New Forest's Archie Golding and Cameron Cooke clinch second spot in national beach volleyball tour debut
NEW FOREST Volleyball club player and SportsAid Award recipient Archie Golding made the podium on his UK U18 Beach Volleyball Tour debut.
Last weekend, the 17-year-old from Hordle stepped onto the sand courts at Crystal Palace, with teammate Cameron Cooke, to compete on the UK Beach Volleyball Tour for the first time.
The pair came through their pool matches with comfortable victories to qualify directly into the semi-finals. Then, in the last four, they met Leyton Junior Grand Prix finalists Ben Sanders and Daniel Yordanov, running out winners 17-15, 15-9 to book a place in the final.
Golding and Cooke came up against experienced England squad players Dan Howe and Callum Parsons from the Midlands in the title match.
The south coast pair made the perfect start taking the opening set 15-9, with Golding dominating at the net and Cooke converting defence to attack with some clever spiking.
In set two, though, the experienced pairing of Howe and Parsons found their way back into the match, taking the set 15-13 to force a tiebreaker and eventually running out 11-9 winners in the final set.
Golding and Cooke's second-place finish earned the pair valuable ranking points in their quest to qualify for the National Championships at Sandbanks in July.