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Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 17th of April 2013

The number of national finals that Bishop's Stortford College has qualified for this year has risen to five following recent regional victories by the U14 boys' hockey team and Junior School swimmers.

The U14 boys' hockey team qualified for the finals of the England Hockey National Schools Championship after being crowned Hertfordshire County Champions and then, just before Easter, East Champions.

Their journey matched that of the U14 girls' hockey team, who also qualified through the County and Regional competitions to reach the national finals in February. At Cannock Hockey Club they joined seven other elite teams in their age group for the national finals and competed well against extremely strong opposition in their group, including Canford (Dorset) and St George's (Weybridge) who progressed to the play offs where they came 2nd and 3rd overall to winners Repton (Derbyshire). 'It was a fantastic experience and despite not securing a win, the girls made every match a real contest and played their best hockey of the year,' said director of sport, Lyndsay Shepherd.

In the IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) hockey competitions, Bishop's Stortford College, an independent day and boarding school based on the Hertfordshire and Essex border, hosted the East Rounds for the U11 and U13 boys' age groups, with both Junior School teams reaching the national finals.

The U11 hockey team won their place by notching up an impressive 16 goals, whilst conceding only 1 in the East region competition. At the national finals held at Wellington School a slow start and a loss to Cargilfield School (Edinburgh) cost them dearly and despite draws against Kent College (Canterbury) and Sir Richard Pate (Cheltenham) and a win against Altrincham (Cheshire), they did not progress to the cup play offs.

Meanwhile, the U13's qualified for the national finals as runners up in their East Competition. They too had dominated the group matches, scoring a total of 15 goals and conceding only 1. At Millfield in the national finals, though the boys just couldn't rediscover the form they had shown at the regional competition, they nevertheless reached the plate semi final.

Not to be outdone by the hockey players, College swimmers are also en route to a national final. The regional round of the National IAPS swimming competition was hosted by Bishop's Stortford College in February The top 16 individual and top 12 relay times in the country qualify for the national finals in each event. The results were announced just before Easter and an impressive 11 individuals and 7 relay teams will be competing at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley on 11th May.

A host of other Bishop's Stortford College teams have performed well this term, also.

At the prestigious Rosslyn Park 7's competition, the U13 rugby team performed incredibly well to reach the quarter final stage of this tough competition. They sailed through the group matches with a massive cumulative tally of 77 points for, with only 10 against. They met local rivals Felsted in the first of the knockout rounds and a 7-0 win put them through to the quarter finals. A hard fought game against eventual winners Aysgarth (Yorkshire) 12-17 put an end to their impressive run in the competition.

Six boys have been selected to represent the East Area in the U13 Independent Schools' Football Association Championships.

Bishop's Stortford College also hosted the 2013 Bishop's Stortford and District Swimming Championships, where 13 local schools battled in the U12, U14 and U16 age groups. The College came second to Herts & Essex High School in the girls' competition, won the boys' competition and secured the trophy for the overall competition.

In the U18 District Netball Championship, the Senior School triumphed after beating Herts & Essex High School in the final.

'It has been wonderful to see so many of our pupils competing successfully in such a variety of sports this term and to qualify for so many national finals,' commented director of sport Lyndsay Shepherd.
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