London Pulse crowned U15 National Academies Tournament champions

London Pulse have won the U15 National Academies Tournament after an unbeaten weekend.

They fought off competition from Franchise Academy sides Manchester Thunder, Saracens Mavericks, North East Phoenix, Severn Stars, Central Warriors, Team Bath, Leeds Rhinos, Surrey Storm and Loughborough Lightning, as well as invited teams Scotland and Wales, to lift the trophy.

The competition, held at the University of Wolverhampton in Walsall, started with the 12 teams split across four groups to each play mini round-robins.

Saracens Mavericks, London Pulse, Leeds Rhinos and Loughborough Lightning came out on top in the opening stage, each winning both their respective part one games, before the teams were regrouped.

It was still all to play for as the sides battled against new opposition in the afternoon’s session to determine which placings everyone would contest on the final day.

Fans were on the edge of their seats as Leeds Rhinos just overcame North East Phoenix in a standout 26-27 fixture in part two.

Saracens Mavericks and London Pulse maintained their fine form, sealing back-to-back victories to secure their places in the semi-finals, while Manchester Thunder and Surrey Storm ended Lightning and Leeds Rhinos’ 100% records respectively to also make the top four.

There was some brilliant netball on show from the teams over the course of the weekend and they all gave everything on the final day of competition wanting to finish as high as possible.

In the 9th-12th play-off section, Wales ended their competition on a high as they narrowly edged out Scotland 23-24 for 11th while North East triumphed 29-16 over Central Warriors for 9th.

Meanwhile, Team Bath got the better of Leeds Rhinos (26-31) for 7th and Loughborough Lighting secured a 17-27 victory over Severn Stars for fifth.

London Pulse lost out to Manchester Thunder in the final of the 2022 School Games, which the U15 National Academies Tournament was replacing this season, but they overcame their rivals in the semi-final this time around, running out 27-32 winners.

This set up a final against 2019 U15 Netball Performance Competition runners-up Surrey Storm, who beat Saracens Mavericks 17-22 in their semi-final.

London Pulse proved too strong for Surrey Storm taking the final showdown 17-24, while Saracens Mavericks finished on the podium, beating Manchester Thunder 32-30 for bronze.

Congratulations to Saracens Mavericks’ Gracie Smith who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

You can view the full results from both days of competition here.

Final Standings

  1. London Pulse
  2. Surrey Storm
  3. Saracens Mavericks
  4. Manchester Thunder
  5. Loughborough Lightning
  6. Severn Stars
  7. Team Bath
  8. Leeds Rhinos
  9. North East Phoenix
  10. Central Warriors
  11. Wales
  12. Scotland

A huge thank you to all the teams, coaches, volunteers, EN staff and fans for a fantastic weekend on and off the court.

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