NETBALL stars from Loreto Grammar School in Altrincham have paid tribute to coach Catherine Ball as they look forward to the national netball finals.

Year Twelve captain Elena Sullivan-Williams and her Year Thirteen counterpart Jessica Burns will form the spine of the under-19 team hoping to lift the national title, and go one better than they did as under-16s when they finished runners-up.

Jessica said: “We wouldn't be where we are now without Miss Ball, and her fellow coach Miss Easthope. We have had such a wonderful run playing netball for the school and now we hope we can round it off with the national title.”

Elena added: “They are both pretty tough taskmasters and won't put up with any nonsense, but that's why we have been successful and enjoyed the game so much.”

The Loreto girls qualified for the 16 team national finals to be in Ellesmere Port in March, by winning the North-West regional final against Cardinal Newman College from Preston 10 -7.

Catherine Ball, head of physical education at Loreto Grammar School, said: “This group of girls has always had a fantastic team spirit and are very supportive of each other.

“They will be one of the favourites for the title, but as in any cup competition will be hoping for a little luck on the day.”