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The National Schools Finals 2010/11, proudly supported by Eteach, took place on the 19th March 2011 at the Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre..

The National Schools competition supported by E-Teach is regarded by EN as one of the most prestigious events in the netballing calendar culminating with 54 teams playing from three age groups in the National Finals.

Match Report

The National Schools Netball Competition

Schools from across the country arrived in Southampton to glorious sunshine as the National Schools Competition was set to be played out in ideal conditions. 54 schools were competing in the title in three age categories; under 14s, under 16s and under 19s. There would be 25 rounds of actions in the group stage followed by semi-finals and finals. The action started at 9am with 9 courts witnessing fast paced and frenetic action from the opening whistle.

As the action moved into the afternoon, Broxbourne and Goffs School were appearing as the teams to beat in the U14s as they secured four victories from four games. As the afternoon continued the temperature finally began to drop and although it felt cooler, the action on the courts remained red hot. The standings were starting to take shape and the teams competing for the top two slots in their group, to qualify for the semi-finals, were now upping the intensity of their play.

In each group nobody was yet certainties to qualify and there were new names now cropping up as potential semi-finalists. After 16 rounds Loreto and Maynard were topping their respective tables in the U14 contest. Hulme and Bromsgrove were leading the way in the U16s and Bancroft’s were topping their group in the U19 competition.Barking Abbey continued to dominate their group with 5 wins from 5 and was the first team across the age categories to break the 100 goal barrier. The team from London and South-East region were fighting hard to retain the trophy they had won last year.

With the time approaching 4pm the majority of group matches had now finished and the table were proving to be incredibly close with the majority of semi-finals only being confirmed as the last few games ended. In Group A of the U14 competition, Goffs School qualified as winners and Loreto School just pipped Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School to second position. The vital match for Tunbridge Wells was in round 16 when they went down by two goals to Loreto. This scenario was matched in Group B as King Edward VI School joined group winner Broxbourne in the semi-final. The unlucky team on this occasion was Higham Lane, having only lost to the two qualifiers, their campaign ended in third place, one point off second.

The action was extremely competitive in each of the semi-finals and although there were some tired bodies competing, the adrenalin kept pumping and the performances remained at a very good standard. In the U14 competition Goffs School conquered King Edward VI 10 – 7 while Loreto were 17 – 8 victors over Broxbourne. A tight affair in the U16 contest ended Hulme 10 – 9 Oundle and Bromsgrove would be the opposition in the final as they overcame Truro School 14 – 8. The final of the U19s would feature Barking Abbey following their 17 – 5 win over Sharnbrook. They would face Cardinal Newman in the final after their 12 – 7 victory over Bancroft’s in the other semi-final.

For those that had fallen at the semi-final stage, the competition was not yet over as the battle for third place was still to be decided. In the U14s King Edward VI got revenge following their earlier loss to Broxbourne by triumphing 10 – 7 to claim third spot.

The tension was mounting as the athletes had a ten minute break between the semi-finals and the finals. Some of the finalists were keen to get their games underway and took to the court in their positions with several minutes to spare. The U14 final was contested between Goffs School and Loreto. Both schools had qualified from Group A and in their previous encounter it was Goffs who came out on top. This proved to be a good indication as to how the action would unfold in the final. It was the team from East region who once again triumphed over their counterparts from the North-West as Goffs School claimed a 13 – 5 victory to be crowned champions. Loreto finished in a valiant second place.

Hertfordshire County Netball would like to send their congratulation to the Winners Goff's School and 4th Place Broxbourne school.

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