Junior League Finals success for Cumbria and Manchester
Saturday 18 April saw Nottingham play host to an incredible day of wheelchair basketball action as the UK’s top 16 junior teams travelled to Wildcats Arena to battle it out in the Lord’s Taverners 2015 Junior League Finals.
Following a series of comfortable victories for each of the winners at the quarter-final stage, the play-off’s deciding who took 5th to 8th place in the U15 competition provided the Nottingham crowd with great entertainment. The highlight being the very tense win in overtime for RGK Tees Valley Titans to claim fifth place.
Northern Ireland WBC 36-2 GLL & Aspire London Titans
Norwich Lowriders 25-15 London AllStars
CWSC Phoenix 28-18 RGK Tees Valley Titans
CWBA 26-15 Viking Hoglets
RGK Tees Valley Titans 36-18 Viking Hoglets
GLL & Aspire London Titans 12-8 London AllStars
Viking Hoglets 25-19 London AllStars
RGK Tees Valley Titans 20-18 GLL & Aspire London Titans
The first of the U15 semi-finals proved to be a high scoring encounter with CWSC Phoenix emerging triumphant with a 34-25 win against CWBA. The second semi-final saw a great game between Northern Ireland WBC and the Norwich Lowriders; but it was the Northern Irish who earned a place in the Gold Medal Game with an 18-10 win.
Bronze Medal Game
CWBA caught the Norwich Lowriders off guard with a fast start in the Bronze medal match, working their way to a 12-2 lead at the end of the first half. The Lowriders continued to put up a gritty performance in the second half, but CWBA took the honours by 24-9 and got themselves the Bronze medal.
Taking place on the show court in front of a packed crowd, both CWSC Phoenix and Northern Ireland shone as they took centre stage. The opening few minutes saw the teams trade baskets before CWSC Phoenix found a way to push ahead to a 15-9 lead; Northern Ireland, however, earned the final points of the period to enter half time 11-15.
With everything still to play for in the second half, CWSC Phoenix were able to find another level of play as they overcame a gritty comeback by Northern Ireland WBC to win 27-18 and with it the U15 title.
The quarter finals and subsequent plate match ups to determine 5th to 8th place in the country for the U19 age bracket provided plenty of entertainment and included a number of nail biting finishes, the most notable being the 19-17 overtime victory for CWSC Phoenix in the 7th/8th Play-off. Results from all these fixtures are below.
Manchester Mavericks 44-15 CWBA
Tornado Kings 24-8 CWSC Phoenix
GLL & Aspire London Titans 37-8 RGK Tees Valley Titans
Jaguars 34-18 Blackhawks
CWBA 20-6 CWSC Phoenix
Blackhawks 24-14 RGK Tees Valley Titans
CWSC Phoenix 19-17 RGK Tees Valley Titans
CWBA 28-21 Blackhawks
The first of the U19 semi-final’s saw the Manchester Mavericks put on a stunning performance to secure their place in the Gold Medal game with a 30-18 victory against the Tornado Kings, before the GLL & Aspire London Titans edged out the Jaguars in a nail-biting encounter to earn their place in the final with a score line of 24-21.
Bronze Medal Game
In the U19 Bronze Medal Game, a fantastic start by the Jaguars saw them edge out the first half against the Tornados Kings by 10-6. The Tornado Kings, however, hit back in a second half that saw the teams match each other basket for basket. But the Jaguars then pulled away late in the game to give them both a 31-15 victory and with it, the Bronze Medal.
The final of the U19 Event saw reigning champions the GLL & Aspire London Titans take on the Manchester Mavericks. The Mavericks soared into action, overcoming great play by their opponents as they worked their way to a 10-4 lead within the game’s opening five minutes. With the momentum on their side, the Manchester team were then able to close out the first half and go in to half-time with a 16-8 lead.
Sensing the threat posed by the GLL & Aspire London Titans, the Mavericks maintained their focus and drive at the start of the second half, raising their game to take a 34-12 advantage with just over four minutes left in the game. Both sides continued to demonstrate great teamwork, but it was the Manchester Mavericks who took a 38-13 win and the U19 national title.