The U11 Netball Squad from King's Rochester Preparatory School are celebrating a spectacular term that has culminated in them reaching 5th place in the UK at the National Netball Finals 2018.
Coaches Mrs Heddershaw and Miss Pembroke detail the girls success:
To date, this team have exceeded all expectations, already having won both the Ashford and the St Michael’s Netball Tournaments before half-term. With the regionals being held last Monday, we were hopeful of a successful result but also realistic of the fact that we were playing schools much larger than us. Outstandingly, our girls rose to the challenge, with victories over St Catherine’s (7 – 3), St George’s (5 – 2), St Michael’s (10 – 2), Ardingly College (8 – 0), Downsend (10 -1), Kent College, Pembury (12 – 0), Rosehill (12 – 0) and a draw against Caterham (7 – 7). As winners of our group, we by-passed the final twelve, leaving us to fight for a position in the final eight and ultimately a place in the National Finals. A tough, yet nail-biting match against Guildford High, resulted in a 4 – 3 victory and a place in the last four. Faced with St Catherine’s, a school whom we played and won against in the group stages, excitement was setting in, yet nerves were also apparent. Unfortunately another tough game, yet a loss of 6 – 7, put us in the play offs for 3rd and 4th – an easy victory against City of London, Freemans 9 – 0.
Placed 3rd in the regionals, secured us a solid place in the National Netball Finals, held last Friday. Again realistically, we were hopeful of some success but were doubtful of being placed in the group stages. From the initial 243 schools that entered, we were competing against the top 40 schools in the COUNTRY. Talking to netball coaches from the Surrey and Kent regions, comments on the standard of play, again flatten our thoughts of success. However after winning the first game against St Piran’s (10-6), a regional winner, Miss Pembroke and Mrs Heddershaw changed their mind-set. Our girls were outstanding, solid in their performance and committed to winning. Superb shooting from Tiggy Warner and Jessika Luiz-Wright, scoring on average a goal a minute, complemented the outstanding court play from the other 5 players. King’s were in with a chance. Notching up victories against Berkhamsted (9 - 3), Godstone (7 – 3), RGS The Grange (12 – 0), Yateley Manor (6 - 5), Stephen Perse (6 – 4), Bromsgrove Prep (7 - 2), Windlesham House (6 - 2) and a draw against Bute House (5 - 5) placed us winners of our group and a placing in the top 8 schools in the country.
This was our chance. The end goal was in sight. The girls had played exceptional netball. The nerves were on edge but we could do it. There was no margin for error in the next 12 minutes. Unfortunately a few mistakes, kept us chasing the score and despite having greater possession of the ball, we lost 6 – 7.
Nonetheless a placing of equal 5th in the entire country, is an exceptional achievement and one that will go down in the history of King’s sport.
For a small school, achievements like this are remarkable. We are so proud of our girls, who we can with pride, say they are National Finalists and outstanding netball players.