The 2nd team also played very well, narrowly failing to retain their status as reigning champions in the Plate Competition.
The weather forecast for the afternoon was not good and, as predicted, the rain started just as the 1st team began their first match against Adams' Grammar. This didn’t deter Shrewsbury, however, who played well. The result was a 4-4 draw; a fair result and important not to lose at this early stage. From here Shrewsbury continued to play well and improved every game.
Match 2 was against Ludlow College, who had some strong defenders, but Shrewsbury worked the ball into the D well and came away with a 10-5 win. Match 3 was against Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, who we have struggled against in the past, but we never allowed them to really get going and produced an impressive 10-3 victory.
Our next game was against Shrewsbury High School – always a difficult one – and with only 12-minute games, it was important to take the lead early on. Shrewsbury managed to do this and although it was close at half time, we pulled away in the second half and won 8-5.
Our penultimate game was against Wrekin, who hadn’t lost all afternoon and have won this competition for the past ten years. It was a tough match and at half time Shrewsbury were 0-5 down. We pushed hard in the second half and to our credit finished the game 3-10. Having only lost one game all afternoon, it was important to get a good result in our final game against Thomas Telford to secure the runners-up position. We did this by producing our best performance of the afternoon and winning 11-1. This meant Shrewsbury will go through with Wrekin College to represent Shropshire in the West Midlands Finals in January. A first for Shrewsbury and a fantastic achievement!
About to do battle - the 1st and 2nd teams just prior to their departure for the County Championships
In the Plate section, Shrewsbury were reigning champions and we were keen to achieve back-to-back wins. The draw was in group stages before going into semi finals and then a final. Our first game was against Adams’ Grammar and although they were strong opposition, Shrewsbury played well and won 11-5. Game 2 was against Shrewsbury Sixth Form College 3rd team, who again struggled with our tall defence and Shrewsbury came out quite easily on top. Match 3 resulted in another win for Shrewsbury, this time against Bridgnorth Endowed School and it seemed likely we would make the semi finals.
Perhaps because of our confidence at making the semis, Shrewsbury were a little less focused against Concord College and despite pushing hard, could only manage a draw. This still meant we were through to the semi finals and would face Shrewsbury Sixth Form College 2nd team. As the rain continued to come down, both teams made mistakes, but it was Shrewsbury who made fewer and converted the chances they had. A good win meant we had made the final for the second year running. It was going to be a tough ask, as the final was against Ellesmere College who hadn’t lost a game all afternoon. At half time there was very little between the two teams, with some excellent defending from both sides, but in the second half we were just not able to make the most of our chances and the final result was Ellesmere 5 Shrewsbury 3.
All in all, a great afternoon of netball and performances to be proud of from both teams. We wait excitedly for the West Midlands Championships in January.