Team recognised after cup joy

CHAMPIONSHIP DELIGHT: Bury Kings players celebrate their victory in the Tchoukball UK Super Cup final
CHAMPIONSHIP DELIGHT: Bury Kings players celebrate their victory in the Tchoukball UK Super Cup final
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Bury Kings beat Southampton Stags to win the Tchoukball UK Super Cup to complete a domestic quadruple.

The side picked up the play-off final trophy to add to their national league, regional and Domini Fox titles.

Hampered by injuries and absences the side managed to grind out wins in their semi-final and final to be named champions, coming from behind against their southern opponents.

Bury had won all 12 of their national league fixtures to finish the season as league winners and came into the tournament as strong favourites, but were without shooters Richard Gosling and Jack Buck.

Coming into the semi-final against Leeds the problems worsened as Martin Cates struggled with injury.

Having been so dominant in their last four national league fixtures Bury were uncharacteristically sloppy, failing to make the most of their opportunities in a mistake ridden game.

In the end Bury had enough quality to see off their opponents 62-51, however, it was clear they would need to up their performance in the final.

Southampton began in stunning fashion, putting real pressure on the Bury attack, while its own offence was at its fluent best.

Going into the break at the end of the first third Bury trailed 16-12. Cates’ injury worsened forcing the side into a tactical change, with right shooter Cates moving to defence and Ian Parker swapping positions into attack.

The enforced switch completely changed the face of the tie with Cates dominating the Stags offence at his own end.

The Kings may not have matched the flair of the Stags players but they had cut out the mistakes from the Leeds game and were capitalising on any of their opponents’ errors, going into the second break leading 33-31.

The final third was a demonstration of world class shooting by Bury’s Ben Wallace who carried his side almost single handed.

By now Bury had finally taken the upper hand, seeing off the match to win 52-46.

“In my three years at the club this was the hardest title win,” said Bury head coach Ian Parker.

“We were second best for large periods of both matches but we showed why we are so successful, we kept at it and never believed we wouldn’t come back. We have so many talented players that even when one or two are not performing there is always somebody else to take on the responsibility. Luckily for us this time it was Ben.

“He was superb. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player completely dominate a match quite like it.”

Wallace’s success was to continue at the Tchoukball UK awards ceremony as he was named the player’s player of the year.

The club’s outstanding season, winning senior and junior national titles, was recognised with Max van den Oort and Niamh Farrelly named male youth and female youth player of the year respectively.

Parker’s work at the club across all age groups was recognised, picking up the club volunteer and coach of the year awards, while Bury was named club of the year.