Winning ways at sporty college

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Team spirit at Harrogate’s Ashville College is on a high after squads in the senior and junior school finished the term on impressive winning streaks.

In the Junior School, this started with the U11 Girls Cross Country team of Nicola Crack, Ellie Pearson, Lily Gilman and Annabelle Walker winning the HMC Championships – the first time since 1997 - which were hosted at Barlborough Hall.

This was followed by retaining the Harrogate Primary Schools Partnership ‎Swimming Gala with the team consisting of Jacob Brown, Edward Crack, Edward Cullen, Oliver Grattoni-May, Carys Waligora, Sadie Pringle and Amelia Bamber.

In addition, the U9 Boys Rugby team won the Cundall Manor Plate, defeating Leeds rivals, Richmond House in the final.

In the Senior School, the 1st XV have been on an undefeated seven game run, defeating St Adian’s, Hymers College, Worksop College, Dame Allan’s, Birkdale College, Prince Henry’s and Ampleforth. Prior to this, they also defeated Harrogate Grammar School 42-7.

The excellent standards achieved at first team level – which saw them progress to the fourth round of the NatWest Vase - has been matched by many of the younger age groups, with both the U13 and U14 teams not losing any matches in the last half term, and the U15 side progressing to the fifth round of the NatWest Vase competition.

At U12 level, the boys also impressed with an excellent set of results achieving wins against Hymers, Dame Allan’s Mount St Mary’s, Giggleswick, Silcoates, Birkdale and Ampleforth.

On top of this success, the senior tennis teams have been competing in the Team Tennis for schools competition. The girls were drawn against Ampleforth and RGS Newcastle in their group, and, although they lost both matches, many of the rubbers were closely contested in both the singles and doubles.

The boys were drawn firstly against St John Fishers, whom they beat convincingly 10-2. The second match was against St Aidan’s which went down to the wire. With the match poised at 6-6, it was decided with a championship tiebreak.

Robbie Webster and Pete Bowles stepped up the mark and played some sublime tennis in pressurised conditions to win the tiebreak 12-10, and send the senior boys through to the next stage of the competition in January.

On top of this, there has been considerable individual success too. Lucy Lister won a gold medal at the U18 Netball Indoor World Championship, played in Brisbane, as part of the England 6-a-side team; Will Farrar gained a place to train with the Pennine Pumas, the England Hockey U16 squad for the North of England, as did Izzy Da Costa in the U18 age group.

Bryony Watson was selected for Yorkshire Lacrosse at U15A level and Hollie Walker’s has been picked to take part in the Yorkshire Jets Under-19 Athlete Development Programme.

Duncan Archer, Ashville College’s Head of Sport Development, said: “This has been a tremendous term for sport at Ashville – both at senior and junior levels and team spirit is sky high.

“The team work has been fantastic and the results show the dedication and hard work that both the pupils and staff are putting into school sport.

“These impressive results, plus the investment we are continually making in our school sports facilities, is helping to boost our reputation far and wide.”