A foggy and chilly morning made an appearance for the Merton Borough High 5 Netball Finals which took place on Friday 3rd November 2018 at Wimbledon High School Sports Grounds. Fifteen schools from across all four clusters arrived ready and raring to compete to become the Merton Borough High 5 Netball Champions!

The schools were split into four pools, all depending on which place they finished in their cluster round. The pools were as follows:

Pool A: Links West Wimbledon Garfield St Teresa’s

Pool B: Poplar The Priory Liberty William Morris

Pool C: Dundonald Malmesbury St Matthews

Pool D: Abbotsbury Bond Hillcross Wimbledon Park

As soon as schools arrived, they grabbed a ball and started getting warmed up to ensure each and every member of the team were ready for when the competition began. It was great to see all players arriving with great enthusiasm and determination to get started!

Pool A

Pool A started with Links up against West Wimbledon, West Wimbledon let all oppositions know they meant business by getting off to a flying start beating Links 5-1 both teams worked hard throughout however West Wimbledon claimed their first win of the competition.

The next game on saw Garfield taking on St Teresa’s. Although St Teresa’s showed a great competitive spirit and excellent footwork and passing skills, they were unable to score. Leaving Garfield to take a 2-0 win in a closely contested game. The next few games saw Garfield take the lead beating Links 2-0 but West Wimbledon were able to end their winning streak beating them 5-0, securing them first place in the group with Garfield taking second. Links were able to get themselves together and find their feet to secure their first win of the competition, beating St Teresa’s 3-0.

The final Pool A results were:

1st –West Wimbledon – 9 points 2nd-Garfield- 6 points 3rd- Links- 3 points 4th- St Teresa’s- 0 points

Pool B

Pool B got underway with Poplar against The Priory, Poplar displayed excellent team work and tactics from the whistle allowing them to secure a 5-1 victory over The Priory. Round two saw Liberty take on William Morris, this game again displayed unbelievable team work, passing and shooting which this time allowed Liberty to secure 3 points with a 3-0 win. In the next few games, it was clear Poplar were on top form and was going to gain first place to take them into the top seeds, beating Liberty 2-0 and William Morris 5-0. The race for second was on but Liberty managed to come out on top over The Priory and William Morris to sneak it.

Therefore, the final positions for Pool B were as followed:

1st- Poplar- 9 points 2nd- Liberty- 6 points 3rd- The Priory- 3 points 4th- William Morris- 0 points

Pool C

Pool C commenced with Dundonald against Malmesbury, both teams were fired up and ready to go competing in a very close first game for both teams. Both teams displayed excellent passing ability to progress up the court when attacking, however Dundonald sneaked the win with just one goal scored leaving the game 1-0 to Dundonald. St Matthews were to play second against Malmesbury who had already had a chance to warm up and this seemed to work in their favour as they were able to find the net twice to beat St Matthews 2-0. Dundonald with a win under their belt went into their final pool game confident however, St Matthews were strong and put on a great defensive display. However this proved to not be enough and Dundonald were able to attack and score to finish the game 1-0 to Dundonald. This group was very close and there was only a few points in it.

The final positions for Pool C were as followed:

1st- Dundonald- 6 points 2nd- Malmesbury- 3 points 3rd– St Matthews- 0 points

Pool D

Pool D’s first game was between Abbotsbury and Bond. Abbotsbury got off to an exhilarating start displaying consistently good shooting skills which gave them an 8-0 win over Bond, this became one of the highest scoring games in the competition. Game two saw Hillcross take on Wimbledon Park. Wimbledon Park were able to take an early lead with a brilliant goal to go 1-0 up. Although Hillcross displayed great match play and fought very hard, they were unable to stop Wimbledon Park scoring three more goals which ended the game Wimbledon Park 4 Hillcross  0. With Wimbledon Park on a high after their first win they took on Bond, this game allowed Wimbledon Park to show off their excellent shooting skills by securing another five goals throughout the match, this left the match 5-0 to Wimbledon Park. However due to Abbotsbury managing to win there next two games 5-2 and 3-2 they managed to secure first place with Wimbledon Park taking second.

The final positions for Pool D were as follows: 1st- Abbotsbury-9 points 2nd- Wimbledon Park- 6 points 3rd Hillcross- 3 points 4th- Bond- 0 points

Once all the group stage games had finished, the players had a quick lunch to refuel and were called in to find out the results from the mornings games. The schools knew if they were to qualify through to play for positions numbered 1-8 they needed to finish in the top two of their group. Tension was very high as the results were read out. Schools were given their new seeding’s for the afternoon round of fixtures. Each team competed in their own quarter final, semi-final and final.

9th – 16th positions

All teams started their quarterfinal, semi-final and finals matches with huge determination, which meant the standard being played took a step up from the morning session of games. There were constant bursts of cheering from the players and crowd as a large amount of goals were scored over the four courts. Hillcross, St Matthews, The Priory and Links all came out victorious that meant they had qualified through to the top end of the table for the semi-finals.

The scores were tight throughout the semi finals and finals with some real passion and team spirit on display. The games were end to end and the talent on display was brilliant.

1st – 8th positions

The quarter finals at the top of the table saw Wimbledon Park, Abbotsbury, West Wimbledon and poplar gain top seed positions with strong wins over Dundonald, Malmesbury, Liberty and Garfield. All games were played with a tremendous amount of effort and the display of high quality netball was outstanding.

The semi-finals saw some hugely important goals scored in some very tight games. Malmesbury and The Priory played in what turned out to be one of the closest semi-finals in the tournament with end-to-end brilliant play from both teams and some excellent tactics shown throughout. Malmesbury were able to sneak a 2-1 win. West Wimbledon, Poplar and Dundonald all stormed ahead beating there oppositions by at least two goals.  

The finals games were extremely exciting with all teams wanting to finish in the highest possible position they could. The race for first and second place overall fell to West Wimbledon against Poplar, both teams had done excellently in the group stages. West Wimbledon were able to take an early lead and continue with this proving to be unstoppable with a 8-0 win to finish!!

The results were as follows:

1st West Wimbledon

2nd Poplar

3rd Abbotsbury

4th Wimbledon Park

5th Malmesbury

6th Dundonald

7th Garfield

8th Liberty

9th Hillcross

10th St Matthews

11th The Priory  

12th Links

13th Bond

14th William Morris

15th St Teresa’s

The 2017/18 High 5 Netball Borough finals was a great day, with all teams showing great sportsmanship and putting 100% effort into all their matches. Thank you to Wimbledon High Sports Ground for hosting the event. A great deal of thanks must be paid to all of those involved, in particular all umpires on each court who demonstrated some high quality umpiring. Without these individuals, our tournaments would not be possible, so thank you again for all of your hard work.

The Refspect winners were Garfield they received the most nominations for shaking hands, congratulating other teams and being supportive to their teams. Congratulations!

Finally, well done to West Wimbledon for being crowned the new Merton Borough Champions and best of luck for the London Youth Games!

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