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Hills Road at the National Championships 2017

5 May 2017

At the weekend Hills Road netball team represented the East Region at the Association of Colleges National Championships in Nottingham. The championships were over 3 days with 8 regions and Wales competing in 13 different sports.

It was a very exciting and tense weekend. The Hills netball girls were unbeaten after 6 matches on Saturday - 5 wins and a draw against Hartpury from the West Midlands. All to play for on the Sunday when Hills were meeting Holycross who had won all their games and Peter Symonds who had the same number of points as Hills. The girls fought hard against Holycross in their 9.30am match on Sunday but were beaten by the better team. Next was Exeter and the girls pulled themselves together after their defeat and stormed Exeter by winning 23-11. Final game and last match of the tournament against Peter Symonds, a win would secure a bronze for either team and a loss would mean 4th place. The atmosphere was tense, it was goal for goal with both teams trying to make a turn over. At half-time Hills were up by one goal but it was Peter Symonds centre pass to start the second-half and they managed to score making it all even. The supporters on both sides started to become even more vocal as the next 12 minutes were crucial. The 6 foot Peter Symonds goal shooter never missed a goal and they managed to go 2 goals ahead with 2 minutes left on the clock. Victory for Hills was slipping away but their coach, Linda Swain trying to be heard over the noise encouraged her team to give one last push and they responded by clawing back one goad with a minute left. Hills captain, Kerri Hilton Taylor made an impressive interception preventing Peter Symonds from scoring and Hills took the ball up court to goal and scored. All even again and it was Hills next centre pass with 15 seconds left. The girls kept their heads and composure, skilfully feeding to ball into Jenny Hill who scored 2 seconds before the hooter signalled full time to secure a win - 19-18 and a well deserved bronze medal.

The lead umpire commented at the end of the tournament by complimenting Hills Road on being the best team with regard to behaviour and the way they conducted themselves throughout the tournament and were a credit to the college and the East.

Netball Final Placings:

1st: Holycross (North West) 27 Points
2nd: Hartpury (West Midlands) 23 Points
3rd: Hills Road (East) 23 points (tied 2nd - goal difference determined 3rd place)
4th: Peter Symonds (South East) 21 Points

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