The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) has reclaimed a national title last won by the school in 2012 – England Netball U16 National Schools Champions – with help from a trio of Harrogate players.
For the second year running GSAL was represented in all three age groups at the national finals of the England Netball National Schools Competition. All three teams progressed from the group stages to reach the final of their respective tournaments on the day.
The U16 team clinched the trophy with a hard fought 7-6 win in their final match against The Fallibroome Academy. The team includes Lucy Stead from Kirkby Overblow, Lucy Poskitt from Harrogate and Yasmin Cant from Burn Bridge.
GSAL’s U14s and U19s finished as runners up in their competitions. Both progressed from the group stage and won their semi-finals, however the U19 final went to extra time before Greenhead College took the title 9-8 and the U14 went down in their final 8-11 to Aylesbury High School. U14 players include Beth Johnson from Scarcroft and Lucy Burgin from Pannal, and the U19s include Lauren Fraser from Shadwell, Megan Gilbert from Barwick in Elmet and Anna Poskitt from Harrogate.
Cath Johnson, head of netball at GSAL, said: It was a fantastic team effort from every member in the squad. Winning a national competition is an unbelievable experience for the girls and having three teams in the finals is exceptional – only one other school achieved this.
Alex Kirk, the U16 team’s coach, said: It was a really long hard day for the girls, they were amazing. They have worked hard in training and have learnt that they can achieve their goals if they pull together as a team. They had to be mentally tough to recover from 4-2 down at half-time to come back and win 7-6 in a very tight match.
U16 team captain Rosie Harris, year 11, said: As our first time in the national finals we were expecting the day to be intense, however we gelled well as a team and all the tactical and fitness training paid off on the day.
Main photograph: The Grammar School at Leeds U16 netball team (L-R): Yasmin Cant, Lucy Poskitt, Truly Ogbonson, Louise Marsden, Millie Jeavons, Rosie Harris, Hollie Bruce, Claudia Aston, Brinkley Ogbonson, Hannah Gorman, Lucy Stead