South Tyneside Hoops4Health Basketball Champions 2017!!!!  

Friday 6th January

Sport Central – Newcastle

On Friday evening, it was wonderful to watch the lower North Stand of Sport Central steadily filling up with smiling St. Bede’s families and friends. By Tip-Off time, we had 180 from the school in attendance, ready to cheer on our basketball team. This was an amazing community effort, especially considering it was during the school holidays! Our players were really excited to play in front of so much warm hearted support, and were duly ready to play their finest basketball.

The St. Bede’s basketballers took to the court for the second semi-final against St. Oswald’s RC. We immediately started on the front foot, as we passed the ball around confidently. A flowing team move saw us take an early lead with Maddison Hart finding the basket. This was met by a fantastic roar from the St. Bede’s support!  We continued to dominate possession with some fluent passing. Maddison Hart went on to complete a stunning hat-trick, while Will Watson also got on the scoresheet, in an emphatic 8-0 victory.

The final took place at half-time in the Eagles game, in a front of 3000 at Sport Central. The St. Bede’s players were delighted to be in the final, but were very determined to claim the overall tournament victory. This was evident in the first seconds of the final, as we started with positive attacking intent. Captain Joseph Wood opened the scoring after an excellent team move. We continued to press for further baskets and went close on several occasions, before Hayden Buckham found the net from an acute angle. The St. Bede’s section erupted at this basket, as it began to look as if we could retain the title we had won last year. We had several chances to add to our lead, before East Boldon showed great pride to finish strongly themselves.

On the final hooter, it finished 4-0 to St. Bede’s, with joyous scenes of celebration on and off the court. The players showed great respect, even amongst their excitement, to shake hands with all of the East Boldon players, who had themselves played their part in a great final. However, it was St. Bede’s moment, and it was fantastic to see Captain Joseph Wood lift the South Tyneside Hoops4Health trophy, to huge cheers around Sport Central. On a night where we had phenomenal support, we also had a special team performance.

Well played to the skilful and dedicated players: Heidi Whitfield (Vice-Captain), Maddison Hart, Mariz Hipos, Ava Elliott, Hayden Buckham, Will Watson, Aidan Wood, Leroy Velasco-Luckham and Joseph Wood (Captain) who had all trained outside with such commitment in the build up to the finals throughout a cold December. They even managed to attend two training sessions at St. Wilfrid’s in the Christmas holidays!

Finally, a massive thank you to the outstanding St. Bede’s school community, for your inspirational support on a memorable sporting occasion for our school. I’m sure there will have been some younger St. Bede’s children in the crowd, who will be proudly wearing the school basketball kits in the future. Who knows, we might be back once again next year?

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