The Lord’s Taverners National Boccia Finals took place at Hertfordshire Sports Village this Friday (20 April) where schools from across the country competed for the national boccia title in the Physical Disability Finals and the Pan Disability Finals.
Nearly 3,000 participants had competed in 50 county and regional competitions over the course of the last few months to get to the final stages, where the following teams competed for their respective national titles:
Broadgreen International School (North West)
Percy Hedley (North East)
St Georges Academy (East Midlands)
Wilson Stuart (West Midlands)
Thomas Wolsey (East Anglia North)
Beacon hill (East Anglia South)
Cleeve Park (London)
Angmering (South East)
Arbour Vale (Central)
Woodlands School (South West)
Long Dean (East Anglia South 2)
First up for the Wilson Stuart School Team was St Georges Academy in an opening match which the team played very well to finish winners by 5-1, having been at school for 6.15am and spent 3 hours on a minibus traveling to the event. Next up was Long Dean in a very tight match which was decided on the tie break, after four ends nothing could separate the teams as the scores were locked at 3-3 and everything was going to plan in the tie break until Long Dean took there last shot at the “Jack” and moved the Wilson Stuart ball to take the lead, with 5 shots still to play Wilson Stuart tried everything to try and regain the lead but unfortunately it was not to be with the match finishing in a 4-3 defeat.
This meant the team had it all to do in their last group match against Woodlands who were 2 from 2 and leading the group at this stage. This was another tight encounter between two very good teams which saw the Wilson Stuart pull out all the stops to take a brilliant win and finish top of the group on points difference to qualify for the semi-finals. Where they had to meet Woodlands School again who had finished best runners up across all the groups. Which turned out to be another tight which started all badly for Wilson Stuart losing the first end 2-0, but after this wake up call the team turned it around winning the next 3 ends all 1-0 to make the final score 3-2 and putting them in the final.
The final turned out to be one match too far as a controversial refereeing decision cost the team their Jack in the first end and put them on the back foot against the current holders and exceptional Angmering Team who played some fantastic boccia to regain their title.
Qualifying for the event in the first place was a massive achievement and then to finish runners up was beyond the wildest dreams of the team and staff involved.
A big thank you must go to all the players involved Reece, Jack, Unais and Aaron who won two qualifying competitions before this event and the staff and parents who made it to school for 6am for the long drive to Hatfield in Hertfordshire and the late finish at the other end of the day.