23rd June 2022
Some of the best players from across the country went head-to-head at the weekend as part of the biggest ever finals event in English handball history.
Players of all levels, from U13 school teams to some of the top Premier League senior men and women’s teams, turned out in Nottingham for this season’s National Finals weekend, which returned for the first time since the pandemic.
As the stand-out event in the handball calendar, the weekend featured more than 50 games, with hundreds of players, staff and spectators in attendance at Nottingham University’s Sir David Ross Sports Centre in the East Midlands.
It was also the first time England Handball had run the National Schools Competition finals alongside the National Cup – the pinnacle events for the juniors and seniors’ club game – showcasing everything from those starting out on their handball journey to some of the best the country has to offer.
The big winners from the weekend were London GD’s men’s team who picked up the National Cup after beating Nottingham 21-19 in a close game that could have gone either way.
In the women’s final, Olympia were crowned winners after they beat London GD 27-21 in a tense finale. During the half time intervals at each game, the winners of the Regional leagues were also recognised with trophy presentations. In the men’s leagues, players from Birmingham Handball Club, Olympia II and Chelsea Handball Club were on hand to pick up their silverware. NEM Hawks, mens and womens’ National League title winners for the 21/22 season, received their double-haul of silverware.
In the women’s division, Northampton, London GD II and Brunel Handball Hawks also took centre stage after winning their respective divisions. In the U19’s National Cup Final, Poole Phoenix picked up the men’s trophy while Loughborough picked up the women’s title.
The U16’s finals were also closely fought with Shropshire Handball Foundry and West London Eagles picking up the men’s and women’s trophies respectively.
Hundreds of children also attended the weekend as part of the National School’s Competition, with U15 and U13 knockout tournaments taking place across the two days. The winning schools were as follows:
· U15 boys: Christ’s College
· U15 girls: West Bridgford
· U13 boys: St Andrews
· U13 girls: Putney High School
The competition follows the success of handball sessions within English primary and secondary schools, with handball one of the fastest growing school sports in the country.
Mike Bain, CEO at England Handball, said: “What a brilliant weekend. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and to all teams and players who took part. “It was a scintillating weekend of handball, with a strong turnout to match – and we’re delighted to say those in attendance witnessed some the very best England has to offer.
“A huge thanks go out to all our clubs, staff, referees, supporters and everyone who was involved in making the event what it was.”