U19 netball champions make it three in a row

Tuesday 13 March 2018

The Grammar School at Leeds’ U19 netball players are national independent schools champions – for the third year running!

Their victory brings to 11 the total of national netball titles won (out of 29 national finals contested) in the decade since The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) was founded, which is cause for celebration in GSAL’s 10th birthday year.

Having held the U19 Independent Schools National Cup since 2016, GSAL had their work cut out in their bid to make it three in a row. At the final, held last Friday at the Redbridge Sports Centre in Essex, they faced a tough match against a highly competitive team from Millfield School.

GSAL started well and stayed ahead for most of the match. However Millfield levelled the score twice, including in the critical closing stages forcing the game into extra time at 49 all. Despite intense competition GSAL clinched the title 59-55 after the additional 10 minutes.

Cath Johnson, GSAL head of netball and U19 team coach, said: “It was an outstanding team performance, I’m so proud of the girls’ continued success which is down to the way they work for each other. They have trained hard throughout the season and hard work wins through.”

The players face another tough test this weekend, at the national finals of the premier schools competition in the netball calendar, the England Netball National Schools Competition. GSAL is the only school which has a team through to the finals in all three age categories, U19, U16 and U14, a feat the school has achieved for the last three years.

The finals will be held at Stanborough School, Welwyn Garden City, with all titles being decided during the course of Saturday. Each group features 18 school teams from across the country, all of which have earned their place in the final following a series of regional rounds.

Best of luck to the teams and their coaches, Cath Johnson (U19), Kate Nash (U16) and Rochelle Powell (U14).

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