Carter Shield still wide open as first finals day approaches

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The Carter Shield has had many surprises in the four events that have already taken place this year, and the competition is ready to move on to an action-packed finals day. Finals day will take place on the Sunday of Week Nine and sees the colleges battle it out in the semi-final stage onwards in the four events; dodgeball, volleyball, pop lacrosse and women’s football.

The first event of the term, dodgeball, followed a similar formula to the last two years with the same teams making it to the last four. Bowland eased their way to top group one ahead of Grizedale winning all of their games, making light work of their other opponents Cartmel and Pendle.

Group Two saw Lonsdale win all three of their games 2-0, with Fylde making it through in second place after winning their other two games. The semi-final draw for dodgeball sees Bowland against Fylde, and Lonsdale against Grizedale, in what is probably the hardest event to predict with all four teams staking a serious claim at the first event.

Event number two for the term was volleyball which had brought in a number of surprises, none more notable than current holders of the volleyball title Lonsdale not making it through even in second place, after having not dropped a set in the Carter Shield for two years. Bowland were unbeaten in yet another event, topping group two with victories over Fylde, Lonsdale and Cartmel, with Fylde making it through in second place.

Group one was much more complicated with three teams, County, Pendle and Grizedale all winning two games each. Pendle had comfortably beaten Furness 25-6 and rivals for top spot Grizedale 25-18, so qualified in first place. County’s two wins were very close wins 27-25 over Furness and 25-23 over Pendle, which saw Grizedale go through in second place courtesy of their crushing 25-11 win over Furness.

The semi-finals saw Pendle went up against Fylde and Bowland versus Grizedale. On the day it seemed group one was the stronger group by far, and it would be no surprise to see a Pendle-versus-Grizedale final, a repeat of the closely fought group game. However, as already demonstrated in the Carter Shield absolutely anything can happen.

The third event of the term was pop lacrosse, which saw County destroying all comers, in spite of having only five of a possible six players. County edged to victory over Bowland 2-1 before, destroying Lonsdale 4-1, and Furness 3-0, as they easily topped group one. Lonsdale sneaked through in second place with a narrow 1-0 victory over Bowland in the final game of the day.

Group two saw Pendle and Grizedale edge through to the finals day at the expense of Cartmel and Fylde, with Grizedale topping the group. Grizedale will play Lonsdale in the first of the semi-finals, while County play Pendle in the second semi-final. If County are at anything like their best it is hard to see any other college winning and will see the other teams battling it out for second spot and an extra three Carter shield points.

The final event of the term was women’s football, which disappointingly saw only six teams brought down the full allocation of players. There were only three teams in each group instead of four, meaning the least number of points you could get for taking part was six for finishing third in the group. Group one saw Bowland win both of their games, comfortably 3-0 over Furness in the first, and in a tight encounter against Lonsdale 1-0. Lonsdale qualified in second place with a 1-0 win over Furness.

Group two saw County and Fylde demonstrating their footballing ability both defeating Grizedale 6-0. Fylde won the game between the two teams 1-0 with County in second place. Bowland will play County in semi-final one, and Lonsdale meet group winners Fylde in the second semi-final.

Finals Day will be the most important day of the year so far in terms of deciding the destination of the Carter Shield with a further six points available to any college that goes onto winning an individual event.

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