Wishaw Sports Centre was a hive of activity on Sunday as the teams which finished in the top four slots of the Junior National League at U16 level took to the courts to determine their final positions for the season.
First to take to court one were Belmont Troon v Marr College boys. With the Marr boys fielding a fresh team this season, Troon were determined to improve on their runner up status of last year by securing a place in the final, and were able to give themselves that opportunity when they defeated the Marr side by 2 sets to 0.
Meanwhile, court two saw Team Lanarkshire v City of Edinburgh boys. These sides have met several times this season, and with each of their league rounds being concluded in the third set to Team Lanarkshire’s advantage, both teams had everything to play for to bag a place in the final and it was Team Lanarkshire who reaped that reward.
(25-19, 7-25, 15-10)
With no time to waste, the nets and score tables were turned around to allow the girls competition to get underway, and my thanks for that and everything else they helped with, to the efficient team of Jen Downs and Scott Gavin from our Special Events Commission along with Dougie Holmes and his Future Jobs team from North Lanarkshire Council.
Court one which was now a wash of lilac and pony tails, saw Marr College ‘A’ v Team Lanarkshire girls. Like their boys team, the Lanarkshire side are working hard to prepare for the International Children’s Games, however the increased match experience of the Marr girls allowed them to dominate and win both sets.
Neighbouring court two saw the capital sides battle it out for a place in the final with Edinburgh Jets v City of Edinburgh girls, and it was the Edinburgh Jets day to prepare to face the final as they took both sets.
Adding to the excitement of the day, a technical hiccup with the equipment came to light, so without further ado, Margaret Ann Fleming, SVA Chief Executive Officer rounded up the all the troops to advise them of the change to our order of play. My admiration goes out to all the players who knuckled down and got themselves ready for the first ball to be served within the 10 minute timescale given!
This change resulted in both 3rd/4th playoffs taking place at the same time. So that was City of Edinburgh v Team Lanarkshire girls on court one where an exciting display of Volleyball took the game to a tie break, with the Edinburgh girls coming out of it triumphant to confirm their 3rd place at the end of the season.
(25-19, 22-25, 15-7)
Meanwhile over on court two, City of Edinburgh v Marr College boys also took their game to a tie break with the Edinburgh side narrowly winning to also put them in 3rd overall place like their girls side.
(15-25, 25-20, 15-13)
Then of course, the finals! Court one witnessed some exciting play and long rallies in the Marr College ‘A’ v Edinburgh Jets girls final. Despite closely losing the first set, Marr fought back to take the second and third allowing them to retain their gold medal position from last season.
(23-25, 25-11, 15-3)
Close by on court two, saw the boys final consisting of last years runners up Belmont Troon v Team Lanarkshire. But the confidence of the Troon side allowed their wish to improve on their position of last year to come true and become 2010/11 JNL U16 champions
My thanks to Jim Berryman, SVA President for taking time out of his busy schedule to present the players with their well deserved medals and trophies, and for his kind words to each and every player recognising their achievements.
Thanks also to Margaret Ann for supporting me with this event and for rolling up her sleeves on the day to help!
So that concludes another Junior National League U16 season…….. I would like to acknowledge all the coaches who continue to work with these fabulous players and give them such great opportunities, and for giving their time in what has been a challenging season thanks to global warming! However despite it all, they continue to smile and the noticeable progress of all those juniors throughout the season should leave you all feeling exceptionally proud!
And last but by no means least, a message to the players of all JNL U16 teams….. You should be exceptionally pleased with what you have accomplished this season. Your attitude, hard work and determination has led to improvements in your game, however big or small they may be, and with continued encouragement from your families, I look forward to seeing you all for many more seasons to come in Scottish Volleyball!
|JNL U16 Boys||JNL U16 Girls|
|1st||Belmont Troon||1st||Marr College ‘A’|
|2nd||Team Lanarkshire||2nd||Edinburgh Jet|
|3rd||City of Edinburgh||3rd||City of Edinburgh|
|4th||Marr College||4th||Team Lanarkshire|
Have a safe and happy summer!
Club & Participation Development Manager