Leeds Athletic win U14 National Clubs Finals

Leeds Athletic have lifted the trophy at the U14 National Clubs Final, in association with the British Army, after a 21-26 victory over Kingsway Power.

Fans in the EIS Sheffield and watching via englandnetball.tv enjoyed watching the best up-and-coming young netballers from the top 18 teams from across the country go head-to-head.

Of the 18 teams that played in the 2023 National Finals, 13 returned for this year’s competition and were joined by CD Phoenix, Essex Open, Herts Dynamos, Royals Netball Club and Stratford Thunderbirds.

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As defending champions, Kingsway Power came into the competition with a target on their backs but started strongly with back-to-back opening stage victories over CD Phoenix (25-32) and Oaksway (20-34).

There was no stopping the North West team in the second stage either as they finished day one with a 100% percent record (W20-32 vs. Herts Dynamos and W4-46 vs. Bath Cougars).

They picked up where they left off in the opening game of day two, handing Turnford their first defeat of the competition (20-30), then drew 19-all in a dramatic draw with Sutton Town.

After Sutton Town drew with Turnford, one win and one draw was enough to see Kingsway Power through to the final.

After finishing seventh in the 2023 event, Leeds Athletic laid down an early marker of intent with a 15-goal victory over Herts Dynamos (29-14) followed by a tighter 23-17 win against Starz.

The Yorkshire and Humberside based team made it four from four on the Saturday, running out winners against Charnwood Rutland Warriors (44-12) and Oaksway (31-15), and recording the third-highest goal average of the stage in the process.

Coming up against Oldham and CD Phoenix for a place in the final, they edged the North West side 21-28 and the South newcomers for 2024 32-16 to set up a tantalising match-up with Kingsway Power.

In the final, both teams gave their all as they sought to get their name engraved on the trophy for 2024.

Roared on by a packed-out crowd, it was Leeds Athletic who beat the reigning champions 21-26.

In the third-place play-off, Sutton Town, who finished 13th in 2023, took home the bronze medal after a 24-18 victory over last year’s third-placed side Oldham.

First introduced last year, an U14 National Club Final MVP Award was handed out once again for the best player of the tournament. After a series of impressive displays in the shooting circle over the weekend, Leeds Athletic’s Isabella De Jager was named Gilbert MVP and was presented with a £50 gift voucher.

Physique Management also provided an England Netball approved first aid kit for the winning team along with prizes for all players on the winning team.

The British Army, who are the principal partners of the event, were in attendance engaging with players throughout, sharing information about the important work they do in the community and providing fun challenges for players to get involved with between matches.

View a full list of all the results, as well as the final standings from the weekend’s competition here.

A huge thank you to all the clubs, players, officials, volunteers, partners, supporters and staff for a brilliant competition.

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