The 3rd and final round of the 2016/17 Goalball UK League season began with Intermediate tournaments in March.
In Region A, in York, Lancashire Lions won an exciting 9 team tournament with a 100% record so left with the Gold medals plus the maximum 10 league points, resulting in them winning the title as well.
Ryan Wilcock (Nottinghamshire Sheriffs) was the top male goal scorer with 20 goals so reclaimed the lead from Rio Vasey (Scarborough Panthers). Meica Horsberg (South Yorkshire) was again in sensational goal scoring form with her tally of 13 on the day giving her 25 overall for the season and therefore the top female goal scorer title.
There was also a 9 team tournament in Region B, in Reading, with South Wales making their competitive debut. Fen Tigers arrived as league leaders and they convincingly won their opening games against Croysutt Warriors and London Elephants. They were then really tested against Cambridge Dons and RNC Academy, but managed to win both games, although each by just the 1 goal.
Josh Murphy (RNC Academy) and Ali Al Hamadani (New College Worcester) were the top male goal scorers on the day with 16 but Dan Reeves (Birmingham) scored 11 so finishes the league season top overall. Laura Perry (Fen Tigers) scored 9, giving her 31 for the season overall so she retains the title that she has held for the past 2 seasons.
In April, there were Novice tournaments in Manchester and Reading.
Knowing that they had already won the Intermediate (Region A) League title, Lancashire Lions were determined to make it a double and also win the Novice (Region A) League title. A defeat for West Yorkshire in their opening game against Scarborough Panthers, followed by a draw later in the day against South Yorkshire, put an end to their ambitions and left Lancashire’s destiny in their own hands – they duly won the tournament and the League.
For the 3rd tournament in a row, Danny Clarke (Greater Manchester VI Bees) and Amelia Robertson (Lancashire Lions) were top male and female goal scorers with 15 goals and 10 goals respectively, so they will be picking up trophies to mark their achievement at the end of season awards.
In Region B, a nail biting final game saw RNC Academy narrowly beat New College Worcester (4-3 in overtime). Although disappointed to only be taking home Silver medals, New College Worcester’s consistent performances over the course of the season still means that they have finished top of the league.
Top male goal scorer on the day was once again Jack Britton (Croysutt Warriors) with an impressive 21 goals and, keeping it in the family, Sally Britton (Croysutt Warriors) was top female goal scorer with 10 goals.
The Elite tournament in April was a very close contest from start to finish with teams beating each other so no runaway leader. In the end, Northern Allstars triumphed in the final beating Winchester 10-9 whilst RNC Academy took 3rd place by beating Cambridge Dons 12-11.
Adam Knott (Winchester) was the top male goal scorer with 44 goals but Dan Roper (RNC Academy) was not far behind with 38 so finishes top overall. As for the females, Laura Perry (RNC Academy) scored 10, taking her to 23 for the season overall and back in to top spot above Kali Holder (RNC Academy).
So, the League season has now finished and Lancashire Lions are confirmed as the National League Champions for 2016/17. Congratulations!
Now it’s time for the Cups:
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May
Intermediate Finals – Sheffield
Saturday 10th June
Novice Finals – Sheffield
Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July
Goalball Cup (Elite) – Cambridge
As always, spectators are welcome at any tournament and all the results will be available on the website afterwards.
The End of Season tournament (all levels) and awards will be on Saturday 15th July in Sheffield.