Oldham NC won the ENG U12 YNPL Grand Finals 2022 after a epic win over rivals Kingsway Power in the final 19-17. This win revenged the loss to Kingsway Power which meant they lost the league weeks earlier and now they are the No.1 U12 team in the entire country.
Coming into this competition Oldham NC were conscious they will again be pitted against their local rivals, but had to navigate the two games before reaching that outcome. Their first game against Sutton Town saw them take on a Sutton Town side who played their best netball of the season and they had to slowly break down a resolute defense to claim their spot in the semi-finals. Next up, the Southern Champions Starz NC stood in their way of a place in the final and it was a good contest with Starz NC showing a good resistance to the Oldham NC attack, but Oldham's greater experience in these type of events was the difference and they won the tie 20-10.
So, the tie everyone had predicted came to the head and Oldham had the chance to avenge the loss to Kingsway Power a few weeks earlier in the league that cost them the league title. The game started with both teams evenly matched but it was Oldham who went into the first quarter ahead with a slender 5-4 lead. After the game entered the second quarter it became scrappy and lacked flow and this was more beneficial for Oldham who knew how well Kingsway Power move the ball. Even though Kingsway Power didn't play with the same fluency and speed they still managed to go into half time ahead 9-7. As the game moved into the third quarter there was the danger Kingsway Power could pull away and Oldham had to make sure they stay focused to stop this happening. The fluency in both teams play returned in this quarter and with some turnovers Oldham found themselves drawing with seconds to spare. With the clock ticking down Jessica Facey for Oldham produced a unbelievable shot to put Oldham 15-14 up going in the final quarter.
This was it, the final and it was a question of who would stay more disciplined due to how even both teams through-out the game. As usual the game went back and forth, with both defenses showing great resistance to stop the ball being fed into the shooters. With so much on line it was Oldham who forced a Kingsway Power turnover late into the game and they then went two points ahead with a minute to spare. In what felt like an eternity the seconds ticked down and when the whistle went their were scenes of pure relief from Oldham NC who knew they had played exceptionally well to win against Kingsway Power. The eventual score was 19-17.
This event was dominated by the Northern sides who had three teams in the top 4. Wyre NC were the only side to not win their quarter final tie from the North after a frustrating loss to the Southern Champions Starz NC. Wyre started the game better and found themselves six points ahead in the first quarter but came up against a strong minded Starz NC side who grew in confidence as the game went on. Starz in the end got the 24-20 win and were the only side from the Southern Conference to proceed to the semi-finals.
In the semi-finals there were high hopes for Leeds Athletic who had won convincingly against Turnford NC in the previous round when they took on Kingsway Power. A slow start though was their eventual undoing and even though a surge in the 3rd quarter brough the game back to point you thought Leeds Athletic could still win Kingsway Power were just too strong for Yorkshire side.
In the 5th-8th play-off Wyre NC showed true character to claim the 5th place finish after wins over Sutton Town and Turnford. Eagles NC who started with a heavy loss to Kingsway Power ended the competition well with a hard fought win over Sutton Town to finish in 7th place.
This was a incredible end to the season and we really hope everyone enjoyed the league and Grand Finals that followed. Look forward to doing it all again in September when we start the 2022/23 season.
1st: Oldham NC
2nd: Kingsway Power
3rd: Leeds Athletic
4th: Starz NC
MVP: Hettie Tidy (Leeds Athletic)
All Stars: Hettie Tidy - Leeds Athletic, Thea Uprichard - Kingsway Power, Amber Bonnett-Powell - Turnford NC, Gabby Olatundun - Sutton Town, Ava Brown - Oldham NC, Chloe Horne - Starz NCSophie Pinder - Wyre NC