Barking and Dagenham girls fall short at London Youth Games handball finals
PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 19 June 2017
Barking and Dagenham’s girls’ handball team were ‘unfortunate’ to miss out on a medal at the London Youth Games handball finals.
The Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park had an electric atmosphere as borough teams from across the capital battled it out for medals this weekend.
The girls landed gold last year, but just missed out on a bronze medal after suffering a 4-2 defeat to Richmond in the third-place play-off medal match.
Defeating Greenwich (3-1), Lambeth (4-1), Kensingston & Chelsea (5-0) and Haringey (5-2) saw them top their group and comfortably seal a place in the quarter-finals.
Coach Mary-Ann Ramsey said: “We had quite a tough pool because we finished first last year, obviously you get the top eight or top four teams.
“We always knew our pool was quite a tough one and it was quite hard games, but to be fair the girls held their own and each game got better and better as they improved.
“You pick things up and try things out, we tried out a few different things and different combinations all the way through.”
Barking and Dagenham managed to pick up a 1-0 victory over Havering in a hard-fought quarter-final, before losing 4-2 to Hackney in an end-to-end thriller in the semi-finals.
“I think for us the hardest game of the day was the semi-finals against Hackney, as it was more like a final,” added Ramsey.
“That was the toughest game that we had, but it’s just swings and roundabouts because we knocked them out last year.
“It’s just unforunate that the games we lost, we lost by two goals, so it wasn’t a big thrashing and could have gone either way.”
The girls suffered a 4-2 defeat to Richmond to miss out on bronze, but coach Ramsey praised her team’s efforts and believes goalkeeper Stephanie Jo-Balby was a stand-out performer.
“Throughout the day it was very positive, they have been quite a jolly team and they’ve been an absolute pleasure to take,” she added.
“On and off the court the girls’ attitude to sport has been brilliant, it’s a respect to them to be fair.
“Steph was just insane, the goals that were let in is because we left gaps and at the end of the day the goals that she saved were quality.”
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