Somerset under-16 handball squads reach national finals thanks to strong Crispin School contingent
Pupils from Crispin School in Street helped Somerset’s boys’ and girls’ teams reach the national finals after winning the South West U16 Handball Championships.
Eight of the ten-strong girls’ squad were from Crispin, joined by one from Wells Blue and one from Huish Episcopi, and they produced an excellent performance to comfortably beat South Gloucestershire in the final.
It was an edgy affair in the opening minutes but Somerset soon settled into their stride as their quick counter-attacking, defensive prowess and clinical finishing opened up a good lead.
Shauna Cossens showed flair and power to bag ten goals, Alicia Fouracres scored four, captain Megan Lintell got a hat-trick and Poppy Anderson was also on target in an 18-4 victory.
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The Somerset team consisted of just three Year 11 pupils, with six from Year 10 and one from Year 9.
The 13-strong Somerset boys squad, which included ten Crispin pupils, were joined by two opposing teams and started with a 7-4 victory over South Gloucestershire.
Harry Dunlop was the star of the show, scoring four goals and man-marking the oppositions’ international basketball player out of the game. Matt Long, Jake Smart and Jamie Brown were also on target.
Devon had earlier beaten South Gloucestershire 11-4, so Somerset went into the final match knowing that only a victory would see them through to the national finals.
With a tight defensive line and several players from Ivybridge Sports College, Devon were a strong outfit but Somerset learned from their mistakes in the previous game and started to exploit the wide areas.
Smart darted with pace from the wings and shot accurately to bag four goals, while Harry Franks added two from long range. Dunlop, Long, Sam Vowles and Josh Rix also found the net as Somerset triumphed 10-3.
Both Somerset teams will travel to the national finals in Bolton on Saturday, where scouts will be in attendance to select players for England trials.
Girls squad: Megan Lintell (captain, Crispin School, Year 11), Charlie Fouracres (vice-captain, Crispin, Year 10), Alicia Fouracres (Crispin, Year 11), Shauna Cossens (Crispin, Year 11), Carly James (Crispin, Year 10), Sophie Knight (Crispin, Year 10), Chloe Chubb (Crispin, Year 10), Lucie Nurse (Crispin, Year 10), Poppy Anderson (Wells Blue, Year 10), Mahaela Wood (Huish Episcopi, Year 9).
Boys squad: Harry Dunlop (captain, Crispin School, Year 11), Josh Rix (vice-captain, Crispin, Year 10), James Lee (Crispin, Year 11), Jamie Brown (Crispin, Year 11), Jordan Clark (Crispin, Year 11), Harry Franks (Crispin, Year 11), Jake Smart (Crispin, Year 11), Harry Young (Westfield, Year 11), James Cohen (Westfield, Year 11), Aaran Wallis (Westfield, Year 11), Sam Vowles (Crispin, Year 10), Matt Long (Crispin, Year 10), Isaac Rickwood (Crispin, Year 10).