Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Championship
The 2017 Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Championship (RNSLC) once again produced another great festival of lacrosse at Surrey Sports Park. More than 3500 girls competed over four days of competition in what is the flagship schools event in the lacrosse calendar.
It was wonderful to see so many young women give their all throughout the weekend. Here we share some of the highlights of this year’s RNSLC.
Benenden take the Under 19 Championship crown
Benenden claimed the Under 19A championship title after a convincing 3-0 victory over Lady Eleanor Holles.
A 3-1 win over St Catherine’s in the last 16, followed by a 4-2 victory over St Mary’s Calne in the quarter-finals, set up a semi-final against Downe House, while LEH took on Guildford High for a place in the final.
The semi-finals provided some of the most dramatic lacrosse of the day with both matches going to golden goal overtime.
Benenden had thrown away a 4-1 lead as Downe House came back to tie the game at 4-4 going into the extra period. Meanwhile, after being 2-0 down at half-time, LEH produced an equally rousing comeback to finish normal time at 2-2.
And as both games ran alongside each other on adjacent pitches, 5 seconds of madness saw first LEH, then Benenden, both make winning shots sparking wild celebrations as both teams booked themselves a place in the final.
In the final, Benenden went 1-0 up early and then produced an extremely professional and clinical performance to see out the rest of the match, adding two more goals in the second half and winning their first U19 National Schools title since 1995.
Wycombe Abbey took the U19A Division 1 title this year beating Cheltenham Ladies College 4-1 in the final. Harrogate Ladies College won the U19A Division 2 title defeating North London Collegiate 3-2 and Charterhouse completed the winners in the U19A tournament overcoming Rendcomb 6-2 in the Division 3 final.
Saturday also saw the U19B Team tournament take place which was won by St Catherine’s, Bramley with a 2-1 victory over St Paul’s in the final.
St Catherine’s win RNSLC17 Under 15 Title
St Catherine’s, Bramley claimed the 2017 Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Championship Under 15 title with a nail-biting 3-2 golden goal victory over Berkhamsted.
Both teams topped their respective pools earlier in the day, with Berkhamsted taking a perfect 100% record into the final with knockout wins over Sherborne, St Mary’s Calne and Downe House. St Catherine’s only blemish was a pool stage defeat to Wycombe Abbey; later seeing off Benenden, St Paul’s and Caterham.
The final was a real back-and-forth encounter with St Catherine’s twice taking the lead before being pegged back to bring the game level at 2-2 at the end of normal time.
Overtime continued in nip and tuck fashion until St Catherine’s were presented with a free position opportunity. The chance was duly received and St Catherine’s secured the victory taking the Under 15A title.
There was also victory for St Helen and St Katharine in the Under 15B competition beating Wycombe Abbey 2-0 in the final.
Guildford do the double on final day of RNSLC17
Guildford High picked up a duo of RNSLC titles claiming both Under 14 & Under 13 titles on the final day of the tournament.
The final whistles sparked double celebrations as both teams became Rathbones National Schools Champions within seconds of each other, playing both finals on adjacent pitches.
The Under 14s went through the pool stages undefeated with five wins and a draw and then dispatched Caterham, Wycombe Abbey and Benenden to reach the under 14 final.
Their opponents in the final, Lady Eleanor Holles carried an equally formidable record into the match with a 100% pool record with wins against Rendcomb, St Paul’s and Bedford.
LEH were the side to strike first before Guildford pulled the scores level and then, in dramatic fashion, with just five seconds left on the clock the girls in blue scored a second giving their opponents no opportunity to respond and taking the Under 14 title for the third time in five years.
The Under 13s were a commanding force all day long winning all six of their morning pool games without conceding a single goal.
Their dominance continued in to the knockout games with a 4-1 win over Walthamstow Hall, 2-1 against St George’s, Harpenden and 4-1 against Wycombe Abbey to set up a final against St Swithun’s.
St Swithun’s meanwhile had a tougher test in reaching the final going through to the knockouts from their pool in 3rd place and 4-2 record.
They then produced a shock 1-0 victory against the previously undefeated St Catherine’s before beating Putney 4-0 and overcoming Berkhamsted 5-4 in the semi-final with a golden goal overtime winner.
Guildford High produced a convincing performance to come out 3-0 winners in the final and take the U13 title.
The teams once again put on a tremendous display of lacrosse with 848 matches being played by over 3500 girls across the four days and all players, coaches and supporters should be immensely proud in participating in what was a brilliant tournament.
2017 Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Championships Winners
U19 Championship Benenden
Division 1 Wycombe Abbey
Division 2 Harrogate Ladies College
Division 3 Charterhouse
U19B St Catherine’s, Bramley
U19 3rds Benenden
U15A St Catherine’s, Bramley
U15B St Helen and St Katharine
U14 Guildford High
U13 Guildford High