Three local New Forest Volleyball junior players were called to play for England in the UK School Games last weekend, at Loughborough University.

The annual tournament features talent in a variety of sports drawing on the most talented young individuals across the whole of the UK. 

Ben Lucas (Priestlands School) and Josh Green (South Downs College, Waterlooville) were both key players in the England Junior Boys line up. 

Ben was given the honour of captaining the team who were to face five opposing national teams over the three day event Sept 1-3rd

In addition Ben Osborne, from South Hants, was given the honour of being called up for the younger Cadet team.

They dominated the group stage, remaining unbeaten against Scotland West, N. Ireland, England Cadets, Scotland East and Wales. 

They beat all five teams  comprehensively 2-0 without conceding a single set, which made them the number one seed going into the final on Sunday. They were up against table runners up Scotland East. 

However their dominating form of the previous encounter was to allude them.  They lost a close first set 21-15, but then dug deep and bounced back to win the second convincingly 25-16. 

Josh Green (left) and Ben Lucas (right)

This was largely down to some excellent offensive work at the net, and great leadership by Captain Ben Lucas. 

However Scotland East managed to pull off a shock victory by clinching the third set 15-11. 

Despite the massive disappointment of defeat for the New Forest Boys, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Both Ben and Josh were awarded prestigious Golden Ball Awards for the Tournament. 

All international coaches vote on the top player per position (7 in total) across all competing teams. Josh was voted best setter and Ben was best attacker. A phenomenal achievement by both New Forest players, which at least went some way towards overcoming the disappointing outcome of the final. 

And for NFV England Cadet Ben Osborne his weekend didn’t end too badly either – England Cadets placed third in this category ensuring the Bronze Medal. 

8th September 2017