Scotland Wheelchair U19s come home with a silver medal after competing in the British Wheelchair Basketball Lord’s Taverners National Junior Championships.
This past weekend both U19s and U15s competed in the national tournament taking place at the University of Worcester Arena.
The U19s kickstarted their campaign with a 24-15 victory against Wales with strong performances from Ben Leitch, James Beattie and Josh Manson. They then proceeded to earn a 29-14 against South East after a rocky start to the game Adam Donnachie was subbed in and his baskets helped swing the momentum in Scotland’s direction. Unfortunately, they suffered a speedbump on their road to success as they came up short against North West after keeping it level in the first half they lost 27-18. However, they finished day one on a high as a very tired and worn out squad were able to beat North East 16-8 to advance through to the quarterfinals.
On day two they faced East Midlands for a chance to advance to the semi-finals. Outside scoring from James Beattie, an inside threat from Ben Leitch and monster rebounds from Josh Manson made sure they made the most of that chance as they won 26-12. In the semi-final they met West Midlands and the game was neck-and-neck till the final buzzer James Beattie’s 3-pointer alongside David Beattie’s free throws helped secure the 22-17 victory, but everyone played a part in the win with their phenomenal defence and hustle. That meant that the final was a rematch between Scotland and North West and it was the opposition who got the early lead, but Scotland were able to reduce the deficit to two points with four minutes to go but it wasn’t enough as North West got the win 24-16.
However, despite the loss in the final it didn’t take away from the team’s fantastic performance as they become the first home nation to reach the podium at U19s level. The U19s will now prepare to face the UK Invictus Games squad and Glasgow Rocks in the Digby Brown Invitational Challenge next weekend in Largs.
Scotland co-captain Josh Manson said: “In my opinion, the weekend went fantasic. As a squad we have made history, not only in Scotland but for the entire tournament which is absolutely outstanding. As co-captain with David Beattie I feel the squad as a whole done amazingly. We performed as a team and showing everyone that we had been training hard, gelling together like a family as well as teammates.”
The U15s had a rough start to the tournament as they suffered defeats from South East, North East and narrowly to West Midlands but were able to pick up a 20-4 victory against North West which meant they were able to qualify for the quarterfinals. In their quarterfinal match they marginally lost to Yorkshire by four points 22-18 but were able to bounce back in their final game beating East Midlands 23-14 to finish 5th, a big improvement from last year.