U16 Regional School’s Netball Champions 2017
Tonbridge Grammar School represented Kent, as the current County Champions, at the London & South East Regional Finals held in Redbridge on Sunday 29th January, on a chilly, but fortunately not freezing, winter’s day.
We took to the court in the first round at 10am against Harris Academy, who were representing Essex for the first time in recent history. After a strong start taking us to 7-2 up at half time, our opponents came back at us with some aggressive play, but with some strong defensive play we held our nerve to win 10-7. After a one match rest, we played Emanuel, putting in a very convincing performance to win 14-5. Two matches off before we had back to back games. The first against Coloma Convent, who had beaten our previous 2 opponents convincingly, where we expected a tough match. This was in fact to be our most demanding match of the day, where everyone need to be at their best for the win, which came with some controlled netball, resulting in a 9-6 win. Straight onto playing Godolphin & Latymer, meant that we were in full swing although we had a slower than expected start. However, an outstanding performance, close to a netball masterclass in the second half saw us winning 14-4. Every member of the team put in an exceptional performance to get this result. Another one match break before beating Coopers’ Co & Coburn fairly easily 16-6, before another two-match break. With lunch being eaten and a wintery chill whipping around us we sat inside to warm up but this meant we had to gear ourselves up again for the final 2 matches of the day. The first against our close county rivals, Sevenoaks, who took an early lead but a determined passage of play in the second half saw us to victory with a 10-8 win. Our last match was played against St Paual’s Girls. We knew that we had qualified for the Nationals at this point, however at 3-6 down at half time, TGS with real determination and control pulled the match back to even with only a minute to spare, and managed to convert our final centre pass to finish with a win 10-9. As the unbeaten team all day, we took our place at the top of the table along with the trophy and winner’s medals as Regional Champions. The trophy secured and presented we headed for home, just as the rain, which had been forecast, started to fall as if on cue. he timing could not have been better!
A huge thank you to the parents who came to support and cheer the team on and to the fabulous squad of girls who could not have been more supportive of one another and played any better, at times under significant pressure. Their discipline on and off the court was impeccable and the matches were won because of some excellent passages of play down court, fantastic defence and an inspired shooting performance from our shooters. Well done to the team who should feel very proud of themselves.
Captain of the team, Chantelle, had the following to say of the day:
“We had an amazing day with positive energy keeping us in high spirits even with the unpredictable weather. Well done to the team and thank you for the great support of Mrs Cross our coach, and Miss Duncan and Miss Redding. We were undefeated in the Regionals and hopefully we will do just as well in the Nationals. Keep up the good work everyone.”
TGS represent L&SE at the National Finals, as the only Kent school left in the competition, on 18 March 2017.