The week of National Schools Finals finally dawned for the U19 squad. During the week the girls had fully committed to their last-minute preparations in the form of training and gym sessions and a training match against a very strong UEA 1st VII.
Saturday came and along with it some unbelievably strong winds and therefore very tough conditions. Captain, Norwich School pupil, Eliza Barclay, rallied the girls with a passionate and inspiring speech and Mrs Ashton reassured the girls that “their best is good enough”.
In their first opponents, the girls faced last years U19 winners in the form of Queen Ethelburga and Barking Abbey, both of which had 6’4” goal shooters. In both games our girls led by 1 at half time, however, in the second half, they couldn’t quite maintain their control and the games, although hard fought, ended in losses.
Mrs Ashton, Head of Netball at Norwich School, commented; "The early losses hit us hard and it took us two further games until we found our momentum and took our first win.
We went on to win again but this was then followed by two more losses. It certainly wasn’t as successful a day as we had hoped. On reflection, we must not forget what an amazing accomplishment it is to be at the National Finals.
Until 4 years ago, we had never in our history, qualified for National Schools Finals and no school in Norwich had qualified for 32 years. Now we have represented the East in 3 out of the last 4 years. It is a credit to these aspirational and highly motivated young ladies that this is no longer simply enough. Now we want more. We aren’t content to just be there, we want to compete."
For 5 members of the U19 squad, it was the last time they will represent Norwich School on the Netball court. It is sadly the end of their Netball journey at school but just the beginning of the incredible legacy they leave behind.