National Achievement for Netballers

Category: Pupil Achievements, General, Sport

Saturday 27th January saw 30 of Marlborough’s finest netball players travel to the Sir David English Centre, Bournemouth to take part in Netball South West’s Regional Schools competition. 

The girls were spurred on throughout the day by a cheerful gathering of friends and family, who braved the wet and wild conditions from the sidelines. It was special to have Marlborough College represented in all three age groups and my thanks go to all of the coaches who have worked so hard to make this happen.  

The 1st VII finished an admirable joint seventh in the South West. They secured strong victories over Truro School, Petroc and Canford but succumbed to the pressure of strong KES Bath, Hartpury College and Millfield sides. Three wins and three losses under their belts, the Senior girls rose to the occasion and played some of their very best netball. Particular praise should go to co-captain Ellie Spark (MM U6) for her incredible work rate throughout the mid court, and to Elyssa Jones (LI L6) for her relentless tenacity in defence. 

The U14A squad had their first taster of a Regional netball competition and seemed to take it all within their stride. Finishing joint fifth in the South West is a credit to their team camaraderie and to their willingness to train and improve. I am sure that there is more to come from this group. 

The stars of the day, however, were the U16A squad; a combined unit of five Remove and five Hundred girls. Securing four wins, one draw and one loss in the initial stages, the Marlborough team advanced out of their group as first seed. The semi-final is where things got very interesting indeed as the girls lined up against a talented Royal High School Bath side. Marlborough battled to capture a 10-10 draw in normal time, with Poppy Cripwell (MM Hu) and Valentina Milne (EL Re) shooting well under pressure. 

The umpires then took charge of extra-time, two minutes each way, and it was in this period of play where Marlborough’s composure shone. Captain Harriet Eyles (MM Hu) was vocal yet calm and her invaluable efforts were supported by timely interceptions from both Alicia Beckett (MO Re) and Ariana Jones (IH Re). 

Marlborough ran out as 13 v 10 winners and thus secured their ticket to National Finals on Saturday 17th March. Scenes of jubilation filled the courts and defeat to Canford in the final did nothing to dampen our elation. Many congratulations to Liliana May (NC Re) on her debut for the U16A team and to coach Tracy Watt for her astute management on the day. 

Sophie Bingham 

Head of Netball 

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