SILVER LINING Tonbridge Grammar Under-12s (back row, l-r) Abi Falkous, Charlotte Rollinshaw, Camy Porachia, Sophie Beeton, Mags Bowyer-Sidwell, Sophie Watkins; (front) Sian Bloomfield, Emily Roche, Millie Thompson, Eleanor Thomas

TONBRIDGE GRAMMAR’S students were runners-up at the Kent Under-12s county netball tournament at Rainham School after an exciting final against local rivals Sevenoaks.

A 10-player squad of year 7s faced a challenging start to the competition in the group stage and narrowly defeated Sydenham High 4-3.

With a win under their belts, they went from strength to strength, beating Colfe’s 7-1, then Radnor House in a resounding 17-0 victory, as well as MGGS 10-0 and Hayes 8-2.

The final group match against Kings School Rochester proved trickier than anticipated but the girls were determined to finish the group unbeaten, so they worked hard to maintain their lead and held on for a 5-3 victory.

As unbeaten group winners, we were drawn against the third-placed runners-up across all groups for the quarter-finals, and found themselves up against Sydenham High again.

Having had such a close contest earlier, it was important not to be complacent and Tonbridge Grammar won convincingly.

Next they faced Bromley High in the semi-finals, and raced into a 5-1 lead by half-time.  Bromley fought back to 5-4 with a minute left on the clock but gritty determination saw Tonbridge score another goal to prevail 6-4.

The final was against local rivals Sevenoaks, and a scrappy first half saw only one goal scored, Tonbridge taking the lead. Sevenoaks responded with three goals after the restart but Tonbridge clawed one back to make it 3-2 with two minutes remaining.

The grammar had a decent chance to equalise but unforced passing errors and lack of movement on court meant Sevenoaks intercepted a Tonbridge attack and took the ball down court to score again for a 4-2 winning margin.

Netball coach Julie Cross said: “It was obvious that the girls were slightly disappointed not to have come away with the trophy but they also realised that it was a fantastic achievement to win silver medals at this fiercely contested tournament.”