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Newham slam basketball rivals

PUBLISHED: 08:59 30 May 2013

Newhams girls are all smiles after qualifying for the final four of the London Youth Games basketball competition

Newhams girls are all smiles after qualifying for the final four of the London Youth Games basketball competition

Archant

Youngsters book semi-final spots

Newham youngsters will bid for London Youth Games gold after booking their place in the final four of the basketball competition at UEL Sportsdock at the weekend.

Both the boys and girls teams emerged from a highly competitive qualifying event to earn a trip to Crystal Palace on July 6.

And they will be looking to prove themselves as the capital’s best later this summer.

Newham’s girls eased past Greenwich (29-4) and Harrow (26-4) in their group on Saturday, before seeing off Lambeth (38-8) in the quarter-finals to set up a date with reigning two-time champions Southwark.

Manager Caroline Charles said: “I’m very proud of them. We’ve always been close to the top, but last year we didn’t even make it to the semi-finals, so we’re glad we’ve made it this year.

“The girls have been together for a long time. They first started playing in the London Youth Games at around about 13 so they’ve grown up playing together.

“As a London Youth Games side they’ve been playing together for about four years now so it’s beginning to all come together. And the good thing is they’re going to be together for another two years.

“I’ve had some young ones in the team, just introducing them so they know what it’s all about for the coming years. The kids are really proud to represent their borough.”

Newham’s boys hit the court on Sunday and beat Hillingdon (23-12) and Harrow (28-17) to top their group.

Their quarter-final with Southwark was a full-blooded affair, played in front of a passionate packed crowd, and Newham edged a thrilling contest by a 25-20 margin.

They will face 2012 bronze medalists Haringey in July, while Sutton take on Islington in the other semi-final.

Manager Stephen Onireti was delighted with his team’s character and determination on the day and said: “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because Southwark have got some really talented players.

“We had to dig deep and pull out all the stunts to put the game in our favour. I thought everyone worked well, they gelled well.

“It’s their home borough so I think they wanted it more than I probably wanted it.

“I don’t think it’ll hit home for a while but it will be such an amazing experience to have the whole borough backing them and gearing them on, trying to get them to go and win this London Youth Games.”


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