It was wondeful to welcome back a brilliant Old Brightonians team saw of former 1st VII Netball players to take on the current 1st VII in an exciting and hugely entertaining match on Saturday 23rd February 2019.
Gemma Ashworth (Ch. 2007-16) got in touch recently to let us know she is playing netball with the Team Bath U21 Netball team. Gemma played netball throughout her time at College and it’s great to hear she is still doing so well - #thisgirlcan.
All the efforts in planning and training were put under threat by doubts over our departure day due to the strike by South African Airways. A phone call at 11am on the morning of departure gave us the go ahead. The tour was up and running. However, another obstacle awaited us is Johannesburg in the form of passport control, which took two and half hours to clear. This put enormous pressure on catching our connecting flight to Cape Town and only the pleadings of an old man and the size of the party allowed us to win the day and board the plane half an hour late.
Our netball teams continue to achieve considerable success: we were the only school to qualify for the Sussex Cup Finals and the Sussex Independent Schools’ Finals in all age groups. The U15s achieved the treble by winning the King Edward’s School Invitation Tournament, the Sussex Cup and S.I.S.N.A. Tournament.
It was nice to see so many familiar faces returning to play Old Girls' netball in the matches against the College's senior teams on Saturday 18 September. However, the fact that the 'Dream Team', that was 4th in the National Finals of 2002, had turned out in force was a little daunting for our U16 VII and 1st VII.
Another very successful year for netball with three teams - U13, U14 and U19 - winning their Sussex Cup competitions; the U15s narrowly lost in the final and the U16s were losing semi-finalists. Unfortunately, the Independent Schools' Tournaments were cancelled because of the weather and so we were denied the opportunity to really finish on a high.
It was no surprise that we came across the expected teething problems that herald any inaugural match - i.e. we didn't know each other, everybody seemed to have the same preferred position, and nobody wanted to put herself forward to organise such a motley crew. Therefore, going down 3-17 in the first quarter to an extremely talented Brighton College 1st VII seemed inevitable.