What an amazing weekend at the England Netball National Clubs U16 Finals!
In our first appearance at the event the Thunderbirds U16 Competition Squad stormed to a fourth place finish in a prestigious field of the 18 top teams from around the country. Our journey included a well-deserved victory against the reigning champions – Oldham – ensuring we well and truly made our mark.
The competition started on Saturday with a wake-up call, losing 31-18 to a talented Eagles side who were ultimately runners-up. Thunderbirds rallied with wins against Telstars (36-11) and Poole (31-13) finishing the day with a hard-fought win against Hatfield (25-21) which guaranteed a top-six finish.
After a fun meal together and a restful night the team met again at breakfast (nice move from the team managers booking almost every table in the restaurant!) before heading to the venue for day two.
Thunderbirds were drawn against two of the strongest sides in the competition, Bury and Oldham, who fought it out in the first game in the group with Bury coming out on top.
Looking amazing in the new competition kit (with matching ribbons) Thunderbirds then faced Oldham, showcasing our strength and talent right until the last minute to come away with a 24-21 victory. Our final game in the group was against the eventual winners Bury, losing 30-16 but no matter, we were guaranteed a place in the top 4!
Our final match was a third/fourth place play-off against Turnford. It could have gone either way with just two goals separating the sides at times, however Turnford triumphed with some great play and our girls tired after a very challenging weekend.
All-in-all a fabulous outcome, a fantastic experience for the squad and a great way for Thunderbirds to announce their presence on the national stage.
Congratulations to all the other teams, the winners Bury and thanks to the organisers for a great event. It was also fun to set aside local rivalry with the other Midlands representative Parkside, cheering one another on and ultimately celebrating great results for both teams.