Regional crown for Charnwood Warriors U17s
CHARNWOOD Rutland Warriors are celebrating after their U17 team clinched a prestigious regional crown and the right to challenge for the national title in 2022.
England Netball usually host the top 18 clubs in the country for U16 and U14 age groups every year but the competition hadn’t been staged since 2019 when Charnwood Rutland Warriors U16 team third.
Because players had missed out because of the pandemic England Netball organised an U17 and U15 National competition to give these players an opportunity.
The format saw the country split into Northern, Midlands and South competitions, from which the top two teams from each area will meet in 2022 to battle it out for the National crown.
As a club Charnwood jumped at an opportunity to take both U15 and U17 teams to this event as Head coach Sam Griffin explaned: “These players have missed so much opportunity to develop through competition it was important for us to expose them to a big venue, a crowd and teams from other areas.
“I knew our U17s were strong, and the aim was for them to qualify, as for our U15s this group had been hit the hardest with covid missing so much time to develop, I just wanted them to go and enjoy the experience and see where we were at.”
Up first were the U15s who beat Nottingham City, Northants Storm and Glinton Wasps but fell short against Stratford Thunderbirds and Turnford.
Griffin said she was pleased with the performsances.
“Turnford went on to play Stratford in the final where Turnford were crowned champions. We were really pleased with the U15s who showed they are very strong locally and we were happy they were in a group where they faced the teams that went on the finish 1st and 2nd. We now need to give them more opportunities to play tougher teams from out of the East Midlands area.”
Day two saw the U17 squad in action and they finished top of their group with three wins out of three before facing Tunrford in the semi-finals.
Griffin said: “his was the challenge the squad wanted; the match started off with both teams playing some excellent netball. Once Warriors found their flow they started to win ball and transition straight to goal taking the win 25-15 and qualifying for the final.
“The final saw them face Parkside, Warriors stepped out onto court playing their best netball of the day with no fear, they took the early lead and didn’t look back, meaning all 10 players took to the court in the final with a solid win 32-21.
“The U17s will enter the final round as Midlands Champions and play off against five more of the top teams in the country including Oldham who are current National Champions.”
U15 Squad: Georgie Pritchard, Emily Darrell, Eva King, Hattie Ashford-Clarke, Aaliyah Silwamba, Neve Davis, Emelia Unwin, Rachel Lynch, Lizzie Parkes, Lucy Jones
U17 Squad: Chloe Mabhara, Freya Castledine, Emelia Hughes, Milly Baistow, Evie Watts, Evie Smith, Tabitha Tooms, Queta Taylor, Annabel Scoggins, Zoe Silwamba