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Netballers through to National Finals

As January drew to a close, The Grange School U14 Netball squad travelled to Ellesmere Port to play in the North West finals of the English Schools’ National Netball Tournament.

Having qualified as Cheshire Champions for the North West round of the competition, the team were immediately drawn against Withington Girls’ School – the top team from Manchester. However, The Grange team were not caught cold and secured their first win of the day 10-9. The Grange team then went on to comfortably beat Keswick, the best team from Cumbria, and Merchant Taylors from Merseyside. There was a slight wobble against Westholme, Lancashire’s top team, however, The Grange side hung on and managed to win by two goals to top their group.

The Grange then faced Wirral Grammar in the semi-final knowing that a win would book their place at National finals. It was a nail-biting encounter. Throughout most of the game The Grange led by three goals but, in the last few minutes of the game, Wirral made a comeback and brought it back to just one goal. Then, in the dying moments of the game, Wirral had the ball in the circle, under the post, but the final whistle blew just before they could make the shot, meaning The Grange had held on and secured a place at National finals for the second consecutive year.

The North West final was a repeat of the opening game of the tournament as The Grange faced Withington Girls’ School. It was another close encounter, but this time it was Withington who emerged victorious by the slenderest of margins. However, The Grange teams’ place in the National finals was already secure.

“It was a tense morning and an excellent standard of competition. Despite injury and illness, the team pulled together and executed their game play brilliantly. The girls should be really proud of how well they prepared for the competition and we now set our sights on the finals. The whole team performance was exceptional and what we have come to expect from this team, who always compete at the top level,” commented Miss Jess Fowler, Head of Netball at The Grange.

The Grange squad consisted of: Sophie Sellers (captain), Jessica Brocklebank (vice-captain), Katie Wakefield, Millie Peck, Alex Byrne, Emily Pugh, Emily Hills, Emily Cook, Alice Taylor and Sophia Stubbs.