On Thursday 7th March, the U11A netball team travelled to Port Regis School, Shaftesbury, to compete in the IAPS regional netball tournament.
The standard of netball is always incredibly high at the regionals, but the girls were all determined to do their best. 25 schools were competing, with eight or nine schools in each of the three sections. St Swithun’s were in Section A, and with nine teams in this group we had eight games to play.
Our first challenge was against Highfield School. This was a tough match with fast accurate passing and shooting from the opposition. St Swithun’s held their form and, after a nail-bitingly close game, St Swithun’s edged ahead to win 6-5. A game against Castle Court followed. This was to prove an easier match which St Swithun’s won 12-3. The next match against Leaden Hall was another comfortable win to St Swithun’s 9-1, followed by a sound win to defeat Stroud 10-1.
St Swithun’s fifth match was to be a real test of strength. Port Regis were so far undefeated and on home turf had the advantage. St Swithun’s rose to the occasion and when the final whistle blew were ahead 6-5. The next two games were again easier wins: 10-0 against Leweston and 10-2 against West Hill Park; with the final match against Marlston House a little more taxing but one we still won 6-2.
Having exceeded all expectations St Swithun’s girls, and their teachers, were elated to find that they had won Section A of the tournament and were through to the play-off. The girls then faced a very strong Twyford team who proved to be just a bit too strong and lost 2-7.
Twyford, Dumpton and The Marist went forward to the 1st/2nd/3rd place play-off, with St Swithun’s contesting the 4th/5th/6th place play-off in a round-robin against Port Regis and Portsmouth Grammar. St Swithun’s had their second encounter with Port Regis which again proved an incredibly close affair with both teams levelling at 5-5. St Swithun’s then waited whilst Portsmouth Grammar played Port Regis, with Portsmouth claiming the win. Portsmouth Grammar continued their winning streak against us and won the game 7-2.
It was an exhausting but exhilarating tournament and Tallulah Jeffes, Alice Calder, Jessica Gordon, Phoebe Shannon, Sarah Hotot, Freya Green, Scarlett Emptage and Lucy Herring can all be immensely proud to have finished in 5th place, out of 25 schools.