If proof was needed that Touch is an exploding sport across the UK, the fifth annual Manchester Touch Championships was it.
24 teams made their way from all four corners of the country to William Hulme Grammar School, to firstly pitch their tent and secondly try and stake their claim to a piece of silverware.
Hosted by Manchester Chargers, this year’s competition was the biggest mixed division club competition in Europe, with teams competing in five divisions – men’s, women’s and three mixed (Premiership, Championship and Division 1).
Given the weather conditions of late, there was some concern we may be inventing the new sub sport of underwater Touch, but although conditions underfoot may have resembled more marshland than Touch field in places, the sky stayed dry and judging by the ratio of skins to flesh on display, it was relatively mild too!
In the Mixed Divisions, the 1st Premiership game had to be forfeited, due to a logistical problem (the Scots coach was late!) hence giving the Bulldogs a 5-0 victory, setting them well on their way to dominating the divisions pool rounds. The final allowed the two teams to meet for the first time in the day, and with a great fought battle, Touch Ecosse hung on to an 8 – 6 victory.
Scots representative, accepting the trophy
Chargers were represented in the Championship within the Ba Baas team. They were knocked out in the semi finals by Nottingham Hoods, who despite holding Percy Park Pirates to a draw in the group stages, couldn’t contain them in the final. Percy Park Pirates got what they came for, treasure…
From the high seas to high scores in Division 1, with two games ending in double figures. Yorkshire Thorns took the title with CSSC Jedis runners up.
Yorkshire Thorns, take the Division 1 top spot.
There was strong competition in the Men’s game, with Figjam and Chargers finishing one and two in the table respectively, after the rounds. Chargers dug deep to win by one touchdown and keep some silverware on home turf.
The Women’s Division saw several elite teams battle it out, but of course the final had to be between the Guns and the Roses, fire power proved too much for the thorns though, finishing 4-3 after enthralling 3 v 3 drop-off!
Guns take the trophy over their counterparts
For the full list of results click here:http://manchesterchargers.com/index.php/fully-charged-events-scores/
Charger’s fifth annual tournament was not only a resounding success, it highlights the development of the game with elite and social teams playing side by side and more referees honing their skills on the field.
Thanks go to Manchester Chargers, for hosting the tournament, kicking off the season in a great way.
What could round off the day better than a pint while watching England beat Ireland in the Six Nations!
If Carling made Touch Tournaments…
With the growth of Touch across the country and the new U18 development squad recently announced, England Touch is taking the next steps to develop a Schools Touch programme and we need your help. Touch is an ideal school sport, with minimal contact year groups and boys and girls can be mixed. In addition, no specialist equipment is required, just a ball, making it so simple to deliver in PE lessons or as an After School Club. A number of schools across the country are already playing Touch, and the sport is now being played at the School Games in some counties.
Did you know that Touch is also an option at GCSE level?
With the potential for the sport to be huge at secondary school level, England Touch is developing specialist resources for schools to deliver Touch in line with the National Curriculum, to meet the needs of PE teachers and to engage more players than ever. An Education Group is being established to shape the programme and we would like to hear from any teachers with an interest in delivering Touch in their school, to try resources, provide feedback and help facilitate the growth of Touch in their region, through competitions.
If you would like you register your interest in the ETA School Touch programme please email: Paul@englandtouch.org.uk
If you are interested in being part of the Education Group, and have relevant Touch playing/coaching experience as well as the teaching experience, and can volunteer time to this project, please contact: Paul@englandtouch.org.uk, outlining your interest and relevant experience.
Interest from all clubs – old and new – regarding the 2014 XBlades NTS / SPORTTAPE CTS season has been fantastic and we are looking forward to a great year of competition through to the Euros and beyond. There has already been so much Touch taking place in recent weeks, despite the weather, be it training, junior events or winter comps that we are expecting a high standard from the first tap off in April.
Linked is the information from our first NTS / CTS hosts – Nottingham Touch. They have been working hard to ensure we have a great start to the National season and we are expecting a great response from clubs. One issue that relates to the cost has been the difficulty of securing pitches following the weather this winter. With fixtures from all sports backing up the cost of pitch hire and markings has gone up and the price for the tournament reflects this.
You can enter using the following online form (n.b. entry is only confirmed on receipt of the tournament fees) – Click Here – http://goo.gl/U9AMz2
Please remember the following;
- ALL Clubs must be affiliated through ETA – more info – http://www.englandtouch.org.uk/index.php/why-eta/affiliation/
- ALL Clubs must provide one Player Ref
- Entry is through Nottingham Touch, who will operate a waiting list should there be an oversubscribed CTS. We have originally worked on a maximum of 12 CTS teams but if confirmed team responses warrant it we will expand this to 16 teams. Places will only be confirmed following payment and is on a first come first served basis.
- Reserved entry for the following clubs into the SPORTTAPE CTS is until 11.59pm Monday 3rd March 2014 after which any unfilled places will be offered to the next club on the waiting list (Custard Jägers, Wigan Warriors 2, Portsmouth Destroyers, Nottingham Hoods 2, Galaxy 3, England u18s)
Over the valentines weekend, all 9 elite squads headed down to Reading, as part of their ongoing Euros 2014 campaign, embracing their love for Touch!
After a lot of rain, last minute logistical changes (nightmares) and eleventh hour schedule alterations, the training camp went without a hitch… the sun even came out, too!
Split over 3 sites, the 9 squads were put through their paces by the medical team via fitness testing (yoyo and glycolytic agility) along with a hard weekends training by their respective coaches.
With the Opens doing their testing indoors, the senior squads moved to the outdoor astro to be put through their paces.
Drills, skills and honing the fundamentals were key for this weekend, as the teams slowly build momentum towards their main target of retaining their European Champions title, in August.
Practice games were held between relevant teams too, whilst they tried out their new systems of play.
They also found time for a bit of team bonding fun, too!
Due to popular demand, Manchester will once again be running their 5th Annual Touch Tournament.
When: Saturday 22nd February 2014
Where: William Hulme School, Manchester
Time: 9:30 Start
Format: Mens, Womens and Social Mixed
Entry Form: CLOSED
For any more information at this stage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download your Information Pack with all the information needed here: Info Pack – 2014 (v3)
Playing schedule for the day can be downloaded here: Playing Scheduling – v3
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