CUP SUCCESSES A FEATURE OF STRONG SEASONS FOR NETBALL GIRLS

Following on from the success of last year, netball has continued to grow in both popularity and quality. This season has seen 19 teams, ranging from our 1stVII to the U14Es, compete in 132 fixtures. Seeing so many girls taking part in the sport has been particularly pleasing and demand for the sport from our senior pupils wanting to participate week in, week out in the programme has seen the creation of a senior social netball club.

The Lent season started with a trip to Rugby School for a preseason tournament involving the 1stVII, 2ndVII (including the U16s), U15A and U14A teams. The senior squads enjoyed successful runs which led to them meeting each other at the quarter final stage. The 1stVII went on to earn a well-deserved silver medal at the end of the tournament.

That early experience set the tone for Cup and National competition successes throughout the season for our junior and senior netballers.

The U16 and U14 teams took part in the County Tournament, ending up in sixth and fourth respectively while the U15s fought hard in the Plate Competition after being knocked out of the National Cup, enjoying a run to the last eight. A special mention must be made of the five Faulkner’s pupils who made the step up to play for the U15s squad a year young.

The 1stVII qualified for South Regional Netball Finals for the first time in seven years, beating Wellington, St Mary’s Ascot, Reading Blue Coat and Queen Anne’s in the County round. The girls came agonisingly close to reaching the semi-finals in the Regional round but were kept out of second spot by just a single goal loss. The 1stVII also made it through to the fourth round of the National Cup where they were beaten by eventual semi-finalists King’s Worcester.

The development of the girls really shone in the block fixtures this season with multiple teams going through unbeaten and building on the foundations laid last year.

The 1stVII took 11 wins from their 14 games with the three losses being within two goals. This squad also took silver medals from the Bradfield Senior Tournament, losing by two to Canford in the final.

Blocks against Daunstey’s, St John’s, St Edward’s and Cranleigh turned over more wins than previous years showcasing the development of the girls. This was evident in the senior teams who all enjoyed wins over Wellington having lost across the board in previous years.

Our U16As deserve a special mention for the advances they have made in their game over the last year with a particular highlight coming in the form of a victory over Cranleigh by four goals having lost by 22 goals the previous year.

The 2nds and 4ths finished the season unbeaten while the U14As lost just twice. A huge thank you to all staff and pupils for their hard work and commitment throughout the season.

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR BOYS’ HOCKEY

The Lent Term proved a busy but enjoyable one for a large number of Bradfield hockey players with the College able to field 16 teams in our biggest block fixtures while more than 200 boys regularly attended training each week. Finding fixtures for all of the teams sometimes provided a challenge but Bradfield hockey has continued to flourish.

The 1stXI enjoyed an intensive pre-season training camp at Cardiff Metropolitan University including pitch sessions, strength and conditioning coaching, fixtures and video analysis, while the U16 and U15 squads trained at the College and played in a triangular series with Abingdon and MCS Oxford.

Following a tricky first half of term, the 1stXI began to cohere this side of Long Leave, developing a positive and fluid passing style of play. During the season, the boys enjoyed wins against Eton, Wellington, Cheltenham and Dean Close, as well as progressing to the fifth round of the ISCH Cup where they were unfortunate to be knocked out by Magdalen College School on penalty strokes.

The 2ndXI and 3rdXI also had pleasing seasons, both winning more games than they lost. The stars of the senior sides, however, were the unbeaten 4thXI who registered an impressive 7-1 win against Eton with the only blemish on their record being a 1-1-draw with Cheltenham.

There is much to look forward to from the junior school as well with some highly talented individuals coming through the College and some very strong team performances throughout the season.

The U16A team won their County tournament comfortably, qualifying for the Regional Championships. Despite not losing a game and not conceding a goal at the regional stage, the team can count themselves unlucky not to make it beyond this stage. However, following such accomplished performances, there is much potential here for next year’s 1stXI.

There is also impressive strength in depth in this year group as the U16B team enjoyed an impressive season winning all of their games except the first game of the season – a narrow 1-0 defeat at Radley. The U15s enjoyed a promising Cup run defeating Magdalen College School and Bede’s before losing out to a highly impressive team from Ipswich School. They also enjoyed good wins over Marlborough and Charterhouse.

The most impressive performance of the year, however, came from the U14A team who enjoyed an unbeaten season in College matches, winning eight and drawing one of their fixtures, scoring 41 goals in the process. They cruised through the County tournament without conceding a goal and were very unlucky not to make it through the Regional Pools, losing out in a very close fixture against the perennially strong Reigate Grammar School.

With the junior teams achieving so much success, the future of Bradfield hockey is looking rosy.

GIRLS’ FOOTBALL REACHES MAJOR MILESTONES

Bradfield’s football programme reached a major milestone in its development this year as a junior girls’ team was established for the first time. Twelve keen Faulkner’s girls displayed enthusiasm and positivity from the first week and while the term proved a particularly challenging one for them with some incredibly tough fixtures, including Millfield School and also external football clubs such as Tilehurst Panthers, there were many highlights during the season.

In an end-to-end match against Maidenhead Girls FC, our juniors earned a 3-3 draw and the standout performance of the term came in the match against Lord William’s School. Trailing 1-0 at half-time, goals from Pippa (LM), Flora (LK) and a brace from Phoenix (LM) completed a second half turnaround and a big team effort led to a 4-2 victory. The result demonstrated the progress the girls made across their first term playing football.

At the senior end of the College it was another strong term for the girls 1stXI who are continuing to build on the previous years’ success and showing commitment to develop on the training ground. While the season was cut short, the girls displayed accomplished performances in competitive fixtures, winning five and drawing one of their eight matches, demonstrating the hard work put in to developing throughout the season.

The 1stXI reached a milestone of its own as the girls made the quarter finals of the ISFA Cup. After beating University College School and drawing with Forest School in the qualifying rounds, Bradfield faced previous ISFA Cup winners King’s College, Taunton who are renowned for their girls’ football programme. Our girls certainly did not go down without a fight and the second half in particular saw a valiant performance from the defence to deny Taunton any further chances going forward.

TEAM AND INDIVIDUALS QUALIFY FOR NATIONAL EQUESTRIAN COMPETITIONS

The Equestrian team of seven girls performed strongly at the Berkshire College of Agriculture event propelling the team to Showjumping success while a number of riders enjoyed individual successes.

In an impressive double, Yasmin (I) finished in first place in both the Preliminary and Novice Dressage Tests, qualifying for the NSEA National Championships in both events. Maddie (I) finished in second place in the Prelim Dressage whilst also helping her teammates Sofia (LJ), Niamh (I) and Millie (LM), to win the 90cm Team Showjumping event. They also secured qualification to the NSEA National Championships.

There were further successes as Millie placed sixth individually in the 90cm Showjumping while the team of Yasmin, Maddie and Sofia placed fourth in the 100cm Showjumping event.

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