24th April 2017
City of Sheffield won the Boys’ National Age Group U17 title for only the second time in their history with victory over City of Manchester in the 2017 final.
The South Yorkshire side were unbeaten as they entered the last match of the tournament, and were determined to right their loss against Sedgefield in the final 12 months ago. They faced City of Manchester, who had also made it to the final without a defeat.
The first goal came at the hands of team captain, Ben Stephenson, after just 30 seconds played. Stephenson, who was awarded MVP for the U17 tournament, instilled confidence in his team with the early lead.
Despite finishing the first quarter with just a point between them, Sheffield started to pull away in the second quarter.
The Manchester side put up a good fight, but Sheffield keeper George Jackson seemed to read almost every shot fired in his direction.
Sheffield eventually took victory, winning the gold medal with a score of 15-8 to lift the title for the first time since 2005.
Stephenson commented on his team’s performance: “It’s a really great experience. After losing out to Sedgefield last year, it’s just overwhelming really. I think we had the edge because of how we are as a team. We’ve really bonded throughout the tournament, looked at our mistakes and then improving on these constantly.
“It’s a great feeling [to be awarded MVP] knowing that I helped the team to victory, but also that the team around me helped me to develop as a player. I think this has shown in the pool with the team doing so well”.