On Thursday 15th June 2017 at St Mark’s Secondary School, the annual Merton Borough Year 5/6 Basketball competition took place. Fifteen teams took part with at least one school representing each of the four Merton clusters. Teams were placed in four pools for the group stages before progressing onto the knockout stages.
Morden, Dundonald and Gorringe Park were all drawn in this pool. The first game saw Morden play Dundonald. This game saw Morden come away with a commanding victory and set themselves up at the top of the group. They continued their dominance with a well-deserved win over Gorringe Park to continue their good form. The first game between Dundonald and Gorringe Park saw the latter sneak a 2-0 win to put them in a great position for qualifying in the top two. The second game between Morden and Dundonald highlighted how close the tournament was going to be as both sides attacked and defended well to come away with a share of the points (6-6). The second game between Morden and Gorringe Park saw Morden return to winning ways with a closely fought 2-0 win. Which meant a win in the crunch match between Dundonald and Gorringe Park to secure a place in the top half of the draw. This match was end to end once again with Dundonald just edging it 2-0 to take second spot.
This group consisted of Bishop Gilpin, St Peter and St Paul, William Morris and Malmesbury. It was Bishop Gilpin and St Peter and St Paul who started the group with an incredible 6-6 draw, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats with some great shooting on show. Malmesbury played William Morris in their first match and showed what a force they were going to be with a strong 6-0 win. The team managed to keep a 100% record by winning their two remaining games to top the group. The rest of the games were incredibly close with only a 1-0 victory for Bishop Gilpin over William Morris ensuring they came second in the group, sneaking ahead of St Peter and St Paul.
St Peter and St Paul
The group consisted of Harris Academy Primary Merton, Wimbledon Chase, Liberty and The Priory. Despite a set back against Liberty, Wimbledon Chase recovered to record victories against Harris Merton and The Priory to finish top of the group. The rest of the games were free flowing and plenty of baskets being scored by all teams. The game of the group was a superb match with Harris Merton taking on Liberty. With some tricky skills on show and both teams going all out for victory, the only fair result was a 4-4 draw. Priory played took advantage of this result and played extremely well, managing to record two victories, which pushed them into second place.
Harris Academy Primary Merton
This group was the tightest of the morning session. It consisted of Poplar, St Mary’s, Holy Trinity and St Teresa’s. While St Teresa’s proved too strong for the opposition and managed to win all three games, the battle for second place was extremely close as the remaining schools all beat each other to finish on 3 points each. It all came down to goal difference, with Poplars 8-4 win over St Mary’s proving crucial to give them second place, while St Mary’s close 4-2 win over Holy Trinity meaning they claimed third place.
After a short lunch break, teams were back and eager to restart the action in the finals stages.
All four pitches started quickly with cheers of baskets being scored on each pitch. All schools put everything into these games to get a result in normal time in order to avoid the sudden death free throw shootout. Fortunately, all pitches had a result. These games were all very close with each game being won by single baskets.
The next stage of fixtures saw even closer games. Gorringe Park played well as a team to overcome a good Harris Merton side and take 10th seed into their final game. St Mary’s and William Morris was decided on a penalty shootout which saw nearly every player take two free throws each! Both teams kept finding the net before St Mary’s took 9th seed into the final game.
Liberty, Holy Trinity and St Peter and St Pauls all recorded victories in their final games to take the higher of the two seeds.
1st – 8th
The quarter-finals saw some exciting matches and great skills as the baskets flew in. The most emphatic performances were St Teresa’s and Malmesbury who managed to score 5 each in their games to progress through to the next round with 10-0 victories. Poplar and Morden both impressed too with wins over Wimbledon Chase and Bishop Gilpin respectively.
The semi-finals saw strong victories for Malmesbury and St Teresa’s to mean they progressed to the 1st/2nd place final while Poplar and Morden would compete for 3rd/4th spot.
Dundonald were successful in a penalty shootout against The Priory to finish 7th overall. Bishop Gilpin and Wimbledon Chase had a really good game which the former managed to secure victory to cement 5th spot. Poplar showed their skills in their final game to secure 3rd place and takehome the bronze medals. The final between Malmesbury and St Teresa’s was too close to call early on as both sides missed chances. Unfortunately for Malmesbury they were unable to find a reply as St Teresa’s started to stretch ahead and take 1st place.
1st St Teresa’s
5th Bishop Gilpin
6th Wimbledon Chase
7th The Priory
10th Gorringe Park
11th St Peter and St Pauls
12th Harris Academy Primary Merton
13th Holy Trinity
14th St Mary’s
15th William Morris
Huge congratulations to St Teresa’s for becoming Merton Champions for 2017. They will now go on and represent Merton at the London Youth Games. Also well done to Wimbledon Chase for being REFSPECT winners. The games were all played in a great spirit and everyone was onboard with the REFSPECT campaign that made it more enjoyable for everyone involved. A special mention to an individual winner of a Refspect award, Renza from Poplar, who showed tremendous sportsmanship to all participants and was a credit to his school. The MSSP would like to thank the St Marks Academy for hosting and providing the SportLeaders who officiated each match superbly! Finally, a big thank you to the teachers and staff for bringing each school to the event.