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Tameside’s Under 12s etch name into history books – and coach Palmer is delighted
Monday 11th March 2019 @ 12:33 by Mark Phillip

Tameside Netball Club’s Under 12s have etched their name into the history books after becoming the first ever Netball Cup National Champions.

Coached by former Audenshaw Sixth Form student Lauren Palmer, Tameside qualified for the competition earlier this month after winning the Northern Finals in December. As a result of their achievement, Tameside were rewarded with 11 tickets to watch England Netball take on New Zealand live at the Echo Arena in Liverpool in January.

Tameside took momentum from the Northern Finals into the National Finals and started brilliantly, cruising to a trio of victories in the preliminary rounds to book their place in the final. Palmer’s side soared to the top of Group A after beating MK Netters 10-3; Wodson Park 13-0; and Teignbridge Titans 13-1.

Tameside proceeded to sweep aside Leeds Athletic 16-2 in the quarter-final, before edging their way to an 11-4 victory over Startford Thunderbirds in the penultimate round, which subsequently booked a date in the final against Turnford.

After taking a 6-2 lead into the half-time break, Tameside continued to dominate in the second-half despite Turnford’s best efforts and the game ended 9-5 to the girls in yellow and blue.

Following the victory, Palmer spoke to Reporter Sport and heaped praise on her players’ efforts and said the foundations have been laid for a promising future: “The 12s have done really well this season so far. At the start of the season we wanted to build upon our successes of last year at U11s and push on. The girls have really matured and have done lots of classroom work on expectations and goal settings and they have created their own culture and values. 

“We said at the start of the year we wanted to win the ENG U12 Cup which we’ve now achieved, and then win the U12 GM County League which we sit joint-first with Oldham in – who we play this weekend – in the title decider. 

“So far we are on target and the girls have really worked hard on error reduction and improving their tactical game. As a team the girls are a solid unit on and off the court and growing week on week. Individually we have some superstars in the group and have representatives in both franchise and county set ups. We have summer tournaments ahead of us and look forward to pushing on and taking as many titles as we possibly can.”

Daisy Lees

Although this season has yet to finish, Lauren has set her sights on next year and hopes to retain her gliterring record with the same set of girls at a higher age bracket. “The competitive nature of these girls is incredible and well above their age” she said. “They won’t accept losing and work so hard to make sure it doesn’t happen. Their ambition and desire is outstanding. I will be coaching the same set of girls next year and will look to qualify for England Netball National finals. I’ve got to keep my 100 per cent record at the competitions and make it 4/4 titles with England Netball.”

Having progressed through Tameside’s age groups before moving into coaching, Lauren hopes to one day realise her dream and take charge of the Premier Squad.

But for now, the Manchester Thunder Under 19 coach is happy with her role and is hoping to mould the next generation of superstars. She said: “These girls are more than good enough to make it into a Prem squad, and I hope they will be given the opportunities to do just that. 

“Personally I do wish to coach at Prem in the future but I’ll take it as it comes as I have a lot on with Thunder. I just want to keep pushing on as a coach and be the best I can be. Thunder 19s and 15s are really teaching me a lot which I can take back to club. So I want to progress st both franchise and club to the best of my ability. I just want to win as many titles as I can and develop as many girls to the top level as possible.”

Ruby Ellis

Following her efforts on court at the National FInals, Ruby Ellis was nominated as the Player of the Tournament, while Daisy Lees was selected to become an Eng Sports Athlete.

Daisy, who captains the Under 12s, Will be supported by Eng Sports so she can realise her full potential in the netball world.

Eng Sports is focused on delivering and providing P.E lessons and competitive sporting events and experiences for young children and athletes through-out the UK. 

Their passion for sport and what sport can do for children mentally and physically has allowed them to create and deliver events, workshops and P.E lessons to schools, clubs and local communities.

​As well as educating children on what sport is all about, which will allow them to become stronger, confident and more focused individuals, they also have a vision is to empower the whole of the UK into not being afraid of failure and to realise losing and winning are part of the same team.

Pictures taken from @ENGSportsUK1 and @TamesideNC