Brentwood School’s under-14 netball team will represent the eastern region in the final of the National Schools’ Competition – the biggest schools’ competition in the netball calendar. The under-14 team represented Essex in the regional round and qualified after a long and arduous day beating Norwich 12-4 to qualify for the national final to be held in Merseyside.
Coach Wendy Juniper said: “This has only ever been achieved three times in the history of Brentwood netball. Hundreds of schools enter from all over the country and we are now in the last 12!”
The competition for the National Schools’ Netball Championships began in late September with school teams in each of the age groups, u14, u16 and u19, taking part in local area rounds.
Brentwood School’s netballers battled through the mid-Essex round and the county stage to make the regional finals held in Norfolk. This was the showpiece event for the eastern region with 41 school teams taking part for the right to enter the National Finals in March. To secure their spot in the final, Brentwood had to beat county champions representing Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Sussex and Hertfordshire.
Mrs Juniper said: “The team were focused, determined, athletic, tenacious and well-deserved winners. This success is the result of hard work, commitment, dedication, enthusiasm and motivation over the last few years. It doesn’t happen in one season.”
The win was the result of a team effort throughout the day. In defence, she praised Lily Spencer-Smith, Athena Knight, Zara Phillips and Lucy Wilde, who were “versatile, dominant and tenacious”, all offering independent strengths to the game.
“Lucy Wilde, captain Lucy Patchett, Connie Bell, Skye Lynch and Anna Reeves were very effective in attack, kept possession, turned over many interceptions and worked tirelessly throughout the tournament. Holly Perry, Ashley Chalmers and Anna Reeves had to work exceptionally hard to shake off very dominant defence in order to convert goals. They were confident and shot well under pressure,” said Mrs Juniper. “The national finals will be a great experience for the team and I am confident that they will rise to the occasion.”