On Saturday 17th March the Worthing College netball 1st team squad travelled to Stanborough School, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire representing the South East at the England Netball National Schools U19 Finals. The weather conditions were terrible with snow and bitterly cold winds, but once the tournament organisers gave the go ahead for play to start the girls and coach Tina Price were ready.
The first match was against Newcastle High School for Girls where the Worthing girls got off to a great start winning 12-6, Shelby and Liv shooting well and great defence by Iona, Charlotte and Kira. Next up were Hartbury who we knew would be tough. The match was very close with Cally and Bethen doing well at centre and wa, Worthing managed to hold on for the win 8-7.
The next match was against the eventual winners, Queen Ethelburga’s which went goal for goal finishing 8-8. This was their closest match all day. Finally before the lunch break we played Barking Abbey who also had some very talented players in their team. 3-0 up at half time they made a come back but Worthing held out to win 4-3.
The lunch break did the Worthing girls no favours as the next two games against Wrekin College (9-9 draw) and then a loss to Sedburgh (9-8) were not up to their usual high standards. Coach Tina Price gave the girls a pep talk stating all was not lost and to put everything into winning the final two Pool games. The girls responded well beating St Albans High School for Girls 12-5 and then Oakham 15-9.
After an agonising wait the girls were informed they were through to the semi finals after finishing runners up in the group and a top 4 finish, such an achievement. In the semi final they played a talented Bromsgrove School team who had not lost all day. The Worthing team were 2 down at half time and tried everything to win the game but finally lost 11-8.
To finish 4th in the Country, the first time ever that Worthing College have reached the National Schools Finals, was such a great achievement. Coach Tina Price was so proud of how the girls played and also to the whole squad for supporting each other throughout the day.
The squad are now looking forward to representing the South East at the Association of Colleges National Championships at Nottingham University on 20-22nd April playing against the 8 other regions throughout the weekend. What a great season they are having.
Player of the tournament – Kira Walters for her continuous work rate, never giving up and a true captain’s performance throughout the day.