National Championships 2019 – LondonWRC Write Up
The 2018/19 GB wheelchair rugby domestic season was concluded this past weekend (6/7 Apr) with the Roma Sport National Championships 2019. Our Crusaders and Storm were both competing in the top tier battling for the title of Cup champions. The format this year was slightly different as five teams faced each other once in a round robin points style tournament.
After heading up to Morningside Arena in Leicester our first game pitched us against each other. As we train together the victor of these London v London games are usually predictable. Crusaders did have a boost to their line-up with newly transferred GB athlete Aaron Phipps. Even so it wasn't enough to hold back the Storm as they charged ahead to a twelve point lead 55-43.
For their second match Storm faced the newly crowned Super Series champions Leicester Tigers, always a tough one but Storm gained a well earned three points after winning 56-47. Crusader's second opponent was the fast paced and agile West Coast Crash. On this occasion Cru couldn't manage to get ahead losing 44-52.
Third matches would be against Canterbury Hellfire. Storm played them on the Saturday and dominated to a final lead of 55-36. Crusaders would face Canterbury for their first game on Sunday and also controlled the gameplay taking an early lead and stretching it to 57-41.
Fourth and final games would be a switch in opposition to the earlier games. Storm now up against Crash, all be it a very close game but would result to be Storm's only loss 47-50. Crusaders last match would be their toughest of the weekend. Facing Tigers we put in a valiant effort but they slowly pulled away eventually winning 58-49.
After the points were totted up it was a three way tie for first, Tigers, Crash and Storm all in contention. Goal difference would call it and Storm come out on top taking the title of National Cup Champions 2019. Congratulations to those winning best in class including London's own Chris Ryan, Matt Hignett and Jim Roberts. We'd like to thank GBWR and all the teams involved for a successful tournament and complete season. Along with all the staff and volunteers who make this sport possible. Below are comments from a few of our members as they reflect on the previous season...
Dave Ross 'Chick' – 2.0
“my first season with you guys has been an absolute privilege and I look forward to many more!”
Steve Palmer 'Archie' – 1.5 / Coach / Chairman
“The league season has finished and it was a fairly successful one for us. Crusaders managed a quite comfortable 2nd placed finish in the GBWR Super Series, whilst Storm finished a respectable 4th place. Although we’re happy with the season as a whole, our goal is obviously to finish with both teams in the top spots but to be able to develop our up and coming players for the future too.”
Justin Frishberg – 2.0
“Another year another season… and I still love playing, winning, losing and hanging out with friends. I started in 1996 so seasons come and seasons go and I am grateful that this sport keeps me
healthy of body and spirited in my soul. My professionalism dipped during warm ups, as I was seen talking to old-timers who were still giving their best either on court or as coaches and officials. More than 20 years together, turning up and playing our game and catching up on stories old and new.”