15th March 2018
Olympia Cannock, Shropshire, NEM Hawks and Warrington Wolves qualified from the girls’ North league for the Under-19 play-offs. Stroud, Poole Phoenix, Hackney GD and Ealing booked their places from South League 1.
Defending under-19 girls’ Champions Olympia Cannock lost their 100% record as they were defeated by emerging force Shropshire in the North League. Shropshire ran out 10-9 winners in a thrilling contest. With captain Jaymie Kerr and Ava Mann controlling the centre of the court, Shropshire moved into a 10-5 lead before Cannock fought back with four goals in the final quarter to set up an exciting finale to the game. However, with Blessing Attah outstanding in defence and goalkeeper Becky Tichford in fine form, Shropshire were able to hold out. Shropshire recorded further wins against Nottingham [16-8] and Warrington Wolves [18-10] to finish second in the league. Shropshire coach Ilona Lowenau was delighted with her team’s performance, commenting: “The girls deserve their success and having beaten Cannock now have a realistic chance of success in the national finals.’’
Cannock were involved in another nail-biter when they beat six-time champions NEM Hawks 8-7. They were awarded a 10-0 win against Peninsula in their other match as the Wirral side forfeited the game. Cannock end the group stages top of the North league.
Peninsula also forfeited against Nottingham and Warrington Wolves, while Nottingham lost 12-26 to Hawks. Hawks finished third, while Wolves in fourth secured the final play-off place.
Stroud finished top of the Girls’ South League 1, above Poole Phoenix and Hackney GD on goal difference. Stroud beat third-place Hackney 17-16 in a nerve-jangler. Their margin of victory against bottom-place Olympia was more comfortable as the match finished 31-12. Second-place Poole took maximum points from both their matches with a 23-13 victory against Olympia, and a 22-13 win over Cambridge, who finish fifth. Ealing, who were not in action, finished fourth.
Elsewhere, in the Girls’ South League 2 Bideford made it six-wins-from-six matches when they beat London Angels 21-11. Meanwhile, Angels were awarded a 10-0 win against Somerset Spartans after Spartans forfeited their match. Spartans and Essex both forfeited their meeting so the match was recorded as a 0-0 draw with no points for either side.