Match Report: Finals of the Independent National Schools Cup

by Frankie Materna
The Team

Friday, 23rd March

The Netball 1st team have been extremely successful this season by getting to the final of the Independent Schools National Cup Competition, further than the school have ever got before. We beat some really strong teams in this competition by playing some of the best netball we have played all season, this led to us beating old rivals, Millfield in the semi-finals.

The final was played at Basildon Sports Village in Essex against Oldham Hulme Grammar School, previous U16 winners. Although we had an early start, the delicious cupcakes made by the Hilsea catering staff really brightened up our day. We finally got to Basildon Sports Centre and were met by our vast group of supporters, including my sister Sammie Materna, dressed as our mascot in a lion suit, which raised morale for all team members. We also had Mr Charles and Mr Dossett there supporting us, which added extra weight to the occasion. However, we were missing a key team member, Jess Lavery as she was away sailing for the final, but has been through the whole competition with the squad.

We started off with a hard and intense warm-up, which really got the team going and got the supporters excited for what was to come. We unfortunately lost the toss for the 1st quarter so knew we had to work hard to get that interception.

As the 1st quarter began, the support was as loud as ever and we worked our best with some great support from Lizzie Lewis, Anna Pembery and Claire Stephens on the bench and also lots of family support. However, Oldham managed to score off their centre pass and intercept ours, this left them at 4 goals ahead of us. We now knew this was going to be one of the hardest games of our season so we gave it our all. Yet, we didn’t manage to quite pull it back in this quarter, going into the 2nd quarter with Oldham having a 4-goal lead on us.

Once again, we went out fighting and with some great communication from Lucy Giles and Eleanor Ball in defence making multiple turnovers, even against a 6ft4 England Goal Shooter, we started coming back. The game began to go goal-for-goal, with Oldham still 4 goals ahead. We finally managed to make a turn-over due to the great pressure put on by the centre court players, Ilanna Rogers, Rachel Montgomery and Kirsten Hall. This meant the score at half time was now 24-2, with PGS winning this quarter 11-9.

With the crowd getting more and more excited as the game got closer, the pressure was now on for this quarter. We went out strong and played our netball very well. The game was getting tight now, helped by Frankie Materna and Philippa Paxman, accurately turning the team’s efforts into goals. However, Oldham pulled it back again by 1 goal but we continued to work our hardest with great communication from all team members the whole way down the court. We finished this quarter 5 goals behind Oldham but still fighting.

The final quarter was a challenge for both sides as this was a high standard tough game of netball. With Ilanna Rogers getting injured within the first few minutes Lizzie Lewis came on and gave a great performance in the last quarter giving nothing away at WD. The team worked very hard, as did Oldham and unfortunately they managed to pull away, winning this quarter and the final 57-45.

We were all very please to get this far in the competition as it’s the furthest PGS netball has ever got and we would like to say a massive thank you to our coaches Miss Gardner and Mrs Prentice and also Mr Dossett and Mr Charles for coming along as support on the day.