Schools Cup serves up fantastic finals

SSC 2013The 2013 Scottish Schools Cup finals were again held in the brilliant facilities of Coatbridge HS.

The day was dominated by the presence of Marr College who appeared in all three age group finals. Great credit must be given to Jess Reid and Marr College for their volleyball programme.

The first opposition was Stonelaw HS, coached by Mr Byrne. It was a game that was full of long rallies as the ball control from both schools was impressive. Stonelaw took the first set – with captain Alix Scott consistently finding the winning point.

Marr college’s Julianne Hendry started to impose herself more on the game and they took the 2nd set. Marr carried this momentum into the 3rd set and were looking to close out the set at 13-8. However greater spirit from the Stonelaw girls ensured they saved 4 match points, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as Marr College won the tie.

Kyle AcademyIt was then on to the S2/3 final. Both Marr and Kyle have been regular competitors at the National Schools festivals and it was great to see the three touch game portrayed so well. All players on court for Kyle proved to be able to win points for the team and that was the difference as Kyle took a 2-0 win and are crowned national S2/3 Champion for 2013.

The senior finals was contested by West coast schools Marr College and Belmont Academy. The match result wasn’t down to the lack of effort or endeavour from Belmont but mainly due to the composure and lack of errors from Marr. The experience of years playing in the Junior National League was evident to see as they took the final in straight sets.

Matches in the boys competition proved to be a lot tighter across the board. Kyle Academy were back again after yesterday’s exploits and were appearing in the P7/S1 and S2/3 final. Stonelaw were again opponents in the lower age group and the endeavour from both schools to keep the ball under control was great to watch. Kyle edged out the Match 2-0.

The next match really raised the roof at Coatbridge HS, with over 75 schools kids, parents and teachers cheering from the side. As the atmosphere rose so did the level of play with both teams showing real positive attack play and a willingness to keep to ball off the floor.
Both teams had great turnouts at the 4v4 national festivals at Grangemouth and Wishaw and the level of play has improved greatly since the start of the season.  Kyle lead by captain S.Khan just edged the tie and took the title of S2/3 champions.

Belmont Academy’s supporters were joined by most of Mearns castle’s volleyball club. With 40 supporters coming along to cheer on their senior pupils in the Senior Scottish Schools Cup final. The level of performance was high and points were traded fairly evenly between the two sides with Belmont Academy holding on to their early lead as they took the first set.

The large Mearns castle support raised their team and started well managing to use hitters from all areas of the court to disrupt Belmont’s impressive defence and were leading mid-way through the set. But some great defence from Belmont libero Lorn Shanks and good setting choices from Matthew Russell ensured that it was Belmont Academy who were crowned S4/5/6 senior boys school cup champions.

On show over the 2 days were only a very small fraction of the volleyball activity within the schools  with numbers ranging between 40 and 140 in all the school clubs involved. A great deal of credit is due to J Reid, H McGibbon, G Phillips, A Byrne and C Giles and their support staff for all the work they have put it in.

All the photos can be viewed here. Thanks to Lynne Marshall for the great photographs.

The days were ran smoothly by our two referees Martyn Johnstone and Kevin Amos as well as court manager Nora Gonzalez. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped organise the two days of volleyball.

A big thank you to CEO Margaret-Ann Fleming, our Olympic referee Brian McDougal and Olympian and GB captain Lynne Beattie for attending and presenting the schools with their trophies and medals.

The venue and assistance was great throughout the week, thanks to John French, North Lanarkshire Council and Coatbridge HS for the use of the fantastic facilities within the school and helping promote school volleyball.

Graeme Spowart
Club and Participation Development Officer