This year the girls had set their goal of winning the tournament and worked tirelessly in the weeks running up to the event to ensure their fitness, set plays and various combinations were all finely tuned for the big day.
George Salter got off to an excellent start with a 15 – 2 victory over John Fisher and made their intentions of producing fast but safe transitions through the court very evident. The second game saw a very tall opposition in Kings Worcester; however this resulted in smart play by our girls not using any high balls and subsequently winning 11-1. Next up was Tudor Grange who, like George Salter, has many Regional Academy players so it was set to be a tight encounter. However through excellent leadership from captain Grace Porter-Deleon and outstanding shooting from Nasara Arnett and Tumba Katanda the game finished with a 14 – 6 win. The next few games against King Edwards Bham, Hereford and Church Stretton were again convincing wins with the George’s girls turning over some excellent defensive interceptions and causing a lot of issues for the opposing teams.
George’s had reached National Finals! But the final was still ahead, and the girls remained focused as they came up against Tudor Grange again who won their semi-final vs Kings. The final, umpired by international umpire Ian Fuller, and watched by dozens of cheering fans saw some excellent play from both teams and some amazing individual talent on show. George’s determination and game plan prevailed though and the lead stretched to a final score of 17 – 7. The players, parents, coaches and staff were delighted with the victory and accolade as the best U16 school in the West Midlands; a title that the girls have worked so hard for the last few years.
The National finals will take place in Brighton on Saturday 19th March.
U16 squad: Grace Porter-Deleon (captain), Ellie Bennett (vice-captain), Nasara Arnett, Shanequa McLeish, Tumba Katanda, Daisey Cotterill, Calista Henry, Rhea Patel and Nikita Samra
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School emerged as U19 Regional Champions. Although Bishop Vesey falls within the Birmingham County, the great majority of their squad are South Staffordshire athletes. Well done girls!