King’s Worcester netball teams have made School history by having three age groups represented at the Regional netball finals, hosted this year by Bromsgrove School. As both the U16 & U14 teams were crowned County Champions last term and the U19 squad came close runners-up to the eventual winners of the tournament, all three netball teams deservedly and convincingly won places in the Regionals.
On what was set to be a miserable day with regards to the weather the netball on display did not disappoint. All three teams had a difficult start to the day with strong performances from the U16s who snatched a draw, a much improved second half performance from the U19s to win against Rugby School and the U14 squad clinched a good victory against Wolverhampton Grammar School.
As the day went on the U16 team captained by E Diaz grew into the competition and displayed some good netball, however it was too late for this squad to pull back earlier losses and they finished a commendable 5th in their group.
The U19 squad continued to start every game slowly but gained momentum in the second half through good vision into the circle from captain E Deehan and strong defence from vice-captain H Latham. Pool games finished, they were sat comfortably at the top of their group with a maximum 30 points. They would head into the semi-finals to play Wrekin School. With their sights firmly set on a top two finish, starting slowly hindered us in this game and the team was 4-2 down as half time. With it all to play for, changes were made and the centre unit was shuffled back, yet no amount of trying could stop Wrekin in their tracks and, with several decisions going against us, the girls suffered an agonising defeat on the last shot of the game, leaving their National hopes in tatters.
Yet the U14 squad, new to the competition this year, were fired up and ready to have their first taste of Regional success. They did not have it all their own way through the group stages, however, having to dig deep in several games and draw with Arthur Terry. Currently lying in 3rd place and out of the qualifying places, they had to beat the team flying high in top spot. With an inspiring speech from Miss Ormandy, the girls were pumped and ready to take this team on. With play going from end-to-end with no goals being scored, King’s scored the first and quickly scored a second. With momentum in their favour they were stopping the opposition shooters from scoring and converting in their own goal. The whistle went and the girls had done it, winning 5-2 and catapulting them to top spot. They went on to play Wrekin in the semi-final and through sheer determination and passion they rightfully claimed their spot in the final and a qualification spot through to Nationals. They then beat Bromsgrove in extra time to claim their trophy and be crowned Regional Champions.
Miss Ormandy (U14 Coach) said: “I am incredibly proud of the 11 squad members who have all contributed both on and off the court to the U14s success. The girls stuck together in less than ideal conditions and their tenacity to turn ball over and keep in the game is a credit to them all. Mindset was a key focus for us as a squad at their first regional tournament. Maisie Lyons lead the team from the front, proving to be an outstanding captain on a day where it really mattered. The King’s netball family was out in full force supporting throughout the day which made all the difference in a tense goal for goal final which went to extra time. I am really looking forward to working with the girls and Miss McKenzie over the upcoming weeks in preparation for Nationals.”
Director of Netball Miss McKenzie said: “It was the first time in King’s history that the school has enabled three teams to reach the Regional finals and I am very proud of the coaches and players for working so hard in order to get there. Our U14 side is a force to be reckoned with and has displayed excellent strength and proper character to become champions of the West Midlands. It was an agonising finish for the U19s and an experience that they will not want to go through again. Thankfully the U16s are experienced enough now to learn from the day and go again next year. The coaches and I will now work extremely hard to ensure that the U14s are as prepared as they can be and are able to successfully complete at Nationals on the 14th March.”
To keep up-to-date with King’s Netball, you can follow our fixtures and results here.