Written by Ian Kirtland [Head of Science Faculty]
In a thrilling culmination of the 2023 netball season, finally, on Thursday, November 23, 2023, amidst the challenges of calendar congestion and the unpredictable squalls of the British autumn, the last fixtures unfolded. Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the premiere of Doctor Who, one couldn’t help but ponder what the Time Lord would have made of the entire spectacle.
The weather was crisp, and injuries loomed large, casting a shadow over the teams’ abilities to field complete line-ups. Unfortunately, Lovelace found themselves compelled to concede their fixture to Earhart, mustering only two fit players. Nevertheless, the spotlight shifted to the championship clash between Shelly and Franklin, which unfolded in the midst of this netball drama.
In a scene of chaos, representative teams for Shelly and Franklin bravely took to the field, incorporating ringers from both Lovelace and Earhart. A clash of titans emerged in a classic Maths versus English showdown, embodied by the duel between Thomas and Sinclair–Smith. The infusion of players from Lovelace and Earhart undeniably strengthened Franklin, while Shelley grappled with the challenge of key absences.
The final score, reading Shelley 9-12 Franklin, only scratches the surface of the narrative.
Shelley 9 (Holly P – 7, Olivia A – 2) – 12 (Ella S – 6, Lara N – 6) Franklin
But this match was not just about the numbers; it was a saga of chaos, excitement, and no shortage of foul play. The referees found themselves working tirelessly, managing wrestling matches for the ball, facing demands for VAR, and weathering outrage from the terraces. This game had it all.
Was netball the winner in this spectacle? Probably not, but the contest undeniably left an indelible mark on everyone involved. The chaos, the excitement, the controversies – it all unfolded on the netball court.
A special nod of appreciation goes to the teachers and pupils who played pivotal roles in the games. From orchestrating the music to dancing at the side-lines, providing colourful commentary, keeping score, refereeing the intense clashes, and even contributing vociferously from the terraces – their collective efforts added an extra layer of vibrancy to this netball extravaganza!