May 19 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Dagenham school team clinch national crown less than a year after they began playing
All Saints School’s under-15s boys were remarkably crowned national champions – just 10 months after they began playing competitive handball.
A stunning performance from goalkeeper David Bunduku in a tense final with Bromfords ensured the Terling Road-based school clinched the title.
PE teacher Dermot O’Brien said: “When we first started playing competitive handball last September we never believed the boys could achieve so much in such a short space of time.
“It is a credit to their hard work and dedication, whilst dealing with many obstacles along the way. The boys showed incredible determination, teamwork and self-belief to emerge victorious.”
All Saints endured a bumpy passage to the final. After slipping to an early 3-0 deficit against the well-organised Cardinal Griffin in their first match, All Saints showed grit and determination to fight back for a 3-3 draw.
Saints drew their second match with eventual finalists Bromfords, setting up a must-win final group game against Wirral Grammar School.
Victory ensured their passage to the semi-final where a classy Kevin Szymaniak hat-trick ensured they would renew their rivalry with Bromfords and battle for the trophy.
The final was a heated and tense encounter and All Saints received a red card, two yellows and three one- minute suspensions after taking an early lead.
Bromfords got back in the game during the second half with two well-worked goals. However, great defensive play from Tunmida Ademule and Damola Akinyemi and an outstanding performance from Bunduku, including a penalty save, kept Bromfords at bay.
At the other end goals from Owen Ebodor, Barry Vanlint, Kevin Szymaniak and player-of-the-tournament Ryan Phipps ensured victory.
O’Brien added: “I would like to thank England Handball and coaches from the Newham Flames for their help and advice throughout the year. The boys are looking to take handball to the next level now and promote the sport in the younger year groups to build on their success achieved.”
All Saints: Phipps, Cukaj, Akinyemi, Szymaniak, Kadzunge, Bunduku, Vanlint, Ogunwole, Ademule, Nunn, Edobor, Shobande, Punter.