Bronze for Stratford Thunderbirds on national stage
STRATFORD’s junior netballers reached a new landmark on Saturday when they took the bronze medal from their very first National Finals.
After winning the central regional final in December, Thunderbirds were among the 16 top-ranking teams to travel to High Wycombe for the netball showcase staged by ENG Sport UK.
Thunderbirds were seeded as No.1 for Group D and started the tournament with a 3-2 victory over Kingston. They then followed this up with an emphatic 7-0 victory over Sutton Town.
Thunderbirds’ fast, long and accurate passing also outwitted their final Group D opponents, Magnet (Berkshire), as they ran out comfortable 7-2 victors.
In the semi-final, Thunderbirds faced Tameside which proved to be the only upset of the day.
Only marginally ahead 5-3 at half-time, the Northern regional winners were anything but tame in the second half as they surged ahead to win the game 11-4.
There was some consolation for the Thunderbirds, though, when they faced Eastern champions Comberton (Cambridgeshire) in the third place play-off.
This was more in keeping with earlier play and the unruffled team repaired their situation with a clear win to claim the bronze medal.
“The girls were exceptional,” said head coach Kelly McCormack.
“Both they and the coaches have worked extremely hard in the run-up to this competition.”