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Ultimate Dodge off to a flyer

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Head coach Michael Grant has praised the tactical understanding his Ultimate Dodge Under-16s showed while winning British Dodgeball’s Season Opener earlier this month.

Ultimate Dodge Under-16s. Season Opener. Derby Arena. Picture: Paul West
Ultimate Dodge Under-16s. Season Opener. Derby Arena. Picture: Paul West

The team, who train at Newmarket Leisure Centre, had to contend with a number of rule changes as their campaign got under way at the Derby Arena, which included larger balls and an increase from three to five balls being used.

However, they took all of those alterations in their stride, coming out on top against a number of teams, including a Bedford squad coached by the England manager.

“We lost some players over the summer to other sports, but we still did absolutely brilliantly at Derby,” said Grant, who had Newmarket Academy students Kieran Rayner, Joey West, Ashton Grant and Nathan Doyle in his successful squad.

“I had an inkling some of the rules would be changing so we have been practising all summer.

“Some of the players have trained with the East Anglian Vikings and they have international players, so that helped a lot.

“It was Bedford’s first tournament and they threw a lot harder than us, but we were very good at making hits and responding.

“Our players have good heads on their shoulders and they have a good understanding of the game.

“They can turn setbacks into their favour quite quickly and launch counters. I could not be happier with how they performed.”

This weekend Ultimate Dodge will have an under-11, under-13 and under-16 teams in action at the Junior Open in Nottingham.

In terms of a target for his three sides during the competition, Grant added: “It is hard to say when you do not know what other teams will be there, but we have to be looking for each team to win medals. It will be tough but that is going to be our collective aim.”

That will be followed on October 13 when Ultimate Dodge will host their own junior event at Burwell Leisure Centre.

Ultimate Dodge U16s: Daniel Davies, Liam Swarbrick, Kieran Rayner, Joey West, Luke Scally, Ashton Grant, Nathan Doyle, Immy Sharp.