King's St Alban's

1 March

U11 Girls Crowned IAPS Netball Champs

A group of ten U11 excited girls travelled down to Millfied on Thursday morning. It was an early start and many spent the 2 hour journey under blankets (with breakfast sweets!). The morning was spent playing in our pool of matches and the results of these matches depended on whether we were to go through to the Cup or Plate competitions. After 3 nail biting draws (where in some we were unlucky not to win) and a win, we were placed 2nd in our group behind Cheltenham Prep, a team we had drawn against 2-2. This 2nd placing meant we were through to the quarter-finals and the knockout stages.

We were drawn against King's Hall. If we won this match, then we were through to the semi-finals and a chance of gaining 1 of 3 coveted places in the national finals. It was tough but we managed to win this match 5-3, meaning we were through to the semi-finals and against Cheltenham Prep, who we drew to in the pool stages. This was probably the most nail-biting match we have ever played. At the end of 12 minutes the score was 5-5. This meant we had to play an extra 6 minutes one way. We were losing 2-0 with 40 seconds to go. The ball was popped into the net meaning we were trailing by 1 goal. It was our centre and the coaches were shouting "Go to goal". It did and with 6 seconds left on the clock we popped the ball into the net to yet again level the match. This meant that the golden goal time was now upon us and whoever scored the next goal would go through to the final of the competition and also the coveted national finals. We had warned the girls that this might happen and that they must react quickly and get the ball down to our attacking end. They did their job, got it down to our shooters and Martha popped the ball in the net to finally win that match 8-7. Amazing!

After much excitement we knew we still had a job to do in the final. We were drawn against Beaudesert. After the excitement of the semi-finals both teams knew they were through to the national finals and this turned out to be a much slower game. It was good as we could play our game work the ball up the court to our shooters and when the ball was in our defending end our defenders held strong and picked up many loose balls. We won 4-2, which meant we won the overall tournament out of 21 schools and U11 IAPS South West regional champions. A superb achievement for the girls in question and the school overall. A first for King's St Alban's, winning the overall tournament and only the second time in our history that had progressed to the national finals. Well done girls a fine achievement. The team made up of Bea (captain), Fen (vice-captain), Eve, Clarisse, Martha, Matilda, Esther, Frankie, Jess and Phoebe W now have to prepare for the finals on 21st March, we wish them luck.

Mrs Hind