TGS travelled to Ellesmere Port to represent London and SE in the National Netball Finals on March 14th.
Having travelled for over 6 hours on the Friday afternoon with 2 teams we woke up bright and early to a cold, overcast day full of anticipation, excitement and nervous energy.
The 3 competitions (U19s, U16s & U14s) were being run side-by-side with TGS competing in both the U16 and U14 sections, only one of a handful of schools represented across more than 1 age group.
The U14s started the morning off with 3 convincing wins scoring more than twice the goals of the other team in each match.
The U16s also won their first 3 matches, 2 matches convincingly and 1 tight match against Penryn College at 6v5.
The 4th round saw both teams losing to their opponents. The U14s lost 8v13 to Wellington College and the U16s 8v10 to Beaconsfield High (who they were to meet again later that day).
It was then time for a quick lunch break and to re-group.
Both teams' matches after lunch saw convincing wins with some excellent shooting and strong defence.
The U14s then had their game of the tournament against Grammar School at Leeds. They were down 5 goals at one point but fought hard right through the entire court to finish up winning 10v9 with some phenomenal shooting under pressure and fantastic defensive interceptions through mid-court and defence.
Unfortunately, they lost the next match to George Salter Academy by only 1 goal (8v9) which meant that they played their last match knowing they could not make it into the semi-finals but they fought hard to ensure they secured a point off the group leaders to finish 3rd place in their group of 9 teams. This was a fantastic achievement from the entire squad.
The U16s went from strength to strength across their afternoon matches beating every opponent with double their goals scored. The quality of netball from defence, through centre court and into the attacking circle was a joy to watch. The girls seemed to have found their top form at the perfect time with some amazing interceptions and almost 100% shooting stats, securing a place in the semi-finals having come 2nd in their group only to Beaconsfiled High.
The U16s were drawn, for the semi-finals, against the outright winners of the other group, Fallibroome Academy, who had not lost a single match all day. It was a highly contested match going goal for goal at the start but through some excellent interceptions and goal shooting TGS went 3 goals ahead shortly after half time. Knowing that we had this lead we knew that we had to keep possession and convert our centre passes to win. However, some exceptional defensive work from Fallibroome’s circle defence meant we lost our 3 goal lead to be in a tied position with a minute to go. It was their centre pass which they finally converted after much pressure from TGS. We took the next centre pass but seconds later the hooter went leaving us losing 9v10 in a very tight and nerve-wracking match.
Of course, the girls were disappointed but they were determined to reverse the outcome of the previous match against Beaconsfield High in the 3rd/4th place play off. This match was a highly contested, physical match which saw the lead change several times but once again superb circle defence from our opponents saw then just edge the game in the dying seconds with the final result being 7v8.
The girls had given 100% and were totally devastated with the final result straight after the final whistle but once their massive achievement sinks in they will hopefully realize what a fantastic result it was gaining 4th place in the country!
Congratulations to both teams who showed great team spirit on and off court. Every single member of both teams gave everything they had and should be immensely proud of their achievements.
Thank you to the many parents who came to support the teams and the staff and to the members of staff who gave up their Saturday to ensure the girls were able to participate and compete to such a high level at this prestigious school event.
These results are no mean feat given that TGS has been without any outdoor netball courts since October 2014. We hope that the local and school community will support the need to improve the sports facilities at TGS to ensure this level of performance can be continued and enhance in the future.
Well done girls!!! We’re very proud of you. Well done also to TWGGs who came 4th in the U19s and to Sevenoaks who competed in the U14s section at this National level.