BERKSHIRE BANSHEES Wheelchair Rugby Club claimed top spot in the Championship GBWR fives competition by beating Newcastle’s North East Barbarians.
Taking part in the contest at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke on Trent, the Banshees’ victory means that they have qualified to play in the Premiership fives leauge wheelchair rugby in 2024.
At both the first and second tournaments of the season, Banshees and Barbarians finished the days level on points but because Barbarian’s had narrowly beaten Banshees on both occasions, they topped the table which meant it was all to play four in the third tournament.
Both Banshees and Barbarian’s won two of their first three games of the day, leaving them still level on points, so it all came down to the exciting final game to decide which team would be promoted to the Premiership.
Banshees plan of attack worked, and they won convincingly, with a final score of 24-16, showing the development of the team over the season.
The club, which was formed in 2017 to help give people with physical disabilities and learning/neurological conditions the chance to play the sport, have been promoted twice in three years.
Head Coach Sally Sycha said: “I am so proud of all the Banshees, both those who played at the tournament and those who train with us. I’ve seen development in the whole team this year, both individually and as the team working together, implementing the tactics we’ve trained for. I’m looking forward to further development of the 5s team as we enter the Premiership, and hopefully entering a second 5s team next season to provide more competitive opportunities for our players.
“As well as this we’re now going into 4s season with our combined team with Brighton Buccaneers, named the Banshaneers, and we continue to develop our youth team. It’s exciting times for our growing club, and we couldn’t do it without all our supporters help.”
Craig Hunter, Chairman of the Banshees added: “This was a terrific performance by not only the players who played across the tournaments but the whole club, all players who trained and played friendlies together, coaches and volunteers. Our thanks must also go to the local business community who have supported us from day one, notably Absolute Mobility, SecureCloud+, Polyco Health, Dudmans of Berkshire, Haslams, Egnyte Software, Get Berkshire Active, without all their support this would not have happened.
“We now look forward to developing a 4s team, who will play the same game as the GB Paralympic team, as well as continuing to develop our Youth section for children and young adults aged eight – 16.
n For more information about playing or supporting the Banshees please visit our website https://bansheeswr.club or email [email protected] or contact Craig Hunter on 07798844202.