Trent College U19 netballers have capped a memorable sporting half term for the school after they became the latest team to qualify for a National Schools’ Finals.
The girls will travel to Roedean School in Brighton on Saturday 19 March, when the top 18 teams in England will do battle to be crowned U19s National Schools’ Netball champions 2016, after finishing runners up at the East Midlands finals last week.
Having won three of their four Regional Finals pool games at Oundle School, Trent College defeated Repton in the semis teeing up a final clash with Oakham, the only team to have beaten Trent College in the pool phase. Despite an impressive performance, the girls agonisingly went down 6-5 but still qualified for the Nationals.
For many of the now senior Trent College players, this will be their second Nationals experience having also qualified for the U14s Finals in 2012.
Lauren Nicholls, Trent College U19s coach, said: “I am very proud of what the girls have achieved. It was such a big accomplishment as they were playing against girls within the England pathway and junior Superleague teams while at Trent College we only have one player in an outside local club. The girls’ game improved throughout the tournament and I’m excited to see what else this team can achieve this year.”
Two of Trent College’s brightest athletics prospects will also be representing Derbyshire at the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham on 7 March after impressive County Championship performances.
Rising 10km star, Hedley Hardcastle, made light work of the shorter 5.2km Seniors Derbyshire Schools Cross Country Championships course to finish second at Tupton Hall School on Saturday 23 January, while schoolmate Joseph Gray was fifth. The boys were part of a seven-strong Trent College contingent representing Erewash.
The netballers and runners’ success comes hot on the heels of three Trent College teams – U18 boys and U18 and U16 girls – all qualifying for their respective National Indoor Hockey finals last month, when all three teams came close to claiming glory.
The U16 and U18 girls both finished National runners-up in a remarkable display at Bromsgrove School, in what were the first finals a Trent College girls team had reached in seven years. Meanwhile, the U18 boys lost a very close semi-final 1-2 to eventual winners, Repton, at Whitgift School in Croydon.
Mark Wadsley, Head of Hockey at Trent College, said: “It was a special weekend for Trent College hockey and one which firmly establishes the school as one of the very best at developing talent through the school.”
There was Natwest Vase disappointment, however, for Trent College U15s rugby team as they missed out on reaching the quarter finals of this year’s competition after a 24-7 last 16 defeat at Sir Thomas Rich’s School in Gloucester. Ben Dickinson landed Trent College’s points after a scoreless first half.
Adam Benstead, Trent College director of sport and U15s rugby coach, said: “The boys can be proud of their efforts and when they reflect on the season they will realise how far they have come as a team. They have been a pleasure to work with.”