National finals await Perse netball team

The Perse 1st VII netball team have qualified for the National Schools Championships U19 finals after finishing runners-up in the regional round.

Having already been crowned Cambridgeshire champions, the team got off to great start in the East qualifiers at Stanborough School with a 16-11 victory over Sandringham School.

They continued their winning momentum with confident triumphs against Ipswich School (18-5) and Great Baddow High School (19-5).

However, Redbourne Upper School proved to be tricky and challenging opponents in their next group match as the girls narrowly lost 14-12.

The group were undeterred and knowing they needed to win their remaining two matches to top the pool, they did just that, beating The FitzWimarc School 16-10 and Norwich School 15-7.

With two teams going through to next month’s national finals at Oundle School, The Perse knew success in the semi-final would be enough to see them qualify.

They stayed focused to defeat Brentwood School 11-8 to secure their place, so despite losing to Haileybury in the final, the group still had plenty to celebrate as it was the first time in nine years that the Perse 1st VII have reached the national finals.

Perse Head of Netball Emma Jones said: “I was so incredibly proud of each and every player throughout the tournament.

“Our shooters barely missed and were able to keep their heads under pressure, our defenders were relentless, making game-winning interceptions when it really mattered, and the centre court were tireless in their ability to turn ball over and deliver safe and inspired passes to the shooters.

“It was a phenomenal squad effort with each member playing their part in the success on the day.

“Our sights are now firmly set on making our mark at nationals and being competitive among the country’s best netball schools.

“These players truly deserved their success at the regionals, but now it’s onwards and upwards to the big one!”

In addition, The Perse was the only school to be represented in all three age categories at the regional finals, with the U16 team reaching the semi-finals and the U14 side finishing third in their pool.

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