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Schools battle it out at national netball finals

By Laura Taylor, Mar 15 2019 05:47PM

Taunton School will be among almost more than 50 sides taking part in the England Netball National Championships at Stanborough School in Welwyn Garden City this Saturday.

The biggest event in the schools’ netball calendar, 54 school teams from across the country representing three separate age categories – U14s, U16s and U19s – will go into battle across 25 rounds before the semi-finalists are confirmed.

Taunton’s head of netball Lisa Manley says: “This is the second year in a row that a Taunton School netball team has made it through to this prestigious national final. Good luck to all the girls involved.”

It has already been a remarkable journey for the schools that have qualified, with the top two sides in each age group from nine regions securing their place at the prestigious national event.

Of the 54 schools competing, 17 are repeat qualifiers from last year’s tournament. In the U14 category, local team Berkhamsted will be hoping to retain their crown while Godolphin & Latymer School will provide a danger once more having finished in fourth place last time out.

The U16 age group is wide open with none of the top four returning this year. Grammar School at Leeds are the highest-placed team (joint seventh) to return from the 2018 competition.

Back to defend their U19s title will be Queen Ethelburga’s from Yorkshire. Meanwhile, Bromsgrove will be looking to go one better after finishing as runners-up last year.

It could be a historic day for Berkhamsted or Grammar School at Leeds as they have representatives across all three age groups, the only schools to achieve this at the 2019 finals.

Play commences at 9am with the semi-finals starting from approximately 4.15pm and finals from 4.45pm.