06 Mar 2015

The U11A netball team had a terrific day at the IAPS Regional Tournament held at Uppingham where the competition was fierce between the 42 teams that took part. It was a cold grey day, not easy to relax between games as the girls had to balance relaxation with keeping warm.

There were 5 sections altogether and the Witham team was in a section of 9 schools which meant that they had to play eight matches just to establish if they were good enough to progress to the afternoon phase.  After a very tough start losing to a most accomplished team from Old Hall, the eventual winners, the girls started to find some rhythm. Wins were more straightforward against Broughton Manor, Grace Dieu and Spratton Hall where Lulie Pumphrey was strong in defence and Lottie Sharman and Taggie Paganuzzi strong in the mid-court. However, the matches were rather too dominated by unforced errors when attacking, which meant that all the girls had to work extremely hard to make further interceptions to turn the ball over, again and again. However, perseverance paid off and more wins followed – Bonnie Harris moved into WD and managed to make some key interceptions, Ella Chandler was assured and quick at WA and Georgia Blackman was tireless at GS.

Old Hall 3-8 (lost)

Broughton Manor 5-0 (won)

Spratton Hall 5-1 (won)

Grace Dieu 10-0 (won)

Worksop Prep 3-3 (drew)

Brooke Priory 5-1 (won)

King’s Ely 6-3 (won)

Moor Park 6-3 (won)

The team ended up in second place in their section and able to progress to the knock out phase of the competition against St Faith’s. This was a very tight match with some nerves on show, but the girls held on and won through 4-3. All the teams winning their matches in the knock out games then went through to play in another mini round robin competition. We were in the competition deciding 6th-10th places; whereas all the teams that had won their sections played off for 1st-5th places.

First up was Bromsgrove where we were very much outplayed in the first half going 2-0 down. However, what followed was a miraculous turn around where we stopped making silly mistakes and converted all our chances first time. Just on the final whistle Harriet Antony was awarded a penalty, held her nerve and scored the goal leading to Witham winning 3-2. The team then had strong wins against Foremarke (5-1); Fairfield (7-0) and King’s Ely (5-2) and played some of their best netball of the day keeping calm, playing positively and communicating well. Sophie Hamilton, Alice Farmer and Harriet Antony were the players of the day – their work rate, athleticism and competitiveness was an inspiration all day.

However, this was a real team effort  -  well done U11A team; this is a fantastic achievement! Some might perhaps consider it unlucky for you to have come 6th when your tournament stats are:

13 played; 1 lost; 1 drawn; 11 won.

My thanks go to Miss Stanton for umpiring all day and supporting the team; Mr Dickens for driving us and helping and also thank you to the parents for all their cheerfulness and support.

Good luck girls at the National Finals on 14th March!