UK School Games

NI Boys Win 2010 UK School Games

The NI U17 Boys are the 2010 UK School Games Champions after defeating England North 2-1 in the Final.

In the first set England North pulled away to a 1-5 lead but good serving by NI captain #1 Caddell allowed NI to go 7-6 up. NI led 18-15 but two quick points by England forced NI head coach Chris Grant to call a timeout to settle the NI boys. Both teams traded points at the end of the set but a setting error by England North #5 gave NI a crucial three point lead at 23-20. An English hitting error and a block gave NI their first set point but England North converted their sideout attack. A missed serve by England North gave the 1st set to NI with a score of 25-21.

In the second set England North were able to build a lead to 10-17 but NI came back with three points on the trot but hard serving and great defence allowed England North to lead the set 14-23. A back court kill by England North #8 gave them the second set at 18-25 and a third set to 15 points would decide the 2010 UK School Games.

In the third set an ace serve by NI #1 and #10 gave NI a 8-3 lead at the change of ends. NI #9 won a joust for NI to lead 9-5 and a one on one stuff block again by NI #9 gave NI a 10-5 lead.

A couple of unforced errors by NI allowed England North to close the gap to 11-9 and NI head coach Chris Grant called a timeout to make some adjustments. These adjustments immediately made the difference as NI won the next two points for NI to need only two points to win the championship.

A kill by NI #10 set up Northern Ireland’s first match point and a stuff block by NI captain #1 meant Northern Ireland won the third set 15-10, the match 2-1 and were the 2010 Boys UK School Games Championships.

Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive Eamonn McCartan commented on the NI team success, “This is a tremendous achievement by this young volleyball team and their coaches and is testament to the sporting talent and potential that exists within Northern Ireland. It’s also a credit to Northern Ireland Volleyball and the extensive preparation afforded to this event.”

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