Recently 22 schools have taken part in the 3 qualifying competitions trying to clinch a place in the Basingstoke Schools final. This number is the most schools that have taken part in this event, improving on the previous best of 20 in 2014.

The first competition took place at Cranbourne on Monday 19th January where 8 schools were looking to finish in the top three to win a place in the final. The final scores were as follows, where only 12 points separated the schools in 3rd and 6th place!

1st St Mark’s 398
2nd Rucstall 365
3rd Oakley 314
4th Sherborne St John 308
5th Manor Field 306
6th North Waltham 302
7th St John’s 276
8th Cliddesden 237

The second qualifier then took place at Costello on Monday 26th January where a further 7 schools competed against each other. The results were as follows.

1st St Mary’s 381
2nd Castle Hill 316
3rd Great Binfields 292
4th Marnel 289
5th St Bede’s 260
6th Bishopswood 237
7th Fairfields 175

Both St Mary’s and Castle Hill qualified for the final. Great Binfields had to wait 24 hours to find out if they were the 3rd placed school with the best score!

So the next day on Tuesday 27th January, 7 more schools met at The Clere to see who would fill those last places in the final. The scores below were very close between the schools in 3rd and 4th and their schools total in comparison to that of Great Binfields. With the final event going on it could have been any of these three schools that could still qualify.

1st Overton 386
2nd The Priory 345
3rd St Martin’s 290
4th Tadley 289
5th Ecchinswell 235
6th Whitchurch 225
7th Hurstbourne Tarrant 186

These scores meant that Overton and The Priory would be joined by Great Binfields in the final. Commiserations go to St Martin’s and Tadley who both just missed out.

Thanks must go to the Sports Leaders from Cranbourne, Costello and The Clere for the excellent job they did in acting as officials during these events.

Thanks also to Ken and Wendy Littlejohn, Sue Pett, John Hoare and Ian Byett for their invaluable help in organising the running events at all three venues.

Therefore, St Mark’s, Rucstall, Oakley, St Mary’s, Castle Hill, Great Binfields, Overton and The Priory will now meet at Brighton Hill on Thursday 26th February for the final.

The winners on that day will then go forward to represent Basingstoke at the County Final which is taking place at Fleming Park in Eastleigh on Thursday 12th March.