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Liverpool Lions secure promotion in style

Liverpool Lions, the wheelchair rugby team sponsored by Fish Insurance, ended their season in style this weekend, earning promotion as champions from BT Super Series Division 3.

The newly formed club took the title after being undefeated throughout what was its first competitive season.

The series reached its climax at Stoke’s Fenton Manor Complex where the Lions emerged triumphant after securing four wins over the final two days of the season.

The weekend began with a comfortable 71-14 win over Glasgow’s Caledonian Crushers before the Liverpool outfit cruised to a similarly impressive 74-11 victory over Woodbridge Wheeled Warriors.

That earned the club a semi-final place against key division rivals Stoke Mandeville Maulers, a match which saw the Buckinghamshire side beaten 57-28, guaranteeing the Lions promotion.

But founder, coach and forward player Martin Beddis always wanted the club to end the season as undefeated champions and so the Lions went into the final with their eye still on a prize. On Friday he told us here at Fish: ““For me personally it would be great if we could not just win promotion but win the league. That would be a fantastic achievement, especially if we finished undefeated”

So, there was no pressure then as the team took to the court on Sunday to take on the Yorkshire Lions in the league final!

It turned out that the match was the closest fought of the Liverpool team’s weekend fixtures, but they duly emerged triumphant, collecting 56 points to the Yorkshire side’s 31.

A delighted Martin is already looking towards next season and the new challenges his team will face. “We’ve already played and beaten a couple of Division 2 teams in pre-season friendlies but with the teams that have just been relegated from Division 1 the step-up will be quite noticeable,” he says. “But to better ourselves we’ve got to play better teams.”

With that thought in mind he’ll be looking to strengthen his ten-man squad which was hit this season by two long term injuries. He’s also looking for additional financial support, hoping that promotion will attract new sponsors to sit alongside Fish and the Clothworkers Foundation.

There was also personal glory for Martin as, at the end of the tournament, each team voted for their best player per classification.  Classifications range from 0.5 right through to 3.5/4.0. The higher the classification, the more mobile the player is and the lower the more movement is restricted. Martin was duly named best in the combined 3.0/3.5/4.0 class.

Meanwhile over at our Preston HQ we’ve been toasting the Lions’. As shirt sponsor we’re delighted to have been able to contribute in our own small way to what has been a thoroughly impressive debut season.

We send our heartfelt congratulations to Martin and the team and our admiration for the dedication and discipline they’ve shown to secure that stunning undefeated record.

Liverpool Lions, we salute you!

  • To keep up with all the latest Liverpool Lions news, following the club Twitter.

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