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The weekend of Week Nine marked the finals day of the Carter Shield. Rather than seeing any one college pull away at the top, Finals Day saw the league remain very tight at the top. Lonsdale and Fylde are tied at the top after the first four events with 47 points. Bowland and Grizedale are tied for third spot, six points further back on 41, with County just three points further back in 5th position. It is still between any one of these five teams for the overall title.
No college had made it to the semi-finals of all four events, making every extra three points gained even more important. For making it to the semi-finals a college receives nine points, to the final 12 points, with the winner of an individual event gaining 15 points.
Finals day kicked off with the eagerly anticipated Dodgeball, and a semi-final encounter between Lonsdale and Grizedale. Lonsdale edged ahead with a close win in the opening leg in the best of three. Grizedale pulled it back to 1-1 with four players left standing in the second leg, and looked to take the momentum into the decider. However Lonsdale rallied and took the initiative from the very start of the final leg, taking out two key Grizedale players within the opening 10 seconds and went on to secure a final place with a 2-1 win.
The other semi-final saw Fylde up against the winners of group two, Bowland. Fylde had improved massively from their second place finish in the groups and dominated proceedings, with the result never seeming in doubt as they strolled into the final with a 2-0 win.
The final was a best of five, however Lonsdale seemed as if they had somewhere else to be and destroyed Fylde 3-0. Lonsdale got off to a flying start in all three legs, being the first to at least two of three balls on each occasion and rarely wasted a throw, in a resounding victory that saw Lonsdale crowned Dodgeball champions.
The second event of finals day was volleyball. Pendle were the strongest team in the group stages and were up against group two runners up Fylde in the opening game of the event. Pendle were in unstoppable form again and never looked like losing in a 25-17 win.
Grizedale and Bowland continued the extremely high standard of volleyball in the other semi-final in what was a nip and tuck battle. There was never any more than four points between the two teams, until Grizedale finished off Bowland winning three consecutive points to secure a 25-20 win.
The final saw a repeat of the closely contested group stage match between local rivals Pendle and Grizedale. Pendle clinched the opening set quite comfortably, but Grizedale fought back bravely in the second set to level the scores at 1-1. Pendle stepped it up in the decider and sneaked a win by four points in the final leg to take a 2-1 win and the volleyball title.
County were unstoppable in the group stages and appeared to have an even stronger present at finals day. They completely outplayed group two runners-up Pendle in the opening match in a convincing 3-0 win that laid down the gauntlet to the other two teams remaining in the event.
The other semi-final saw an unbelievably scrappy match between Lonsdale and Grizedale with very little fluid play. Lonsdale scored with their only clear-cut chance and limited Grizedale to half chances as they sneaked through to the final with a 1-0 win.
County were just too good for Lonsdale in the final and in spite of Lonsdale’s disruptive tactics still created an unbelievable number of chances with Lonsdale’s goalkeeper preventing what could have almost been a double figure scoreline. Lonsdale had one half chance at 1-0 down to level the scores, but hit the side netting. County took a 2-0 lead with a fantastically worked goal, as they scored from a Lonsdale clearance well inside their own half after two clever passes and a smart finish. County retained the ball for the majority of the rest of the match to easily pick up the pop lacrosse title.
Bowland versus County was an extremely exciting match between two open and expansive teams. Bowland came out on top with a much deserved 3-2 win. Fylde proved their class in the second semi-final as they outfought and outplayed Lonsdale in a mesmerizing display of football in a comprehensive 4-0 win.
Fylde were clearly the best team on show on the day; however that did not guarantee that they would win the final against a brave and battling Bowland side. Bowland had an early chance to take the lead, however this was as close as it came. Fylde dominated the game from then on, with much more meaningful possession. Fylde cruised to the title and a further six Carter Shield points with three for Bowland.