YWCA Bury take home the U16 National Club Champions title for a second consecutive year

The pinnacle of junior netball took place this weekend at the U16 National Clubs competition. 

Teams from around the country travelled to the Jean Brown Arena in Redbridge this weekend for the Under 16 National Clubs Finals in association with the British Army. 

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Some of the best young netballers from the top 18 teams from across the country faced off with each other in hopes of lifting the prestigious trophy, but only one could be victorious. 

 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 their group (A 1st Place, B 1st Place etc).

Part Three: Teams are regrouped according to their placing within their group (U 1st Place, V 1st Place etc).

Part Four: Placing matches and Finals

Saturday 29 April, day one:

Part one: 

The first day of the competition got off to a strong start as part one saw teams grouped into six sections according to their finishing place within their region. 

2022 champions YWCA Bury began their campaign with a 40-27 win over Poole and previous year’s finalists Eagles’ first match of the day was a narrow victory over Poole (28-32). 

2022 bronze medallists Turnford started their first day of the competition with a convincing 32-7 win over Charnwood Rutland, setting their intention for the competition. 

In the early stages emphatic wins were also had by Leeds Athletic against Stratford Thunderbirds (25-15), Hatfield over Northants Storm (32-19) and AP Saints over Kingston Phoenix (32-20) to name but a few.

Credit: Morgan Harlow

Part two: 

In the afternoon, part two got underway, with teams regrouped in accordance to their placing within their initial group (A 1st Place, B 1st Place etc), the grouping was as follows:

  • Group U: Hatfield, Kingston Phoenix, Teignbridge Titans Trojans
  • Group V: Northants Storm, Sutton Town, Oldham
  • Group W: Oaksway, AP Saints, Weston Park Blades
  • Group X: Turnford, KCNC, Poole
  • Group Y: Charnwood Rutland, Stratford Thunderbirds, YWCA Bury
  • Group Z: Grangetown, Leeds Athletic, Eagles

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 close encounter in Group U between Hatfield and Kingston Phoenix which saw Kingston Phoenix edge to a 26-28 win. Teignbridge Titans Trojans also enjoyed victory in the form of a 35-17 win against Hatfield and continued their winning ways with a 8 goal victory over Kingston Phoenix, securing their top six status for the first time in their history. 

Oldham were a dominant force in Group V, securing large wins over Northants Storm (10-42) and Sutton Town (39-23) while in Group W Weston Park Blades powered ahead to top their group.

Credit: Morgan Harlow

Group X saw a thriller between Turnford and Poole, with the Hertfordshire side pulling ahead to take a 31-29 victory and secure their top spot.

Defending champions YWCA Bury also topped their group but had to face tough opposition to do so, going down to the wire and beating Stratford Thunderbirds by three goals to cement their place in the top six.

Group Z was another closely contested affair, with Grangetown clinching the first place in the group after a 5 goal win over last year’s finalists, Eagles.

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:

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6
Teignbridge Titans Trojans Oldham Kingston Phoenix Sutton Town Hatfield Northants Storm
Weston Park Blades Turnford AP Saints Poole Oaksway KCNC
YWCA Bury GrangeTown Stratford Thunderbirds Eagles Charnwood Rutland Leeds Athletic
Playing for 1 – 6 Playing for 7 – 12 Playing for 13 – 18

Sunday 30 April, day two:

Part three:

Day two of the U16 National Clubs championship continued as the with some incredible battles, showcases of skill and team spirit. Teams across the competition fought to cement their position and battle for the opportunity to feature in the coveted final. 

One goal winners were the name of the game on Sunday morning with close scorelines throughout. During the pool games of Sunday five games were won within two goals during and Group 1/2 went down to goal average to see who would qualify for the final.

In the final group stages there were highlights in Group 1/2 with an incredible match between Turnford and Oldham, resulting in Turnford clinching the win by a single goal (25-24).

In Group 3/4 another one goal winner was witnessed as Poole beat Eagles (27-26) and in Group 5/6 KCNC took the victory over Leeds Athletic (25-24).

Credit: Morgan Harlow

Part four:

The placing and finals matches followed the theme of the weekend, with incredible skill, athleticism and tenacity displayed throughout.

Close games were had by Oaksway and Northants Storm, as a two goal victory gave Oaksway 15th place (28-26). In the 5th and 6th play off Weston Park Blades secured 5th place in a one goal victory over Grangetown.

Oldham put on an impressive display against Teignbridge Titans Trojans to secure 3rd place in the competition, winning 39-22.

The final of the competition saw 2022 champions YWCA Bury take on last year’s bronze medallists Turnford in an epic clash. The game had swings of momentum in each side’s scoreline but ended at full time 28-28. In the first half of extra time Bury raced out of the blocks, scoring four unanswered goals. In the second half of extra time Turnford bounced back to come within two but Bury held on to take the title 32-30.

YWCA Bury are 2023 U16 National clubs champions, securing the title for the second consecutive year.

National Clubs U16 Winners 2023 – YWCA Bury

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 Zaneya Cunningham from Turnford NC for her impactful and game-changing performances.

Zaneya Cunningham - Most Valuable Player U16 National Clubs Finals

Zaneya Cunningham – Most Valuable Player U16 National Club Finals

Final standings:

Position Team
1 YWCA Bury
2 Turnford
3 Oldham
4 Teignbridge Titans Trojans
5 Weston Park Blades
6 Grangetown
7 Poole
8 AP Saints
9 Eagles
10 Kingston Phoenix
11 Stratford Thunderbirds
12 Sutton Town
13 Hatfield
15 Oaksway
16 Northants Storm
17 Charnwood Rutland
18 Leeds Athletic

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.

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