Sheffield Hallam win Women's Shield
14th April 2018
Sheffield Hallam were crowned Women's Shield Champions after a classic encounter against Polonia IMKA.
The battle between the favourites Hallam, the Division 1 league leaders, and the non-NVL side Polonia IMKA who have caused many upsets on their route to the final, was every bit as good as it was billed.
Polonia IMKA thrived on the big stage and made their intention of causing an upset quite clear in the opening set. The women from the capital took the opener 25-20.
Stung by losing the first set, the youthful Hallam team found a higher gear in the second to level the match by taking the second set 25-18.
The teams traded blows in the third set in which was a really even contest. The third set went the distance and Hallam edged it 26-24.
If IMKA had slid to defeat in the next set, the busy crowd would have applauded their effort - but the side from London's Women's Premier League were far from finished. They clawed their way back into the game and proved their undoubted class. They forced the match to a decider by winning the fourth 25-20.
For the neutrals a deciding set was the perfect climax to a thrilling game. It was fought out right until the end. Hallam got themselves to 14, securing several match points. As they missed the opportunity to win the match a rallying cry on court of "one more point" seemed to focus their minds. Hallam won it on their final match point to win the set 15-13 and were delighted to be taking the Shield back to Yorkshire.
Sheffield's Sarah Van Essen was named the matches MVP.
Click here to view the full stats for the final.