Photo by Morgan Harlow
Over the weekend, the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield played host to the U14 National Clubs Finals, showcasing the very best of young netball talent.
Sponsored by the British Army, the competition saw 18 top teams from across the country battle it out for the coveted trophy, with each squad fervently hoping to be named champions.
Under 14 National Clubs Finals 2023 Teams
- 5Ways Falcons – South
- Bath Cougars – South West
- Charnwood – East Midlands
- Crosskeys – East
- DNC Netball Club – Yorkshire & Humberside
- Eagles – South
- Grangetown – North East
- Kingsway Power – North West
- Leeds Athletic – Yorkshire & Humberside
- Lincoln City – East Midlands
- Manor Met – London & South East
- Oaksway – North East
- Oldham – North West
- Ryland – West Midlands
- Starz – London & South East
- Sutton Town – West Midlands
- Teignbridge Titans – South West
- Turnford – East
The format of the weekend involved four parts across the two days:
Part One: Teams are grouped by finishing place within region. Each group contains 1 winner and 2 runners up or vice versa. Teams from the same region are split across Groups A – C and Groups D – F.
Part Two: Teams are regrouped according to their placing within respective group after mini round-robins against all other teams (A 1st Place, B 1st Place etc).
Part Three: Teams are regrouped according to their placing within their respective group after mini round-robins against all other teams (U 1st Place, V 1st Place etc).
Part Four: matches played out to decide the final standings, including semi-finals and a final.
Saturday 27 May, day one:
The first day of the competition got off to an impressive start, as part one saw teams grouped into six sections according to their finishing place within their region. The grouping was as follows:
Group A: Crosskeys, Lincoln City, Oaksway
Group B: Leeds Athletic, Sutton Town, Manor Met
Group C: Bath Cougars, Kingsway Power, 5Ways Falcons
Group D: Turnford, Charnwood Rutland, Grangetown
Group E: DNC Netball Club, Ryland, Starz
Group F: Teignbridge Titans, Oldham NC, Eagles
2022 champions Kingsway Power began their campaign with a convincing 11-39 win over Bath Cougars and previous year’s finalists Turnford’s first match of the day followed a similar story against Charnwood (33-11).
Like last year, 2022 bronze medallists Oldham had an equally strong start to their competition with a 19-36 win over Teignbridge Titans, setting the tone for top three 2022 teams.
In these opening stages, impressive wins were also had by many teams, including Leeds Athletic against Sutton Town (27-7), DNC NC over Ryland (12-27) and Eagles versus Teignbridge Titans (32-13). However, it was a close encounter between Crosskeys and Oaksway, seeing Crosskeys narrowly take the win by two goals (20-18) and also in the last game of the section, leaving Eagles victorious over Oldham by five goals (18-23).
Credit: Morgan Harlow
In the afternoon, part two got underway, with teams regrouped in accordance with their placing within their initial group (A 1st Place, B 1st Place etc), the grouping was as follows:
Group U: Crosskeys, Manor Met, Bath Cougars
Group V: Oaksway, Sutton Town, Kingsway Power
Group W: Lincoln City, Leeds Athletic, 5Way Falcons,
Group X: Grangetown, Ryland, Teignbridge Titans
Group Y: Turnford, DNC, Eagles
Group Z: Charnwood Rytland, Starz, Oldham
In part two teams were playing to win their group, doing so would guarantee a top six finish on Sunday. Second place in the mini groups of part two would be placed in the 7th-12th play-offs, with those who came last in their mini group entering the 13th-18th play-offs.
The second part of day one started with a notable victory by Leeds Athletic over Lincoln City (11-42) and Oldham secured an impressive 41-goal win over Charnwood (50-9) – the highest amount of goals in one game for day one.
Crosskeys also took the win against Manor Met (26-18) and Bath Cougars (22-17), seeing them secure their top six position leading into Sunday.
Last year’s winners, Kingsway Power had a tough first match for section two against Oaksway who had sailed through their first match against Sutton Town (32-12). With only six goals the difference, Kingsway Power were able to withhold their lead, topping Group V.
5Ways Falcons however, took it down to the wire in their final game in Group W against Leeds Athletic, seeing the East Sussex side clinch a tight victory of 24-25 with the winning goal sealed on the final buzzer.
After a closely fought Group X competition and a nail-biting final match between Ryland and Teignbridge Titans, Ryland also made it into the top six after finishing the game 21-20.
Eagles fought out a close game with Turnford in Group Y, with only four goals being the difference (25-29), however, they went on to be a dominant force in their final game against DNC with a strong 39-9 final score, securing their top six position from Group X.
And finally, in Group Z, Oldham were a force to be reckoned with after their noted 50-9 win over Charnwood and continued their winning ways against Starz (18-31) to top the group.
You can read the rest of the day one results here.
At the end of part two, the groups going into the second day of action were:
|Playing for 1 – 6
|Playing for 7 – 12
|Playing for 13 – 18
Credit: Morgan Harlow
Sunday 28 May, day two:
The second day of competition started with refreshed legs and all teams eager to return to court and make their pledge for victory. Each of the 18 sides were regrouped after day one’s results, with each team vying for the highest possible position in the standings.
Crosskeys took the opening victory in Group 1, edging past 5Ways Falcons by just four points whist on the neighbouring court Leeds Athletic kick-started Group 3 with a 12 point victory, stealing the win 26-14 over Manor Met.
The morning sped on, with eye watering displays of talent, tenacity and sheer determination from all 18 sides, each on an individual mission to come out on top. 18 matches came to a close in the morning session, with fans and supporters well and truly on their toes throughout. Fighting right down to the final whistle, results were claimed with narrow margins of just 1 and 2 whilst Sutton Town and Teignbridge Titans put on a heart stopping performance which resulted in a draw.
Credit: Morgan Harlow
The final afternoon of competition saw the draw of 9 matches, each providing a final bid for the highest possible finish, the day ending with the highly anticipated final.
Cracking the lid on their final reserves of energy, each side put on a closing show of athleticism and enthusiasm, pushing their sides right to the end.
Recently crowned Premier League Champions Oldham Netball’s junior side stole the show, converting a goal victory (16-26) over Crosskeys into a bronze medal whilst in the final Kingsway Power stormed to a convincing 23 -16 win over Eagles to seal the top spot and earn them their 2nd championship in as many years.
At the presentation ceremony a new award was presented to the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. This year’s Most Valuable Player was presented to Niamh from Leeds Athletic Netball Club for her impactful and game-changing performances.
This weekend’s fixtures cemented that the future is bright for club netball with phenomenal young talent on display. You can read the full scores here.
England Netball would like to take this opportunity to thank all clubs, players, parents, staff and volunteers for a fantastic weekend of action.