Bower Park hand it to rivals at London Youth Games

Bower Park Academy celebrate handball success at the London Youth Games (pic: Bower Park Academy).

Bower Park Academy celebrate handball success at the London Youth Games (pic: Bower Park Academy). - Credit: Archant

The Havering school have achieved success in London and Essex and are now targeting glory on the National front

Bower Park Academy celebrate handball success at the London Youth Games (pic: Bower Park Academy).

Bower Park Academy celebrate handball success at the London Youth Games (pic: Bower Park Academy). - Credit: Archant

Bower Park Academy girls are really getting a name for themselves in the world of sport across Essex and London in sport.

Winning honours by either coming in the top three or making county finals in cricket, rugby, athletics and dominating handball.

Bower Park has experienced a great deal of success in handball over the past two years. This year the competition started in October 2018 where Bower Park won all four-borough championships for under-13 and under-15 boys and girls age groups.

The Essex Handball Championships took place in March 2019 and Bower Park won 19 out of their 20 matches and were Essex champions at under-13 girls, under-15 girls and under-15 boys whilst the under-13 boys were runners up.

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At the recent London Youth Games Finals, Bower Park achieved further success. The under-13 girls won two out of three group matches and qualified for the semi-finals where they faced Harris Academy Crystal Palace.

Bower Park came out of the blocks fast and raced into a 3-0 lead against much more physical opponents. Harris came back to equalise at 3-3, but with seconds remaining Bower were awarded a penalty which was converted by the injured Gracie Hickman to send them into the final.

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The final was against Langdon Academy and was probably the tie of the competition with Langdon going 2-0 up.

Bower Park came back to 2-2 with both teams pressing for a winner, but the time was up, meaning extra time.

After the first round of extra time the score remanded 2-2, but in the second part of extra time, Langdon broke Bower hearts scoring the winner with 25 seconds left on the clock, giving Langdon victory and the London Youth games crown.

The under-15 girls went one step further in the London Youth Games Finals. They won three out of three group games scoring 29 goals and conceding only twice.

They faced the German School in the semi-final dispatching them 8-2 and setting up a final against Chadwell Heath.

Chadwell Heath were formidable opponents having won the title in 2017 and 2018 as well as being national champions and runners up over last two years.

After a close start, where Bower Park found themselves 2-1 down all the training and hard work began to show.

Bower started to dominate the game in defence and attack, eventually winning 9-2 making them London Champions and qualifying for National finals at Derby Arena on June 15.

Mr Chris Baker, head of PE, said: “It was a bitter sweet moment. I would have loved to win both titles, but was so proud of the way the under-13s battled through competition to become runners up and the under-15 team were brilliant.

“The under-15s are the most complete team in any sport I have ever taught. They have an amazing squad where every player adds different qualities and is a winner.

“Now I hope we can win that national title that we came so close to last year – losing the final on penalties.

“Like the girls, I am still hurting about the way we got beaten last year and hope we can put it right in Derby this June.”

Mr Stuart McLaughlin, Principal at Bower Park Academy, added: “The standards that we achieve in sport is superb.

“I am so proud of all our handball teams and the way they are prepared to work hard to achieve great things.

“Both boys’ and girls’ teams have excelled this year – good luck to our under-15 girls in the National Finals – I know you can go one step further and win the competition this year.”

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