Kingsway Power defeated Eagles NC in a unforgettable final to lift the ENG U13 YNPL National title after three tough battles in this competition. The final was decided by the finest of margins, with Kingsway Power scoring with ten seconds to go, giving Eagles no time to respond.
Kingsway Power come into this competition with a huge reputation and expectation was high for them to deliver a good performance through-out. Their first game was against Ryland NC and on paper a straight forward win for the Northern champions, so they thought. Ryland started the game with a fearless approach and shocked the Kingsway Power team with their skill set and they were probably wondering how they had finished fourth in the Southern league. At half time Ryland went in drawing and their was a real genuine concern that they could pull of a unexpected win from the Kingsway Power bench. With changes to the side coming thick and fast, Kingsway Power finally found some daylight and took the win, in what was a unexpected opening game for them.
Next up was Oldham NC who were seeking revenge for the defeat in the league a week earlier. Oldham started the brighter and were in complete control of the game and at one point looked like they were going to run away with the win. With four minutes to go in the second quarter, Oldham were six points up and cruising, but some turnovers gave Kingsway Power the confidence they needed to get back into the game and as the quarter ended were only two points behind and it was now game on. As the next quarters got under way it was one way traffic for Kingsway Power who started to make Oldham huff and puff and in the end they ran out of ideas to try and re-create the success they had early on in the tie. Another tough game though for Kingsway Power and Eagles awaited them in the final.
The Eagles NC team who had won this event last season were going for back to back Grand Finals wins and Kingsway Power knew it would be a tough challenge. The game itself was filled full of exceptional talent with the attacking ends dominating proceedings. Eagles NC in the final quarter seemed to have the edge on Kingsway Power and had a opportunity to go three ahead but squandered the chance and Kingsway Power came storming back. With minutes to go the game was goal for goal and Eagles NC levelled the tie with thirty seconds left to play. This gave Kingsway Power enough time to go up the other end and score themselves leaving Eagles with ten seconds to score a equalizer. As the ball was fed into the Eagles shooter the time ticked by and before the shot was even off loaded time was up and Kingsway Power were champions of the country in what was one of the best games of netball we've ever seen since conducting these national netball events.
It wasn't to be for Eagles this time around but they can have their heads high after such an impressive performance through-out this event. From getting past a resilient Oaksway side, to brushing aside Chester NC in the semi-finals they have shown an improvement that is testament to the hard work put in by the coaching staff and players. They will be back again next season and will be looking to write a wrong if they were to meet Kingsway Power again.
Other teams to catch the eye in this national final were Oaksway NC who came 5th overall. They gave Eagles NC a tremendous game in the quarter finals and showed that the gap between the best and rest is very small. Ryland were impressive against Kingsway Power and like Oaksway proved their is not much ground to make up between teams wanting to conquer the ENG mountain and teams who find themselves already there. Chester will be disappointed with their performance against Eagles NC, but couldn't cope with the attacking threat and will need to address how to combat that threat if they were to meet again in the future. A injury to their star shooter didn't help matters after a fall in the AP Saints NC game previously.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you again in the 2022/23 season.
1st: Kingsway Power
2nd: Eagles NC
3rd: Oldham NC
4th: Chester NC
MVP: Joely Chamberlain (Eagles NC)
All Stars: Joely Chamberlain - Eagles NC, Holly Green - Oaksway NC, Anna Chapman - Ryland NC, Isla Wolstenholme - Oldham NC, Reefe Pankhurst - Chester NC, Imogen Ratcliffe - Kingsway Power, Natasha Tomlinson - Crosskeys NC