BRADFORD BULLDOGS are celebrating being champions after winning the Ball Hockey UK Under-13 National Finals title in Rotherham at the weekend.
The Bulldogs, whose Ball Hockey section has only been running for a few months, had three teams in the tournament, with Under-16s and Under-10s also competing at the Bench Buddy Arena on Sunday.
But it was the Under-13s who came away with honours, unbeaten against Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Huskies in the round robin stage before beating the Huskies 4-0 in the final.
The Bulldogs opened with a convincing 8-1 win over the Steelers, Daragh Spawforth leading the way with four goals, with Kieran Smith (2), Frank O’Sullivan and Danny Harrison also getting on the scoresheet.
Next up, Nottingham were put to the sword 6-0, with O’Sullivan and Spawforth bagging two apiece, with Harrison and Harrison Booth also finding the net.
Already assured of a place in the final, the Bulldogs went one better in their second clash with the Steelers. Spawforth led the way again, this time with a hat-trick, while O’Sullivan (2), Booth, Harrison, Charlie Barker and Jacob Mardell got in on the act in a 9-1 win.
A second meeting with the Huskies took place in the final, with the Bulldogs made to work hard for their 4-0 victory, one sealed with a brace from O’Sullivan and markers from Spawforth – who finished with 10 goals for the tournament – and Harrison.
Earlier in the day, the Under-16s were unlucky not to make it through to their own final having proved a good match for the more experienced Steelers and Huskies.
Brett Harper scored a late equaliser to earn a deserved 1-1 draw with Sheffield, while goals from Tyler Hall and Tom Mardell looked to be enough for a hard-earned point against Nottingham, only for the Huskies to snatch a 3-2 win with a goal in the closing seconds.
A win was required in the second round robin meeting with Sheffield, but the Steelers edged it 1-0, the Bulldogs closing out their tournament in a dead rubber against the Huskies which ended in a 3-0 defeat.
The Under-10s went head-to-head with Nottingham in four games, but couldn’t quite find a way to emerge with a win.
Kyle Bower scored in the opening 3-1 defeat and after a 2-0 loss, Vilem Scherks and Leo Marsden found the net in a game which Nottingham won 4-2.
Bower and Marsden were on the scoresheet again in the final clash, but it couldn’t prevent a 5-2 loss.