City of Edinburgh, Marr College, South Ayrshire, Team Lanarkshire, Aberdeen Grammar School and Cavalry Park NUVOC were the junior clubs who made it to the Under 15 Junior National League play-off finals.
With such an array of different junior clubs taking part, it ensured that there were a large number of parents and support in the stands throughout the day.
The semi-finals started on time with some positive officiating from young referees Lucy Scouller and Lewis McMillan, who were officiating alongside Conor Doherty and Artur Kopacz.
In the Girls Semi-finals, Marr College A overcame Marr College B to reach a second consecutive final, while City of Edinburgh overcame Aberdeen Grammar School. In the Boys section, South Ayrshire beat a plucky Cavalry Park NUVOC side, while City of Edinburgh played against Team Lanarkshire’s development team.
Perhaps the most competitive game and certainly the game that created the biggest buzz around the sports hall was between Aberdeen Grammar School and Marr College B.
Marr B won the first set 25-15 before AGS fought back to win the 2nd set thanks to a great team spirit and strong serving, especially from Deirdre O’Riordan. When the match on court 1 finished, everyone crowded round for the 3rd set. Both teams didn’t shy away from the contest though, which is very positive to see, however it was Aberdeen Grammar School who won the 3rd set 15-10 to pick up 3rd place in their debut season in the Junior National League.
The boy’s final started off to a roar as announcer Kenny Barton geared up the parents, friends and supporters of both teams.
Liam Fleming, who has done a terrific job coaching the U18 and U15 boys from South Ayrshire all season, had his young boys come out flying as they served hard and defended well to take a 9-2 lead. Edinburgh’s captain Lewis Moore stepped up to the service line with a run of 7 serves to tie the scores 9 all. South Ayrshire regained the lead at 18-16 before another run of serves; this time from David MacNeil, who gave the capital side an advantage, taking the set 25-19.
The 2nd set was nip and tuck almost all the way through with Huxable and Hughes playing well for South Ayrshire. Through the coaching team of Ian Brownlee, Heather Darling and Lauren Macdonald who gave endless encouragement throughout, Ben McHardy and Calum Gibson showed some great ball control to lead their team to 25-21 to give City of Edinburgh the victory.
It was then onto the Girls final as Marr College took on City of Edinburgh.
Marr College raced into a 10-2 lead thanks to a double figure serving run from captain Ailsa Davies. City of Edinburgh showed some brilliant defence and transition play as they fought back to 15-15. Ailsa Davies led by example again from the service line as she served out the set 25-16 to Marr College.
There were no such serving heroics in the 2nd set as the early stages displayed lots of long rallies. It was the impressive hitting of MVP Julie Anne Hendry who showed the difference between the teams at end of the long rallies as she maintained a remarkable consistency level throughout the whole set leading Marr College to a 25-15 set win.
City of Edinburgh entered the league last year and finished bottom of the table, however this is exactly what the junior national league is about as all players have learned so much from last season and it’s a great credit to the club to be able to demonstrate such a level of development in such a short space of time.
The title of Under 15 Junior National League Champions, however, goes to Marr College who have benefited from a commitment to training 4-5 a week and unbelievable dedication from head coach Jess Reid, congratulations!
From the first game to the last, Lynne Marshall and Michael McConville were there snapping away. The result; a fantastic gallery of photographs which more than translate the emotions of the day. Many Thanks. You can view the gallery here.
A massive thanks to Wishaw Sports Centre and the staff for their continued assistance in putting on these events and to Nora Gonzalez, Fiona Kennie, Monica Krysinska and Maxi Kellner, from Special Events who helped make the day possible.
Congratulations to all players, coaches, referees, volunteers and parents who were involved in the day.
Club & Participation Development Officer.