Maiden Erlegh (Reading, Berkshire) and St. Christopher’s School (Hove, East Sussex) will meet in the final of the COCO5 Road to Copper Box Arena on Saturday 5 March after battling it out against 11 other schools at Surrey Sports Park last weekend.
13 schools from across London and the South East headed to Guildford for the tournament on Saturday, with teams completing round robin group matches before knock-out phases to determine who will head to the Copper Box Arena for the final at Netball London Live.
Maiden Erlegh made sure that they made the best possible start to the tournament, taking 4 wins out of 4 in the group stages with an incredible +39 goal difference. St. Christopher’s took 2nd, with just a single loss to the table toppers, leaving Newlands Girls School in 3rd with 2 wins, Passmores Academy in 4th (1 win) and Alton Convent in 5th (no wins).
Brighton College took a clean sweep of wins, including a 9-4 win over Tormead School who finished in 2nd. Frensham Heights finished 3rd with a single win, while Guildford County finished 4th.
Beaconsfield High School’s 13-4 win over The Royal School, who finished 2nd, saw them take top spot with a 100% win record. Benenden School finished one place ahead of Our Lady Of Sion, thanks to a stronger goal average.
Big wins for Benenden, St. Christopher’s, Tormead and The Royal School saw them progress through the qualification round to join table toppers Maiden Erlegh, Brighton College and Beaconsfield High in the quarter finals.
The closest game of the round put Newlands Girls’ School up against Our Lady of Sion, with Newlands taking a 6-4 win to advance.
The match of the round on court B saw Tormead School hit Beaconsfield High with their first defeat of the day, stealing an 8-7 win and a place in the semi-finals.
Routine wins for Maiden Erlegh, St Christopher’s and Brighton College also put them through to the last four.
With dreams of playing on the show court at Netball London Live at stake, nerves were evident in the arena at Surrey Sports Park for the final round of matches.
The pressure was on Maiden Erlegh to maintain their 100% record, going up against a brave Tormead who had taken a shock win the previous round.
But the confidence of the Guildford school wasn’t enough to see them through as Maiden Erlegh took the first spot in the final.
Meanwhile on the opposite court a final minute comeback from St Christopher’s meant that the first extra time period of play was seem in their game against Brighton College. With the scores finely poised at 7-all on the final whistle, all eyes were on the remaining action of the day.
A quick steal in the opening exchanges handed St Christopher’s an advantage which the made full use of, sealing a 9-7 win and a place in the final.
With sportsmanship and enjoyment two key components of the tournament, our friends at COCO5 awarded Alton Convent the Fair Play award, for displaying respect throughout the day and making the most of the experience.
The two schools will now meet in the final at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday 5 March, as the first of three games forming the Netball London Live 2016 event, with the winners being declared COCO5 Road to Copper Box Arena winners.
There are less than 100 tickets remaining for the event in under two weeks, with another sell-out crowd expected in the capital to watch Surrey Storm host Hertfordshire Mavericks at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.