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WYRE WIN EPIC
U12 YNPL CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

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The inaugural ENG U12 YNPL Championship Finals, a significant milestone in youth sports, unfolded at the prestigious Oxstalls Arena in Gloucester on May 11th & 12th. This event was a crucial stepping stone for numerous clubs, propelling them closer to the coveted YNPL Grand Finals.

The U12 YNPL Championship Finals were a thrilling display of absolute drama from start to finish. The competition was intense, with the highly anticipated Shan, who had narrowly missed out on the Grand Finals, and Poole NC, who had showcased their strength by securing a top ten position in our U12 Netball Cup a few months prior to this event, battling it out against the formidable clubs from the North West, including YWCA Bury and Oldham NC.

Quarter Finals

Oldham U11 entered this event in exceptional form, and they overcame an AP Saints side that had only six players throughout the competition to advance into the semi-finals. The favourites, Shan, had to put in a bit more effort against Chester to secure their spot in the semi-finals, setting up an intriguing clash against Oldham.

The drama was left to the second set of quarter-final games. Hatfield, who had won the U12 Netball Cup Southern Finals, faced the top seed from the North YWCA Bury in what turned out to be a fantastic game. YWCA Bury started the better of the two teams, but Hatfield composed themselves to keep within four points of Bury throughout the game. As the clock ticked down, Hatfield rallied towards the end to give Bury a scare, but they hung on to win by a single point.

Wyre came into this event after a heavy defeat to Oldham and took on Poole, who had shown throughout the season in the Southern League how good they were with some incredible wins and performances. The game started evenly matched, with both sides showing excellent concentration, and this was reflected in the score, which was a draw for extensive periods of the first quarter. The game was tense, and Wyre managed to maintain a two-point lead up until the third quarter and had a slender one-point lead going into the final eight minutes. The final quarter was incredible, with both sides displaying tremendous courage in the pursuit of glory. As we headed into the final minute, Wyre had the chance to go three points clear, which would have secured the win, but a Poole turnover meant they had the opportunity to level the tie. Wyre had the advantage of a good support network to keep the girls encouraged and switched on as Poole looked to score a vital goal. The Wyre defense was proving stubborn enough to break down, and by the time Poole scored, there were only ten seconds left on the clock. A mix-up at the centre pass left the result in no doubt, and Wyre secured a semi-final tie against YWCA Bury.

Results

Oldham U11 (36) Vs AP Saints (10)

Shan NC (18) Vs Chester NC (7)

YWCA Bury (19) Vs Hatfield NC (18)

Wyre NC (19) Vs Poole NC (18)

Semi-Finals

The top two seeds from the Southern and Northern Conference were hot favourites to win their ties, but both came unstuck in another entertaining set of games. Oldham U11 took on Shan, and initially, Shan struggled with the Oldham intensity, which meant they went into the second quarter two points ahead. Most thought after some wise words and tactical changes, Shan would come out flying in the second quarter, but Oldham edged further in front, going three points ahead. The biggest problem for Shan was how they would feed their shooters more cleanly due to the Oldham defenders constantly cutting out the predictable feeds from the Shan attack. Oldham was still three points ahead as the game headed into the final quarter. Oldham started the fourth quarter brightly and took a four-point lead, and it didn't look likely Shan would find an answer to their problems. As the game edged into the final minutes, Shan dug deep and pilled on the pressure to bring the game down to a two-point game. Oldham held their nerve, though, to go on and win the game by a single point.

Wyre was up next, and they took on YWCA Bury, a team they had lost to in the league by over ten points. Bury started the better of the two teams, but Wyre bounced back in the second quarter, taking a three-point lead into the third quarter. Wyre was dominating the game and, at one point, was six points ahead and cruising. Wyre, though, showed their vulnerability and allowed Bury to storm back in the final quarter, which, with fifty seconds to go, got the game back to a single point. Instead of attacking to get that crucial two-point lead back, Wyre decided to hold onto the ball, which was a risky choice considering the amount of time left. The clock ticked down slowly, but Wyre held their nerve to record the win and place in the final.

Results

Oldham NC (19) Vs Shan NC (18)

Wyre NC (21) Vs YWCA Bury (20)

5th-8th Play-Offs

Chester NC (30) Vs AP Saints (7)

Poole NC (29) Vs Hatfield (22)

Final/3rd-4th Play-Off

What was expected to be the final ended up being our 3rd/4th play-off. A hard-fought game saw Shan win to become our official third-place team.

A few weeks back, Oldham U11 had beaten Wyre by over twenty goals, which gave this tie a feeling of predictability that you don't want in finals. Oldham started well and raced into a three-point lead, a better start than the previous game they played against Oldham. Oldham continued to dominate the game and were four points up heading into the third quarter, and it looked like the title was going back to Greater Manchester. The third quarter saw Wyre down by six points, and it looked like the game was over, but midway through the quarter, a tremendous fightback was about to occur. Inspired by the determination of Ruby Cox, Wyre fought back and consistently turned over the ball to miraculously go into the final quarter, drawing 17-17. The final quarter was goal for goal, and the tension and nerves on the bench and spectators added to the drama. With a score of 20-20, Wyre had the chance to win the game but missed the opportunity to take the ball down the court, and the game went into overtime.

In overtime, Wyre was more composed and took the lead for the first time. With both sides nervously wasting possession and missing shots, it would come down to small margins. With the score 22-21 and Wyre in possession, it only needed a single goal to win the game. Cheered on by their fantastic support, Wyre's parents were put out of highly stressed states when their team scored to seal the win in one of the season's games.

Results

7th-8th Play-Off

Hatfield NC (36) Vs AP Saints (10)

5th-6th Play-Off

Poole NC (20) Vs Chester NC (16)

3rd-4th Play-Off

Shan NC (21) Vs YWCA Bury (15)

Final

Wyre NC (23) Vs Oldham U11 (21)

MVP: Ruby Cox (Wyre NC)

All-Stars: Ruby Cox (Wyre NC), Olivia Charlier (AP Saints), Polly Miller (Poole NC), Gabriella Blundel (Shan NC) Jess Garlick-Jenkins (Chester NC), Amelia Alade (Hatfield), Isla Mullarkey (Oldham), Hattie Percival (YWCA Bury)

Wyre win a epic encounter against Poole

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