Ribble Valley Netball Club are champions of England!

Ribble Valley Netball Club Under 14s are pictured with their National Club Finals winners medals and trophy
Ribble Valley Netball Club Under 14s are pictured with their National Club Finals winners medals and trophy
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Ribble Valley Netball Club are champions of England after winning the National Club Finals in Sheffield.

The squad, based at Oakhill College, beat Tameside 23-22 in a thrilling final to claim the national crown.

The road to glory started last September, where the girls were up against strong Manchester teams in the regional phase, with the goal to get to the national club finals weekend, where the two top teams from the nine different England Netball regions would battle it out for the title.

The girls recorded their first success over Wilmslow in October, and then beat Oldham and Trafford before Christmas.

Earlier this year, their unbeaten record continued against Chester and Warrington, before beating B ury in the semi-finals, earning a final against Tameside.

This was played at Manchester Thunderdome, ahead of Manchester Thunder’s game against Leeds.

It was a closely-contested final, with Tameside working strongly to turn the ball over.

However, the Ribble Rattlers squad showed great composure on court , leading from the start to take the Regional Winners title 38-35.

Last Saturday saw the girls travel to Sheffield, and they produced strong performances, earning wins over Northants (31-7), London Academy (31-12), Elmdon (31-11), and Team Jets (26-12), taking them through to the Sunday games where they would be battling for placings one to six in the country.

Two fantastic wins over Eastwood (19-11), and Woodley (26-13) saw the girls celebrating reaching the final, where they were again up against their north west rivals Tameside.

A strong start by the rattlers saw them three goals up in the first few minutes, however, the lead alternated between the teams, and, going into the last quarter, it was 19-19, and 22-22 with a minute to go.

Composed play from their centre pass took Ribble in front 23-22, but Tameside came back to take a shot in the dying seconds, and the ball bounced off the ring and out as the hooter sounded.

Coach Sara Thompson said: “It was a well-deserved win. I knew they could do it and was confident that anyone that went on court would rise to the challenge. But behind them, supporting them all the way were parents, team managers and coaches. Huge thanks to them all.”