Saturday 16th March was the England Netball National Schools Finals held at Stanborough School, Welwyn Garden City and involved the top 18 Schools/Colleges in the Country who had qualified by finishing in the top 2 in their County and then Regional rounds.
The Worthing College team travelled up the afternoon before, and were up bright and early arriving to warm up at the venue for 8.30am. First up were Yarm School which they won 10-5, followed by a great 15-6 win over Hartpury College. The windy conditions made playing conditions difficult at times but the girls were playing extremely well
Errors made against Leeds Grammar School resulted in a 12-8 loss, something the girls were not used to. However, it was just what the team needed as they then beat The Judd School 13-8, RGS Worcester 11-5, Clitheroe Royal 7-4, Berkhamsted 21-3 and Oakham 19-5 to still top the group and go into the semi final.
The semi final was against Millfield and the girls played magnificently, with a 7-3 lead at half time. They then took the game away with Betsy and Shelby shooting beautifully, and Iona, Charlotte and Grace gaining numerous interceptions in defence. Bethen and Livi fed the circle really well and worked to create opportunities for the team – final score 17-9 to Worthing! We were in the final!!
The final was against Leeds Grammar School and the girls were determined to put right their mistakes from earlier. Some superb play in the first half by all the team created a 7-3 lead at half time – 7 minutes away from victory! The second half was the longest in history for Tina and Sarah on the side line, but the girls continued to show their quality, winning the final 12-5.
An unbelievable achievement for Tina Price and the squad after all of their hard working in training and travelling throughout Hampshire and Sussex each week to play the most competitive games possible to improve – winning the most prestigious competition in Netball to become the best U19 School in the Country. Coach Tina said “I am so proud that a small college has won the biggest netball competition in the country.”
Captain Shelby Harris and Vice Captain Iona Gardener said “It was amazing experience that we have all worked so hard to achieve. We will remember it for the rest of our lives.”