Haileybury’s first game in the Under 14 National Schools Netball Tournament (County Round) was against Loreto College. We tended to be panicky and our game was full of mistakes but we managed to draw 3-3.
However, after a few changes to the team and some positional practices, the squad settled down and played some wonderful netball. Our next result was against Hockerill where we won 8-2.
The girls played their most awesome netball against Berkhamstead Collegiate who were eventually to become section winners and reach the semi-finals of the tournament. The result against Berkhamstead was 11-3. A superb score! Many tactics had to be played out on court as players moved into certain areas of the court. The girls, especially Sophie Simmonds and Tory Hart, executed these tactics with flawless precision. This, coupled with pinpoint shooting, by Eliza Walter from anywhere in the shooting circle gave the girls tremendous confidence.
This confidence saw them through the first half of their next match against St. Michaels’ where Haileybury had a good lead. However, inexperience was then our downfall and, as St. Michaels’ battled, Haileybury panicked and made too many simple errors. We lost 7-10.
The girls regrouped and again some team changes were made. Our next results were against Mount Grace and we won 15-0 and was followed by a nail-biting game against Hitchin Girls’. The result won 8-7.
We came through as runners-up in the section on goal average (2.08 to 1.70) to St. Michaels’.
Haileybury played Herts & Essex School in the quarter-finals. The team again played well but were beaten 6-12 by a more experienced team with a tall defender who read the game well and either intercepted everything or caught all rebounds, and a GA who linked play effortlessly and scored from anywhere in the circle. Herts & Essex were to go on through to the final.
The nine-strong squad were:
Alice Billings (Capt), Eliza Walter, Tory Hart Nicole Masters, Clara Songaila, Gabby Richardson, Sophie Simmonds, Hannah Grint and Charlie Kiddie.
Nicole Masters, Clara Songaila, Gabby Richardson, Sophie Simmonds, Hannah Grint and Charlie Kiddie.