National Finals for U19 Netballers
It has been a very busy week for our U19 netballers. Firstly, they qualified for the National Finals of the National Schools Netball Tournament. Having progressed through two previous rounds, the girls travelled to Rainham on Sunday 23 January for the Regional Finals to take on teams from Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey. This annual tournament is the most important event in schools’ netball and is open to schools and sixth form colleges in both the independent and maintained sectors.
In the Regional Finals the girls played 7 matches, comfortably winning 6 but losing to a strong Barking Abbey side, 9-12. This left them as runners-up in this round of the tournament, qualifying with Barking Abbey for the final, to be held on 19 March in Southampton.. At half time Bancroft’s had a narrow lead of one goal, but were unable to hold onto this until full-time. However, Miss Telford, who described the girls’ performance as “magnificent”, feels that they have it in them to beat Barking Abbey in the finals. “There will be a lot of very strong teams in Southampton, especially from the large sixth form colleges, where they have over 1000 students from which to select the team!”
This team won the Nationals in 2007 as Under 14s and were bronze medallists as Under 16s in 2009. Their determination to qualify again for the National Finals, in which for many of the team will be their last year of playing together, really showed through on Sunday.
Miss Telford has coached the squad since they were Thirds and comments that they really deserve their success, “The girls work 100% for each other, their teamwork is superb and there are no stars. Unfortunately they haven’t grown much over the years, but have learnt to jump very high as all opposition is much taller! They are always complimented on their level of ball skills and team work. They all play beautiful, clean netball and umpires comment on this.”
On Tuesday the girls played in the invitation-only Kings’ School, Canterbury tournament against some of the most prestigious independent schools in the south east. This time they tasted victory by beating King’s in the final. There were again many other positive comments from other coaches about their positive attitude, their skilful play and their lack of height!
Breakdown of results from Regional Finals:
St Helens Won 11 – 3
Highworth Won 15 – 3
Caterham Won 12 – 9
Cranbrook Won 19 – 2
Lady Eleanor Holles Won 16 – 8
Putney High Won 14 – 8
Barking Abbey Lost 9 – 12