Inter-Regional Championships

28 May 2024

London double as Yorkshire and South West also win Inter Regional Championships 2024 titles

London double as Yorkshire and South West also win Inter Regional Championships 2024 titles

A busy weekend of junior action saw nine regions descend on the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering over the May Bank holiday weekend to contest the Inter Regional Championships 2024.

The weekend started with the U15 and U17 girls battling it out on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals, which were to be played on Sunday.  

London were looking to reclaim their titles from last year when both their U15 and U17 girls taking the top spot.  

Their title challenge started well with both their U17 girls and U15 girls winning 2-0 against West Midlands and North East respectively.  

Last year’s runners-up in the U15 competition, South East were looking to go one better in 2024 and matched London with their first match being a 2-0 victory over North West. 

Yorkshire were able to claim a set off the South team, who eventually came through to win 2-1 (27-25, 21-25, 15-13) in a tight decider. 

Despite this loss, Yorkshire still made it into the semi-finals with victories over North West and East.  

South East topped Pool B in the U15 competition and met the runners-up of Pool A, West Midlands in the semi-final.  

Yorkshire hit the ground running on the Sunday morning knock-out stages with a convincing victory over London as a 25-23, 25-16 score line putting them into the final.  

The other semi-final also started nail-bitingly close with the first set finishing 26-24 to the South East. 

The second set was slightly more comfortable where the pool B toppers stretched their legs and claimed it.  

London bounced back from their 2-0 defeat to Yorkshire and claimed a bronze medal with a commanding 2-0 victory over the West Midlands. 

The Midlanders could nevertheless hold their heads high after a thrilling weekend where they showcased the best of the talent of the talent in the region.  

The final of the U15 Girls saw a fired-up Yorkshire come out the blocks fast taking the first set 25-18. 

The South East pushed back in the second, but it just was not enough as Yorkshire came through 25-20 to secure their place as champions. 

In the U17 competition, Pool B saw three of the four teams finish on the same record (two wins and one loss) meaning the teams making it into the semi-final places were decided on points difference.  

East, topped the group having only dropped two sets to North West in the last game of the day just pipping West Midlands to the top spot. 

With the West Midlands side dropping a set against their neighbours East Midlands in their 2-1 victory, it meant they clinched third place with a better points difference compared to the third place of North West.  

This resulted in a semi-final between West Midlands and London - who had topped their own group and not dropped a set.  

London started well, but then dropped their first set of the weekend and were pushed hard in the third before eventually winning out 2-1 (25-16, 19-25, 15-11).  

East then faced the runners-up of Pool A who, with a record of 3-1, proved to be the South West. 

Another thriller ensued, with three more intense sets before the South West prevailed to book their final spot. 

The bronze medal match saw the West Midlands take the opening set by a narrow margin of 25-23, but this setback did not dishearten East with the second finishing 25-18 in their favour and their experienced players pulled them through as they took the decider 15-12. 

London knew they would face a tough battle in the final against the South West but came out of the blocks firing to take the opener 25-17 and follow it up with the second 25-18, handing them the title for a third straight year. 

With all the excitement of the girls’ competitions, the boys’ action, starting on Sunday afternoon, had a lot to live up to.  

The U17 boys saw London looking to emulate their female team-mates and repeat their success from last year, while the U15 boys from Yorkshire were also looking to retain their title. 

The latter began strongly in the U15 competition, with a 25-15, 25-13 success over the East Midland, but they were then knocked back by the South West in a tight match that saw the pretenders to the crown edge to a 27-25, 25-22 triumph.  

A second defeat for the defending champions, 25-20, 33-31 to the North West, meant that Yorkshire would not make the semi-finals. 

Instead, carrying on their momentum, the South West did not drop a set a during the pool stages and topped the group, with the North West finishing second.  

In Pool B, London’s strength was soon on display with commanding victory over the South East and East, but they did concede a set to the West Midlands in their path to the semi-finals.  

West Midlands underlined their competitiveness against the capital team by finishing second in the table.  

One of the great games in pool B saw South East take on the East for the right to finish third – and it was a match that went back and forth. 

East started off strongly and looked in control after taking the first set 25-21, but the South East hit back to win the second 25-18 and level things at 1-1.  

It was the East who held their nerve in the third set tie breaker, claiming it 15-11.  

The semi-finals saw the South East taking on the West Midlands in another match that went the distance. 

Snatching the first set 25-23, the South seized the initiative, but the Midlanders were comfortable 25-14 winners in the second. 

However, the South West regrouped to seal a 15-11 scoreline in the final set to book their final spot. 

London and the North West also needed three sets to decide a winner with each side taking a set 25-14, only for the latter to prevail courtesy of a 15-9 win in the final set.  

The final was always going to be tight, with the South West cruising to the first set by a 25-15 margin before the North West edged the second 25-23.  

But the South West reasserted their authority in the third and final set, winning it 1509 to spark the celebrations. 

A monster pool in the U17 boys category saw Yorkshire, West Midlands, London, East Midlands and the North East all bidding for a spot in the semi-finals.  

Sunday afternoon saw Yorkshire start their campaign coming from 1-0 down to snatch their opening game 2-1 against the East Midlands.  

They went into that match knowing last year’s champions London had already claimed a 2-0 victory over the North East.  

But the West Midlands handed London their first loss of the weekend with an excellent performance from the Midlands side, putting them in pole position to top the group.  

Not dropping a set during the pool stages, they did just that with 2-0 victories over Yorkshire (25-20, 33-31), North East (25-13, 25-21) and East Midlands (25-13, 25-11).  

London recovered to take second spot as they dug in to record 2-1 successes against Yorkshire and the East Midlands. 

Pool B saw the North West, East, South West and South East all bidding for semi-final place.  

Starting off strongly, the North West saw off the South West 2-0 to set them up as early front runners.  

And they would stay there for the rest of the pool stages, starting with a victory over the South East, secured by a 27-25 first set victory before an easier 25-12 scoreline in the second. 

A slight hiccup saw the side from the north drop a close set to the South East, but this did not stop them coming back to take the final set 15-13 and ensure they finished as number one seed in the pool.  

The West Midlands met the East in the semi-final stages with both teams eager to be in the final and claim the last silverware of the indoor season, and it was the former who achieved that goal with a dominant 2-0 victory.  

London, meanwhile, werre also were able to claim a 2-0 success, over the North West, with both sets ending 25-19.  

As a result, the top two teams in Pool A would face each other again, with London looking for revenge for their pool defeat.  

West Midlands started well taking the first set convincingly 25-20, but their opponents were not going down without a fight and responded to edge the second 25-23.  

The vital third set would dictate who would be crowned champions and it was London who did the business to reclaim the title, being thankful for giving themselves an early buffer in the face of a West Midlands fightback, eventually coming through 15-13. 

Click here to view the results in full.

Pics by Simon Clarke and Jon Cornish.