On Friday 4th March our 7 remaining A Team pupils competed in the Hoops4Health Finals at the Vertu Honda Arena, Newcastle. It was wonderful to watch the North Stand of Sport Central steadily filling up with 50 members excited families, staff and friends from Stanhope. This was lovely to see our community, getting behind the team in a big finals event! Our players were really motivated to play in front of so much support, and give their very best.

The Stanhope team took to the court for the first round robin game against St. Bede’s RC S/S, the defending champions. Both teams had a number of near misses, before St. Bede’s scored with just 8 seconds remaining. Therefore St. Bede’s won 2-0. Immediately after we had to compose ourselves to play Biddick Hall Juniors. It was a dominant performance from the team with Leyo scoring 2, Archie 1 and Bobby 1 basket to end the game as 8-0 winners. Therefore we qualified to play in the final.

The final took place at half-time in the Eagles game, in a front of a great crowd: St. Bede’s RC S/S were our opponents.

We immediately started positively, as we passed the ball around confidently. A flowing team move saw take an early lead with Leyo taking a fine long range shot to score. This was met by a fantastic roar from the Stanhope support! We then went on to have a number of near misses, it was end to end play, before St. Bede’s scored to equalise. 2 late opportunities for Stanhope were met with very aggressive fouls from the opposition. Unfortunately this was the way the game ended: 2-2. Therefore a shoot out would decide the victors. Archie and Olivia stepped up for the green and golds, but sadly could not score. St. Bede’s also missed their 2 efforts. Finally a sudden death shot would decide the title. St. Bede’s scored and unfortunately we missed. It truly was a devastating loss for our hard working team – they gave their all and I’m sure they will bounce back to winning ways soon.

Well done to the skillful and dedicated players who had all trained outside with such commitment in the build up to the finals.

Finally, a big thank you to the outstanding school community, for your support on a memorable sporting occasion for our school. We will be back even better, more determined and stronger once again next year!