On Tuesday 23rd June, the SPA Year 7 and 8 netball teams, accompanied by their manager and coaches Miss Duffy, Miss Stone and Miss Devine, travelled to Rainham School for Girls to take part in the Kent Netball Emerging School’s Tournament for the first time. This tournament caters for those schools who are still in the early stages of netball development and who have not yet competed in any of the other Kent Schools Netball competitions throughout the year or in previous years. Having convincingly won their Greenwich School’s Netball Leagues this season, this tournament was to present our Year 7 and 8 pupils with a new challenge and help to prepare them for the tough competition and high standard of netball that they will face when they compete in the Kent Netball competitions during the upcoming 2015/2016 season.
First to compete were our Year 8 netball team. With a squad of only 7 pupils on the day, it would prove to be a physical challenge for our girls with no subs to call on in case of injury or tiredness on the day. However, with a strong seven players to take to the court, the Year 8 girls knew that they had everything to play for and believed they could put in some positive performances; that is exactly what they did. With 9 U13 teams competing in the Year 8 competition, our girls had to battle their way through 8 tough games on the day. Pupils competed against 8 other Kent schools on the day including Charles Darwin, Bennett Memorial, Ravensbourne School and the dominant St Lawrence College. The girls got off to a good start beating Charles Darwin in their first game by a 2 goal margin. The Year 8 girls continued to improve as the tournament went on, displaying some great netball skills, teamwork and support play throughout. The last match of the tournament for the Year 8 team was against St Lawrence College.
Having dominated all of their games throughout the tournament, the SPA team knew that they would have to play some excellent netball if they were to overcome the challenge in front of them. The girls got off to a flying start and ended the first half 2-1 up. Leading 3-2 going into the final minute, if our girls were able to hang on and finish the game as winners they would manage to taint St Lawrence’s winning streak on the day. However, unfortunately our girls were not to record their 6th win of the day but instead managed to draw 3-3 with this strong independent school side.
Nonetheless, this was a wonderful achievement for our girls who put in excellent performances to secure a draw. Overall our Year 8 team performed exceptionally well on the day, winning 5 of their eight games, drawing one and losing one. The girls managed to record victories over Charles Darwin, Valley Park, Thamesview, Ravensbourne and Harris Academy Beckenham and finished 3rd overall in the tournament. A great achievement for a determined side who have worked hard throughout the season.
Unlike the Year 8 competition, the Year 7 team found themselves in a group of 12 schools, meaning to emerge as winners the girls would have to face and defeat 11 other Kent schools. This was no mean feat, yet a challenge that our girls thrived on. The SPA Year 7 netball team, with an exceptionally strong squad of 12 players to call on got off to a fantastic start, winning their first 6 games before lunch and winning them very convincingly at that! Such victories boded very well for our girls and helped to enhance confidence and morale amongst the squad. It also meant that other teams quickly became aware of this strong, emerging team on the day who were then seen as one of the teams to beat; a fantastic compliment for our girls. Having recorded 6 fantastic victories, the girls knew however that they in no way could become complacent as they were to face the dominant and confident team from St Lawrence College. With both teams entering the match undefeated on the day, the match was seen as ultimately the deciding fixture in this round robin structured tournament. Both teams competed valiantly throughout, exchanging scores and making some vital interceptions and shots. Although our Year 7 girls put up a great fight, unfortunately it was not to be for them and they were beaten by St Lawrence College.
This defeat could have made the SPA Year 7 girls waver in their efforts, however, testament to their resilient and determined attitude, it only helped to drive them on to succeed even more. As a result, the Year 7 team went on to win all of their remaining matches and record 10 wins out of 11 on the day. Such success was only as a result of the girls’ excellent attitude, athleticism, teamwork and will to win. All of these attributes have been displayed throughout the season and granted the girls endless success this year. The Year 7 SPA netball team displayed some excellent individual and team skill throughout all of their matches during the tournament. Not only this, but numerous other members of staff from other schools praised our girls fantastic play as well as their enthusiasm and lively characters. These are wonderful and much deserved compliments for our girls to receive.
Such success was only inevitable for this hard working, determined and talented team who will continue to progress and excel over the next number of seasons. The success of both teams this season all bodes extremely well for the girls as they enter into Kent Schools competitions next season; a challenge which all the girls are eager to tackle. I wish all netball players every success in their upcoming seasons.
Year 7 Results
- Charles Darwin: 3-2 (WIN)
- Bennett Memorial: 8-2 (WIN)
- Walderslade Girls: 6-0 (WIN)
- Hugh Christie: 3-0 (WIN)
- The North School: 8-0 (WIN)
- Oasis Isle of Sheppey: 5-0 (WIN)
- King Ethelbert School: 9-0 (WIN)
- Meopham School: 12-0 (WIN)
- Ravensbourne School: 3-0 (WIN)
- Harris Academy Beckenham: 5-1 (WIN)
- St Lawrence College: 1-8 (LOSS)
Year 8 Results
- Charles Darwin: 3-1 (WIN)
- The North School: 3-2 (WIN)
- Valley Park: 2-1 (WIN)
- Thamesview: 9-0 (WIN)
- Ravensbourne School: 5-3 (WIN)
- Harris Academy Beckenham: 5-1 (WIN)
- St Lawrence College: 3-3 (DRAW)
- Bennett Memorial: 0-4 (LOSS)