Results from the Sainsbury’s School Games 2012
17th May 2012
Photograph: England Central Boys, courtesy of Lynne Marshall at www.volleyballphotos.co.uk
After two days of incredibly intense competition, the Sainsbury’s School Games came to a close last Tuesday with a convincing overall victory from the two England Central squads! Played at London’s ExCeL centre, soon to be home of the Paralympic 2012 Sitting Volleyball competition – the 2012 Sainsbury’s School Games were a fantastic opportunity for our young players to experience the atmosphere of a huge multi-sports tournament and be inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the girl’s competition the fight for 5th – 7th place was extremely tight, with Wales recording their first ever victory in the history of the School Games against Scotland East. With their first Super 6 player Atlanta Taylor, the tournament has marked a real step up in performance from the Welsh side. With Scotland East taking a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland, and then the Northern Irish side retaliating with a 2-0 victory over Wales, Wales unfortunately did still find themselves in 7th place by just one set!
In the top tier of the competition, Scotland West who were bitterly disappointed to miss their first final after a 3 set thriller with England Central, took third place against a dispirited England South who had lost out to England North in the earlier semi final. In the final, England Central lined up against England North in an exact repeat of the 2011 gold medal match and with England North hoping to overturn 3 silver medals in a row. Once again it was captain Sam Latham-Talbot who hit the winning shot down the middle to give her England Central team their second School Games title in two years.
Captain Sam Lathom-Talbot was nearly lost for words! "We're so happy to win the title again, it's been such a great two days! All the team played really well and the crowd were just great - they really pushed us on!"
Final: England Central beat England North: 2 – 1 (25-19, 11-25, 15-9)
Bronze Match: Scotland West beat England South: 2 – 0 (25-22, 25-21)
Girls Final Standings
1st = England Central
2nd = England North
3rd = Scotland West
4th = England South
5th = Scotland East
6th = Northern Ireland
7th = Wales
Sportset Super 6: Sorcha Macguire (Northern Ireland), Katie Barbour (Scotland West), Atlanta Taylor (Wales), Courtney Elliott (Scotland West), Shanice Norton (England South), Amelia Stamp (England North)
In the boy’s competition England South came through perhaps the match of the tournament against England North boys, taking the second semi final 2-1 in an epic battle of big hits and huge blocks in front of a capacity crowd. For the first time in the competition England South started to look like a real team with their talented individuals gelling together very well in their attack. England Central had a more straightforward semi against Scotland West, serving and passing very strongly to book their place in the final without dropping a set.
Despite big kills from England South’s Jermaine Miles and Kostadin Stoimenov, both playing in the Super 8s next season, England Central eased ahead from the start of the match making very few errors and really testing their opponent’s pass. Central also then began to edge the battle at the net - Toby French swung well through the outside aided by some excellent runs of serves from captain Jack Matthews. England South struggled under the pressure and Central took full advantage, keeping their clean sheet and taking the School Games trophy.
Volleyball England spoke to Jack after the game, "I'm lost for words - it's just such a great feeling to have won the School Games and so convincingly! Once again we just served really tough and found the weaknesses in their defence. It was a real team performance - everyone kept their cool and did what they needed to do."
Final: England Central beat England South : 2 – 0 (25- 12, 25-13)
Bronze Match: England North beat Scotland West: 2-0 (25-12, 25-15)
Boys Final Standings
1st = England Central
2nd = England South
3rd = England North
4th = Scotland West
5th = Northern Ireland
6th = Scotland East
7th = Wales
Sportset Super 6: James Munro (England Central), Jermaine Miles (England South), Jason Martin (Northern Ireland), Tom Ketley (England Central), Ross McKelvie (Scotland West), Toby French (England Central)
Spirit of the Games Award: Donald Clark (Scotland East Boys)
All the results and statistics from all the games can be viewed at www.volleyballscores.co.uk under the ‘School Games’ tab. Photographs are now online and available to purchase from www.volleyballphotos.co.uk courtesy of Lynne Marshall.
Volleyball England would like to thank all who were involved in making the event such a success, particularly the 71 volunteers who gave up their bank holiday weekend to make the competition possible, working long hours and always with a smile. Amongst these were 21 young referees and officials, also hoping to learn from the experience- watch out for them at future Olympic and Paralympic Games!