Heathcoat Cup Final Review
In the beginning of February, PACE attended the Heathcoat Cup rounds competition in Hatfield, where they enjoyed tremendous success. PACE brought along three athletes, who all medalled. Two of the athletes, Mitchell Robinson and Ramandeep Mann qualified for the Heathcoat Cup Finals, with respective gold and silver medals. The Heathcoat cup is a competition that also allows pan-disability athletes, that may not receive BC1-4 classifications to compete.
Mitchell Robinson had high expectations of himself after he won gold in the previous round of the Heathcoat cup. It was an early start for him, with his first match starting at 08.45am. This didn’t faze him however, with his very first shot of the day, Mitchell got straight onto the Jack ball. Mitchell showed great composure and stayed calm throughout the match sticking to his game-plan and throwing the Jack ball short. He came out victorious winning the match 6-0 against his opponent Sam Oldknow. Mitchell spoke briefly after the match and said… “a great start to the day, he was good but I played better”.
Mitchell continued this impressive start in his second match against Marcus McBriar. He continued with his game plan, which was working well for him. Even on the opponent’s end, where they throw a long Jack, Mitchell showed great versatility with his shot range to come out with the points. He dominated the match and came out the winner 6-1.
After a short break, Mitchell was back for his last group match and feeling confident after two great wins. This match however was very close, his opponent Kevin Westway did well to take his opportunities. Having played for just over a year, this was the first time Mitchell faced real intense pressure in a match. Mitchell was down 2-1 in the final end and had already rescued a point in the last end with a superb shot straight after committing a foul. Knowing that he needed to score two points to win the match, Mitchell showed his class and was clinical to score two points and make the score 3-2. After the game Mitchel said… “I thought I didn’t play my best, but I’m pleased to come out with the victory”
After winning his group in a long gruelling day of competition, Mitchell progressed through to the semi-finals. His opponent was Matt Badman, who came second in his group. Matt had many close matches in his group and was unable to topple Mitchell, wth Matt loosing the match 3-2. This highlighted Mitchell’s determination to medal and ability to perform under pressure.
After a grilling semi-final, Mitchell was feeling the pressure more and more after two very close matches. He knew he was in for a tough final. His opponent Alfie Yates came top of his group, winning all his matches and has been competing for a few years. Unfortunately, Mitchell was unable to beat Alfie but should be proud of himself with his performance in the final. The score was 4-3 to Alfie Yates. It was a great final to watch with Mitchell loosing out to the more experienced player. Congratulations Alfie.
Ramandeep Mann was also competing at the Heathcoat cup Finals after coming second back in February. Unlike Mitchell, who is just beginning stages of his competitive Boccia journey, Ramandeep is one of PACE’S longest serving competitive athletes. She was able to share her extensive experience to Mitchell and support him through the day.
Competing in the BC2 category, Ramandeep was hoping to qualify for the BE Cup Finals in Sheffield. In her group, she had two other competitors Alex Elliott and Morgan Butterfield. Ramandeep’s first match was against Morgan, a player she hasn’t faced before. Despite this Ramandeep played a great match coming out with the win 19-0. Scoring the maximum 6 points in two of the four ends. After the match Ramandeep said “The match was really good, I think it was my biggest score ever “.
In the second match of the day Ramandeep faced Alex Elliott, who is a well accomplished Boccia player, competing in many Boccia competitions. The match was very close indeed, with one point being scored in each of the ends. It was Alex Elliott however who won the match with the score of 3-1, knocking Ramandeep out of the competition. Ramandeep said after the match “I’m disappointed in the result but I’m really pleased with how I played “. Congratulations Ramandeep.
PACE would like to say well done to both Mitchell Robinson and Ramandeep Mann for getting to the Heathcoat Cup Finals, and to Mitchell for coming second and winning yet another medal. Congratulations!
The next Boccia competition is BE Cup Finals which take place on 19-21st may 2017.
Results can be found here.