U15 Handball Boys 3rd in England after great showing at Nationals

Hot on the heels of their awesome victory at the London Youth Games, our Handball boys were back in action once again for the National Handball Championships. Our Head of Boys P.E Mr O'Carroll reports from the day....

'Saturday 13th June saw the U15 boys compete in the National Handball Finals at the University of Worcester. This is a competition that has grown over the past few years and this year was the biggest competition in terms of schools entered. Although I do not have an exact figure; approximately 1000 schools started out with the hope of being crowned National Champions.

Our journey started back in March which saw us crowned West London Champions. We secured the London Schools title in April before finishing in the top 2 at the South England Finals in May.

Our first game was against Rivington & Blackrod from Bolton. We have been notoriously bad starters but the boys were in the zone from the first second. Rivington could not get near us! We were too fast, too organised and too creative. Cameron marshalled the team with confidence, Bradley & Jamar were too powerful for our opponents and we ran out clear winners: 10-5! We were able to rotate all players and ensure that all boys had some court time in game one.

A victory in game 2 would ensure our progression to the playoffs as group winners. This time we were up against Rushcliffe from Nottingham. If ever I have seen a team at peak performance it was us! We blew Rushcliffe apart without conceding a goal...6-0! A special moment was seeing Ebou score a cracking goal.. he has been a fringe player all year but enjoyed his time on court at the finals :)

Our semi final opponents were the Carlton Academy, also from Nottingham. Having watched the first semi-final we knew that a victory would see us play Rivington in the final. A slow start saw us concede a couple of early goals...we were up against it as the clocked ticked along.

Before we knew we were chasing a 5 goal deficit. This did not deter us and the boys gave it everything...getting the game back to 6-5...one more goal....but pushing for the equaliser exposed us at the back...ultimately seeing us lose 8-6! The boys were gutted and so was I!

We had one game left...the 3rd and 4th  place playoff...and it gave us the opportunity to gain revenge over Aylesbury Grammar who won the title at the South England Finals. Although minds were focussed on what had just happened during the semi-final, a quick pep talk about what an achievement this was and that 3rd was better than 4th lifted the boys. Cameron took on the leadership role again and led us to a hard fought victory...we won 7-6. (The margin was small but we had led from the first minute and always kept Aylesbury at arm’s length).

So there you have it....3rd best school in England!!

We stayed to watch the final as I felt it was important for the boys to show their sportsmanship...it was a bitter pill as we watched Rivington crowned as champions having already beaten them earlier in the tournament. But sadly sometimes that's the way sport goes and we will be back even stronger next year. The boys were still slightly disappointed but hugely proud of their achievements...as they should be.'

Congratulations to the whole team, who represented the academy impeccably - Mustafa, Jamar, Dontae, Kaine, Bradley, Tyreke, Matthew, Javaun, Ebou, Cameron and Milola, we could not be prouder of you and you have had an unbelievably impressive season - well done!