Harpenden in play-off glory

A jubilant Harpenden Netball Club after they clinched promotion to the Eastern Regional Leagues.

A jubilant Harpenden Netball Club after they clinched promotion to the Eastern Regional Leagues. - Credit: Archant

A wonderful season for Harpenden Netball Club had the cherry placed on top with victory in the regional play-off confirming their promotion to the East Regional Club’s League.

They had booked their place at the tournament, held at Stanborough School in Welwyn Garden City, with a 54-20 win over Hertford Heath Rangers leaving them top of the table and with just one defeat to their name.

And with their county division club coach Jenni Monger, plus a whole host of supporters of both club and family members, the backing from the sidelines was high and the atmosphere electric.

Preparations had included plenty of training as well as a number of friendly matches in the days leading up to the tournament so they could focus on fine-tuning the different combinations and tactics practised over the year.

And even the weather seemed to favour them, as they got their six games got underway.

Harpenden got off to a strong start against Star, winning 19-11, and continued to produce excellent performances against Team Bedford and Thetford.

The final nail-biting match against Grangers was tense for players and supporters alike.

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Taking a two-goal lead into half-time they fell behind but somehow managed to pull it back, winning the game and going undefeated through the event.

Head coach Monger said: “I was tremendously proud of the squad performance [in the tournament].

“For the past three years the squad have been steadily progressing, however, this year their tenacity and dedication has meant that they have excelled and spent the season almost unbeaten.

“Despite the nerves I always knew they were capable of pushing through into the regional division and I could not be prouder of their performance.”

Camilla Baxter, one of the jubilant players, said: “It’s such an amazing feeling to win with an incredible bunch of people and be part of a whole squad effort. We can’t wait for next season.”

The East Region League currently runs three divisions and it is the third division into which Harpenden will be placed.

It will take the team across the region with trips to Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough as well as closer to home with the likes of Hatfield Magpies.

Fixtures for the new season are scheduled to be released in the coming weeks.