The Easter Term was enormously successful for Farnborough Hill’s Netball teams, with many triumphs in national competitions. As part of the Independent Schools Association (ISA), pupils succeeded in reaching the U13, U14 and U16 ISA Netball National Finals, and emerging as National Champions in two age categories.
U14 National Finals
The U14A Netball team travelled to Nottingham University on Tuesday 1 March to compete in the ISA National Tournament. There were four schools in each pool, with each game lasting 14 minutes. Farnborough Hill's first game was against Alton School, who was a well-known local league rival. With calm and controlled Netball, the girls started off well with a close 7-5 score at half time. They went on to win 14-10 with a strong first win of the day. The next game against Worksop College showed some excellent play and provided an opportunity to try some different combinations. Some great defending by Imogen (9A) and shooting by Megan (9A), Rosa (9α) and Lauren (9A) meant the girls won convincingly 19-2. The final game in the pool was against North Bridge House. Fatigue was beginning to set in a little, but the girls found their rhythm in the second half and came away with a 9-0 win and progress to the knockout Cup competition, buy virtue of winning their pool.
Farnborough Hill took on Alderley Edge School in the semi-final. The girls started off superbly, making no errors and working hard under pressure to draw 6-6 at half time. Alderley pushed ahead with some brilliant shooting and began to pull away. It was a great effort, however, as Alderley went on to win the tournament. Farnborough Hill had to regroup for the third / fourth playoffs where they met Scarisbrick Hall School. The team pulled together, worked hard and did themselves proud with a convincing win of 17-6, securing a well-deserved third place overall in their first National Independent Schools' Competition.
U16 National Finals
On Monday 7 March, the Farnborough Hill U16A Netball team had the opportunity to travel to Nottingham with the hope of winning the ISA Netball National Finals. All were so excited to be experiencing some kind of competition as many of matches had had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. And so, on Monday, at 3.45 pm, the team were on the road, arrived in Nottingham in roughly three hours, and enjoyed a nice dinner after checking into their hotel rooms for the night. An early 7.00 am wake-up call meant they did not have much time to dwell on the day ahead, and so with an attempt to have a good breakfast with stomachs full of nerves but in high spirits, the team were back in the minibus again, heading to the University of Nottingham. Farnborough Hill won their first game of the tournament against Bedford Greenacre School by 25-0. Farnborough Hill had three other games to play after that; Scarisbrick Hall School which resulted in a 9-9 draw, a 19-4 win against Stonar School and a 22-0 victory over King Alfred School. The team was delighted to finish third in this first stage of the competition, meaning a place in the semi-finals.
Farnborough Hill won their semi-final against Kings High School 14-6, and the team was ready to put all it had into the last game; Scarisbrick Hall School v Farnborough Hill in the final of the ISA Netball National Finals. It was a close match throughout the whole 12 minutes and, although Scarisbrick was quite a contesting and physical team, by the end of it Farnborough Hill were brought to victory by winning 9-6. Although it was the last tournament this year’s U16 team will play all together, they were all so proud they were able to bring home that title, and give Mrs Elizabeth Aitchison and Mrs Emily Harrison the honour of being the coaches to the U16 ISA Netball National Finals winners.
U13 National Finals
On Wednesday 9 March, the U13A Netball team competed in the ISA Netball National Finals, playing extremely well in the windy and cold conditions. The first match was against Knightsbridge School, which Farnborough Hill won 18-3. Knightsbridge played very well, considering their team consisted of Year 6 and 7 pupils. The next match was against Princethorpe College, which Farnborough Hill won 12-4, and the third match was against Scarisbrick Hall School, despite them being a very pugnacious team; we held our ground and won the game 9-5. Our final group stage match was against Westonbirt School; the team battled through the windy conditions to win the game 9-3. Winning this match allowed the School to progress to the Cup competition and a quarter-final against Abbey Gate School. It was a great match and we ended up winning 13-8.
The semi-final was a very competitive game against Kew House School, which we had previously competed against in the ISA Regional Tournament. Farnborough Hill had gained a lot of confidence during the Regional Tournament as prior to this we had defeated Kew House, and also won this game 13-8, allowing the team to compete in the Cup Finals. The Finals consisted of great determination from both teams with Finborough School playing exceptionally well given the tough circumstances. However, Farnborough Hill played exceptionally and ended up with a score of 10-8. During this match, there were outstanding performances from all players, especially Greta (8B) in mid court, Natasha (8B), Keira (8B) in defence and astounding shooting from Eleanor (8B), Maria (8A) and Lily (8ω). A massive thanks to an astonishing performance by Ava (7A) and Kasiemobi (7A), playing GK during the tournament. Congratulations go to Lily (8ω) who received the Most Valuable Player throughout the whole tournament.