Following their successful Promo League campaign this season Highbury 1 were once again invited to the Copper Box to take part in the Legal & General England Korfball Finals weekend. After the heartbreak of last year where they missed out on promotion on goal difference they were out for revenge this year.
With a slight change to the format of the event for 2019 they knew they were in with a tough semi-final against Manchester Warriors. Getting off to an excellent start Highbury 1 quickly pulled ahead and maintained the lead throughout the entirety of the first half. The second half however saw them lose focus and allow Manchester back into the game and to eventually take the lead. Buoyed by the Highbury Ultras and strengthened by a season working on game mentality they reclaimed the lead in the final minutes to claim victory against the team who had denied them promotion last season.
In the other semi-final Southampton Spartans had a close fought victory against Bearsted to set up the Highbury Spartans final. The final started in much the same way as the semi for Highbury with the reds quickly establishing a lead that they would maintain throughout the first half. Never taking the easy route however, Highbury allowed Spartans back into the game and with momentum shifting it seemed that Highbury would once again miss out on promotion for a consecutive year. Although the Highbury Ultras were still going strong, the picture seemed bleak when Spartans took a 17-16 lead with 2 minutes left to play. With the clock ticking down up stepped Beth Penhaligon to level the scores with a shot from underneath the korf, before Oli Cusack scored from downtown with 30 seconds left that proved to be the match winner.
Highbury 1’s promotion also means that Highbury 3 were promoted to the London Regional League topping off an excellent season for the club. Highbury 1 would like to thank their coach Steph Watson and assistant / team manager Darryl Light as well as all of the Highbury Ultras in and outside the stadium who made a huge difference for those on the court.
Sunday night’s celebrations were sweet, Monday morning’s hangovers were not. National League we’ll see you next season, in the words of the Highbury Ultras
“Champions of England, we’re coming for you”
Highbury 2019/2020 Promo Squad:
Amy Redston, Beth Penhaligon, Helen Gilmore, Rachel Burt, Rosie Oxenbury, Sarah Munro
Ally Glennie, Dennis Hartsink, James, Sipthorpe, Matthew Dodds, Mo Hutchinson-Pascal, Oli Cusack, Steve Carter