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Spear Taekwondo land medal haul and Team Trophy at Scorpion Open

Skelmanthorpe club outstanding

Spear Taekwondo of Skelmanthorpe in Huddersfield were successful at the Scorpion Open in Barnsley. Back row: Tim Needham, Ben Dworsky, Darren Storey, Ryder Craven-Smith, Liv Harrison, Alex Needham Middle Row: Edward Hurdley, Lily Hirst, Jarren Caven, Alfie Hirst. Front Row: Jacob Storey, Rayah Caven, Xander Craven-Smith

Skelmanthorpe-based Spear Taekwondo took a medal haul and the Team Trophy when they travelled to Barnsley for the Scorpion Open Championships.

They had a team of 11, including coaches Tim Needham and Liv Harrison, who returned to the ring in preparation for the British Nationals next month.

In what was only the third Open for the team, some outstanding performances powered them to a third-placed Team Trophy.

Chief Instructor Alex Needham said: “With such a small team we were really pleased with an unexpected team reward.

“This is at least a year ahead of our expectations.

“Most importantly, the hard work in the dojang has paid off in great performances”

First on the mats was Xander Craven-Smith, who faced a much bigger, stronger opponent in his semi-final and, despite a great performance, he came away with a well-deserved bronze.

Lilly Hirst gave a strong performance, losing in her semi-final to earn a bronze medal.

Rayah Caven entered the tournament undefeated in all competitions for the year.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of entrants in her weight, she was moved up a weight division but performed brilliantly.

She lost her unbeaten record in her final, but gained a fine silver medal.

Jacob Storey went in to the competition having worked on headshot kicks – and this paid off fantastically when he took gold through knockout.

Alfie Hirst was pitted against an opponent who had beaten him by large points gaps on previous occasions and, while the end result was the same, the score showed the improvements he has made in training. Chief instructor Needham said Alfie has worked hard in training and at the last competition he really applied his targets from training.

Ben Dworsky went into his final after defeating a much taller player 22-13, in a very strong performance.

His final was a great fight, with the match score ebbing and flowing between players before Dworsky was on the wrong side of an 18-19 score.

His was a hard-fought silver to add to the team’s medal tally.

Jarren Caven’s final featured some great determination, earning him a silver medal.

Ryder Craven-Smith stormed to an early lead which he never relinquished to take a gold.

Edward Hurdley’s high-scoring semi-final was not matched in his final but it still ended with the same result, a gold for the Spear fighter.

Coach Tim Needham was in seniors -58kg in what was a return to the ring in preparation for defending his British Title.

After a controversial equipment failure, his semi-final was stopped with half a round to go. When it resumed, he won on golden point to progress to the final, wining gold by 11-8.

Coach Liv Harrison stepped up a weight group and was tested by some strong competition, but she came through against a much taller player in her semi-final and won her final 9-6 to add to the golden haul.

Team Manager Alan Needham said: “We’ve been moved to our full-time dedicated venue only since November, so we are delighted to see results already being translated into individual and team rewards.”

Contact Spear on 07590 080162.

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