Hartpury netballers aim to conjure up some magic in Merseyside to take national title


By Hartpury English A-level student Gracie Bishop

The college’s junior side have made it to the National Schools League final, having racked up an impressive 248 goals on a storming run to the showpiece event on March 15th at Whitby High School.

They will field a strong side led by coach Sarah Pretty and co- captain Issy Dunford. Although Amy Beales is still out with a long-term knee injury, she will continue to captain the squad from the sidelines. Rebecca Gwillam also returns from a knee injury to play her final game for Hartpury.

To book their final spot, Hartpury played seven group matches at Cheltenham Ladies College, scoring 120 goals and conceding only 17.

Erin Howell had an impressive 74% accuracy rate of shooting, scoring 56 goals out of 76 opportunities as Hartpury triumphed in the county round, beating Dean Close 13-6 in the finals.

In the regional round, Hartpury scored 128 goals with 79 scored by Paige Reed - an 82% accuracy rate. Playing all eight matches, she converted at least six goals in each.

Hartpury also excelled defensively with Thea Thompson starring with 17 interceptions throughout the tournament and six tips of the ball. She plays a range of positions, including goal defence, wing defence and centre.

Hartpury have been placed in section E in the finals and will be pitted against Barking Abbey, Cardinal Newman, Hurstpierpoint College, Kings Worcester, Northampton High School, Grammar School at Leeds, Newcastle Central High and Boswells School.

Hartpury netball manager, Sarah Pretty, said: “These teams will all be a completely unknown quantity for us but we’re really looking forward to the challenge.

“We’ve had a great run to the finals and we’re hoping to continue that form. We’ve got great strength in depth throughout the squad, which will be crucial over two days of intense competition.”

Hartpury squad: Issy Dunford, Erin Howell, Thea Thompson (vice-captain), Kellie Hull, Paige Reed, Rebecca Gwilliam, Taryn Lawrence, Meg Powell, Helen Barr, Elly Milner, Hannah Pegrum.

By Engloish A-Level student, Gracie Bishop

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