THE line-up for the National Schools Handball competition is known after some thrilling action in the second round held last week.
More teams than ever before have taken part in this year’s tournaments, which have been split into different regions and age groups in order to fit in the amount of handball necessary to determine who makes it to the finals on Saturday, June 23 at the SportHouse complex in Barking.
In the boys event there were nine teams competing to finish in the top three and go through, and it was very close, going down to the number of goals scored.
The Bromfords School finished top of the group, while below them there were three teams all on 11 points, but after looking at the number of goals scored the teams joining Bromfords are All Saints and Harris, with Seven Kings missing out by just one goal.
In the girls competition it was Barking Abbey and Harris who qualified for the finals.
And in the Under-13 tournament, Harris, Erith School and the Ark Academy have reached the boys finals, while Harris and Ark Academy have also qualified for the girls U13 finals.
London Handball Development Officer Ari Bekker said afterwards: “It has been a great year for handball, we have had more teams competing in the National competition than ever before.
“The level has been extremely high and competitive throughout the rounds. It’s very exciting to have the national finals in London this year just a month before the Olympics. I’m looking forward to see the best teams from across the country competing against each other in the Finals on 23rd June.”
Chris Baker, coach of the Under-15 team from the Bromfords School said: “The Bromfords players have done extremely well as most of the players are very new to the game this is their first competition.
"The Buccaneers players have been playing for just under a year. It has been a great journey for them qualifying through the first round of this excellently run competition. And having one of our players Josh Da Silva was scouted for the England U16 team, so he will be going on tour to Sweden with the England squad which for him will be a fantastic experience.
“We would like to thank England Handball for this unbelievable competition, we are really looking forwards to playing against all the teams and wish them luck and may the best school triumph.”
And Harris Boys U15 player Josh Connolly added: “'The team was over the moon when they found out that they had qualified for the national final!
“The tournament was so close that the qualifying positions came down to goal difference and goals scored, this was very exciting and a testament to development of the quality of handball in the South of England. The team are looking forward to the Challenge of trying to became the best U15 team in the country.''