. Oldham showed such a huge improvement throughout the season and this was another example of that, dominating Leeds who only just come off the back of a draw against Kingsway Power in the league weeks prior. As we entered the final quarter Oldham was four points ahead and it was their game to lose. An overturned pass gave Leeds Athletic the initiative early in the final quarter and then they scored off their centre pass to reduce the deficit to two points. The game was now about the mentality of the players and after Leeds got the game level, Oldham showed incredible character to hold their nerve and force the game into overtime. In overtime, Leeds lost the ball on their centre pass and Oldham needed to capitalise. As the Oldham player took the free pass it was misplaced and Leeds was offered a lifeline which they took and went ahead once again. The time it took for this to play out meant Oldham ran out of time to score themselves and went into the second half of overtime one goal down and it was a Leeds centre pass. Unfortunately for Oldham, Leeds wouldn't make another mistake and held their centre pass to win the tie 22-20.

Shan was in high spirits going into their semi-final game against Kingsway Power who were two wins away from a famous Quadruple. Shan found out in this tie how tough this event was and was overwhelmed by Kingsway Power in the opening quarters. From this point, it was a game of catch-up for Shan who never gave up but had to settle for a 3rd/4th place finish.

The final was hotly contested between Kingsway Power and Leeds Athletic who had drawn in the league weeks prior. Kingsway Power started the brighter out of the two sides but Leeds found their feet and were up 6-5 going into the second quarter. Leeds were on top in the early stages of the second quarter and could have gone 8-5 ahead if not for a mistake. Kingsway Power took advantage of this and got the game back to a draw and then scored with seconds to spare to go in at half time 9-8 in front. In the third quarter, Kingsway Power maintained its lead and increased it by two points to be three ahead with the final quarter to go. With eight minutes left, Leeds needed to play out of their skins against a Kingsway Power side who were looking in complete control of the game. In the end, Leeds punched themselves out of the contest and weakened in the final stages to allow Kingsway Power to secure the win and a famous ENG Quadruple.

Positions:

1st: Kingsway Power

2nd: Leeds Athletic

3rd: Oldham NC

4th: Shan NC

5th: Sutton Town

6th: Ellesmere Port

7th: Turnford NC

8th: Starz NC

MVP: Lottie Winterton (Kingsway Power)

All Star Team: Erin Dunn (Ellesmere Port), Anishka Gupta (Starz NC), Rosie Myles (Sutton Town) Olivia Evans (Turnford), Gabriella Gooding (Shan NC), Annabel Lama (Oldham NC), Emily Carter (Leeds Athletic)Lottie Winterton (Kingsway Power)

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