Havering’s golden girls do it again
PUBLISHED: 13:27 04 July 2012
Netball squad defend Youth Games title
Havering’s netball squad travelled to this year’s Balfour Beatty London Youth Games finals at Crystal Palace as champions.
And, after a tense day of action at Crystal Palace, they returned home as champions after successfully defending their title.
Havering breezed through their opening three games, scoring 30 goals while conceding only two.
But in the second session they came up against a strong Redbridge side and were narrowly beaten by one goal.
That meant they had to beat Bromley by at least six goals and also defeat old rivals Barking & Dagenham in order to progress.
Having achieved the necessary six-goal win over Bromley, Havering managed to beat Barking & Dagenham by two to reach the final eight.
And, after relatively easy wins against Sutton, Croydon and Ealing, Havering reached the grand final and a rematch with Barking & Dagenham, their opponents in the 2011 gold-medal match.
Coach Viv Allaway said: “With fatigue and cramp setting in the girls fought brilliantly to win by three goals and retain the trophy.
“It was a fantastic effort and a wonderful all-round team performance. As you can tell I am very proud!!”
Havering captain Grace Oyenuga insisted she will look back at her London Youth Games netball career with her head held high after such an exciting finish.
The 14-year-old Frances Bardsley pupil went to Crystal Palace looking to help Havering finish as high as possible in the overall Jubilee Trophy standings as all 33 London boroughs did battle.
Havering are the most successful borough in the history of the competition, winning the Jubilee Trophy in its inaugural year in 1977 and lifting the silverware a record 15 times since.
And, although it was Croydon who took home the overall spoils in 2012, Oyenuga still tasted success on the netball court and was able to wave goodbye to the competition in style as she will be too old to compete in 2013.
“I am delighted to have won gold in the netball,” she said. “We won it last year and were hoping to win it again and we are just delighted to have managed that.
“This was the second time around we have done this and it was the same final last year as we went up against Barking & Dagenham last year too.
“The two teams know each other really well and we are rivals so it was great to get the better of them again.
“This is my last year of eligibility in the London Youth Games so, while I am disappointed to be leaving, it was great to finish on a high.”
The netball squad’s gold was one of two for Havering over the weekend, the other arriving on the tennis court.
Top-three finishes in badminton, girls athletics and aquathlon helped Havering finish tenth in this year’s overall Jubilee Trophy standings.