9 March 2017

I took a team from The Joseph Rowntree School to the Lord Taverner's Boccia England u19 regional finals which were held at Energise in York. We are the current North Yorkshire champions which qualified us for the Yorkshire finals. There were 11 teams from all over Yorkshire taking part and the competition was tough because these are the top county teams.

We were in Pool 1 alongside teams from Kettlethorpe, Oakfield Park, Axholme, Woodlands and St Mary's. We had a really good start which is always important against 2 of the strongest teams, Axholme and Kettlethorpe, who we narrowly beat 5-3 and 8-5. This gave our team of Andrew Corner (team captain), Tom Metcalfe, Harry Scruton and Ben Robinson so much confidence.  Our next games were against St Mary's 2, Oakfield Park and Woodlands and the students were awesome, winning these games 9-0, 10-1 and 12-1. This qualified us for the semi final against St Mary's 1 with a unbeaten record. We were up against the runners up in Pool 2 which were St Mary's 1 and we knew this was going to be a lot tougher. Our team captain really came to the fore helping me to motivate and encourage the team. This worked with a fantastic 7-2  win which put us into the final. This contest was against Brooksbank from Elland in Leeds ( West Yorkshire champions) who are a well disciplined and even brought their own bowls. Again we were under pressure but the boys played the best game of the tournament and we beat them 7-1. All the games throughout were 4 ends and by the 4th end we were 7-0 up and couldn't be caught. Our captain Andrew requested that we play the final end as courtesy and respect to the other team. I thought this was a remarkable gesture and showed the good sportsmanship that was observed throughout the tournament. What a proud moment for myself and the parents who came along to offer support and encouragement.

We now go onto the National finals which will be held in Sheffield in May. This is a massive achievement for the team, the school and also North Yorkshire as it is the first time a team from North Yorkshire have won these championships. It is still quite unbelievable that we are Yorkshire champions and won it in such a sporting and convincing way by only dropping 6 ends.

Our next quest is the Yorkshire Panathlon finals which take place again at Energise on Wednesday 29 March.

Barry Cornforth - Team Leader. 

Tags: boccia regional national sport wiltshire win competition