National title glory for Blue Coat netball superstars

Reporter: Mark Rooney
Date published: 08 March 2024

There were huge celebrations at Loughborough University yesterday (Thursday) as the Blue Coat School were crowned Under-16s Sisters In Sport National Cup champions.

One of their stars, Libby Royle, also earned the accolade of MVP in the final, having made the flying intercept that gained possession for Blue Coat and allowed the winning goal to be scored in golden goal time.

The competition is a national cup knockout format.

It is split into a North and South competition initially, leading to the final four which involves the top two schools from the North and the South playing in the national final.

Blue Coat faced St Albans in the semi-final, where they took a convincing win 30-15, to set up the final against Upton-On-Chester School.

It was an epic final that was a draw at full time and so golden goal rules applied and Blue Coat clinched the win 19-18.

PE Teacher Miss Curley said: “This is the second time this squad have won this prestigious title, having previously been U-14 champions.

"We are all so proud of the work and commitment that the girls have put into their netball over their five years at Blue Coat and into their wider school lives.

Most Valuable Player Libby Royle

"They are an incredibly dedicated group of young women who are a pleasure to coach and spend time with.

"I am so delighted that they could end year 11 on such a high and it really is the cherry on the cake as they move onto their sixth form studies with us.

"They’ve already got their eyes on winning the sixth form title next year!

"We also have three year 10 students involved in the squad so the future is looking bright for continuing success of netball at Blue Coat."

Headteacher Rob Higgins said: “We are all thrilled and so proud to be able to celebrate the incredible achievement of the U-16 netball team.

"To win a national final in such a dramatic fashion not only highlights their performance level, but also their ability to compete and retain their composure in the most intense and pressurised of competitive situations.

"Their success is down to the commitment and dedication that they have all shown to netball over the last four/five years.

"In that time, they have received incredible support from the PE department, their parents and also the local Oldham netball community, who have all worked together to provide the platform from which they have achieved this great success."

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