NETBALL: Clean sweep of county titles for Oundle School

Oundle School Under 14s.
Oundle School Under 14s.

Oundle School have completed a clean sweep of Northants county schools titles.

After the success of the Under 18s in October, Oundle’s Under 14 and Under 16 teams also won their respective county tournaments this month.

Oundle School Under 16s.

Oundle School Under 16s.

Under 14 captain Isabella Baird (14) commented: “Despite the cold, we were all in high spirits for the matches ahead and kicked off the tournament playing Wellingborough against whom we took a strong lead with excellent passing and goalscoring thanks to our shooters, Tara Boyle (13) and Flora Gammell (13).”

Oundle beat Wellingborough 15-8 and went straight on to face Corby Business Academy. With Ella McGuire’s (13) great movement and the team spirit high from their earlier win, they managed to beat them 22-1.

Next up was a match against Quinton, and with Tara injured Oundle had a new shooter, Evie Simpson (13), who scored some fantastic goals resulting in a 15-5 victory.

In a match against Pitsford, Emily McParland’s (13) great interception and Pemba Goodhew’s (14) great marking in the D, resulted in 15-3 win.

Oundle were now through to the final and in with a chance of reaching the Regionals.

Isabella added: “We were playing Northampton High School in the finals. We knew they would put up a good fight and with both our shooters now injured we had to find a new one. Lucy Hembury-Gunn (13) stepped up to the task and scored some really good goals. It was a very tight game and we had to defend well but with Rose Pitman’s great interceptions we found ourselves one goal ahead at half-time and keeping our focus managed to produce a 14-8 victory, taking us through to the Regionals.”

Captain of the Under 16 team Hannah Wakeford (16) said: “This was the first time the Under 16 team had played a match together since our unbeaten season before the summer. We had the privilege of welcoming Sienna Rushton (14) into our team, who proved to be an excellent addition and she fitted really well into the squad.”

The girls played five matches in total, in a round-robin style tournament with their first match against Sponne School. Emily Howard (16) made some excellent interceptions, keeping the ball out of their attacking third meaning Oundle only conceded one goal.

By the second half the team had warmed up considerably and due to some quality feeds into the ‘D’ by Ella Johnsrud (16), finished the match with 35-1 victory.

After a very quick break, the girls were back on court to play Quinton House School, their biggest opponents at the tournament.

Hannah added: “From the very start of the match against Quinton it was clear that it was going to be a close intense game. Stella Simpson (15) demonstrated excellent reading of the ball and made numerous interceptions which meant we were able to turn over the ball with accurate passes from Pandora Banister (16) and Phoebe Gammell (15). The score at the end of the match was 18-12 to Oundle, showing our ability to work as a team in securing a victory.”

The next match was against Wellingborough, who were also a strong side. However, down to tight marking Oundle turned over the ball frequently and finished with an impressive 19-7 win.

They then played Northampton High School where Sienna and Phoebe Ashby (15) did an amazing job driving into space within the ‘D’, working together and shooting superbly, securing a victory of 29-2.

Oundle’s final match was against Pitsford School, with Cordelia Barlow (15) and Mia Derrick (15) working excellently in the centre third and managing to keep the majority of the play in Oundle’s attacking third. Honor Starling (15) shot accurately and frequently and the girls finished the game with an impressive 32-5 win.

Hannah concluded: “We showed great determination and teamwork and will now go through in pole position to represent Northamptonshire at the Regionals in the New Year,”

Head of Netball, Bev Burnham, commented: “The wins at these tournaments is very encouraging for the season ahead and bodes well for the Regional Tournaments for the Under 14s, Under 16s and Under 18s next term.”