Benenden claimed the 2017 Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Under 19A championship title after a convincing 3-0 victory over Lady Eleanor Holles.
The two sides, both taking 100% records into Day 2 of the competition, were actually placed in the same pool earlier in the day with LEH coming out on top 3-2 in the group game to finish top of pool C.
Benenden, on the other hand, failed to win any of their three pool matches in the morning, however they saved their best performances for when it mattered in the knockout stages.
A 3-1 win over St Catherine’s in the last 16, followed by a 4-2 victory over St Mary’s Calne in the quarter-finals, set up a semi-final against Downe House, while LEH took on Guildford High for a place in the final.
The semi-finals provided some of the most dramatic lacrosse of the day with both matches going to golden goal overtime.
Benenden had thrown away a 4-1 lead as Downe House came back to tie the game at 4-4 and the momentum seemed to be with the Berkshire side going into the extra period. Meanwhile, after being 2-0 down at half-time, LEH produced an equally rousing comeback to finish normal time at 2-2.
And as both games ran alongside each other on adjacent pitches, 5 seconds of madness saw first LEH, then Benenden, both make winning shots sparking wild celebrations as both teams booked themselves a place in the final.
In the final, Benenden went 1-0 up early and then produced an extremely professional and clinical performance to see out the rest of the match, adding two more goals in the second half and winning their first U19 National Schools title since 1995.
2015 Championship winners, Wycombe Abbey took the U19A Division 1 title this year beating Cheltenham Ladies College 4-1 in the final.
Harrogate Ladies College completed a strong performance on day 2 by taking the U19A Division 2 title defeating North London Collegiate 3-2.
And Charterhouse completed the winners in the U19A tournament overcoming Rendcomb 6-2 in the Division 3 final.
Saturday also saw the U19B Team tournament take place with 26 teams competing for the title which was eventually won by St Catherine’s, Bramley with a 2-1 victory over St Paul’s in the final.
The U19 girls once again put on a tremendous display of lacrosse across both days and all players, coaches and supporters should be immensely proud in participating in what was a brilliant tournament.
We look forward to welcoming our Under 15 teams to Surrey Sports Park on Monday, followed by the U14s & U13s on Tuesday.
RNSLC17 Under 19 Individual Award Winners
MVP – Vivien Jones Memorial Award: Scarlett Johnson (Benenden)
Goalkeeper: Katie Jackson (LEH)
Defender: Erica Wallace (LEH)
Midfielder: Scarlett Johnson (Benenden)
Attacker: Eliza White (Benenden)