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Proud coach hails North West Thunder as they storm to Inter-Regional crown

Proud North West Thunder coach Alice Byrne hailed a magnificent team effort after they sealed the U16 Girls’ Inter-Regional Championships Division One title with a thrilling comeback performance.

Thunder won all four of their matches to take top spot at Walsall Gala Baths and defend the crown they won back in 2019.

After winning their opening two games 10-7 against South East Anderida and Scotland Saltires, they faced title-challengers North East Steelers who boasted a 100 per cent record from their first three matches.

North East stormed into a 3-0 lead but Thunder held their nerve in a close, competitive encounter and went 6-5 ahead before being pegged back.

However, with only six seconds left on the clock, Lucy Blekinship scored what proved to be the winner for Thunder.

Victory in their final game against East Angels would seal the Division One title for them and they triumphed 11-7 to secure top spot.

Byrne said: “I am so proud of the girls’ performance this weekend. 

“It was a real team effort and they got better with each game we played. 

“The performance against a very strong North East side was excellent. Even after going three goals down, the team remained focused on our game plan and executed it perfectly to give us a thrilling win. 

“Thanks to all the teams, officials and supporters for a fantastic weekend.”

Sharks secure promotion

South West Sharks

In Division Two, South West Sharks topped the table to win promotion to Division One for the U18s’ competition in 2023.

They also won all their matches, defeating Wales 26-2, London and the West Midlands 8-7 and East Midlands 11-3.

Nick Hume, South West Sharks’ head coach, said: “We’re very happy for the SW to win the group and move up into the top division.

“There were several very close, nail-biting games but credit goes to the girls who showed real heart and determination and came through with flying colours.

“We’re now looking forward to some hard work and the next competition.”

Joanne Mountfield, event organiser, said: “The crowd brought an enthusiastic excitement to the competition and there was fantastic support for all teams which really added to the event.

“We’d like to thank to the West Midlands Region for hosting both the boys’ and girls’ championships and all our volunteers who helped the tournaments run smoothly, especially our event manager Deborah Arthur.”

Fixtures & Results
North East Steelers12 – 4East AngelsFT
South East Anderida7 – 10North West ThunderFT
Scotland Saltires5 – 14North East SteelersFT
East Angels4 – 9South East AnderidaFT
North West Thunder10 – 7Scotland SaltiresFT
North East Steelers12 – 2South East AnderidaFT
East Angels3 – 3Scotland SaltiresFT
North East Steelers6 – 7North West ThunderFT
South East Anderida8 – 3Scotland SaltiresFT
East Angels7 – 11North West ThunderFT
Fixtures & Results
West Midlands18 – 4East MidlandsFT
Wales2 – 26South West SharksFT
London7 – 17West MidlandsFT
East Midlands17 – 6WalesFT
South West Sharks8 – 7LondonFT
West Midlands25 – 3WalesFT
East Midlands4 – 10LondonFT
West Midlands7 – 8South West SharksFT
Wales2 – 22LondonFT
East Midlands3 – 11South West SharksFT
Division 1
North West Thunder4400118
North East Steelers4301266
South East Anderida4202-34
Scotland Saltires4013-171
East Angels4013-171
Division 2
South West Sharks4400348
West Midlands4301456
East Midlands4103-172