Stonyhurst propel into National Finals as North of England cricket champions

Posted on 1st May 2024 in School News, Sport, United Kingdom

Stonyhurst is thrilled to announce that the St Mary’s Hall girls' cricket team has triumphed at the Regional Indoor Cricket Competition, held at Bolton Arena.

Competing against 950 schools nationwide, the SMH girls emerged victorious, claiming the title of North of England champions for the first time in the school's history.

This significant achievement follows a stellar performance throughout the tournament, where the SMH team topped their group and remained undefeated across all three rounds. Their success has not only made school history but also secured them a place in the prestigious Indoor National Final, which will be held at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Tuesday, 21st May. This popular competition has been the starting point for many of the England Womens’ Cricketers including Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor and Issy Wong to name but a few.

The team, comprising of Year 7 and 8 pupils, have developed their cricket skills thanks to Stonyhurst’s dedicated cricket programme for boys and girls. Led by the Director of Cricket, Francois Haasbroek, this sees an extensive winter nets programme designed to hone the individual bowling and batting techniques of every player, ensuring they are match-ready for the summer season.

Stonyhurst’s Director of Cricket, Francois Haasbroek, commented on the team's performance, saying: "Our girls have shown extraordinary skill and determination today. This win reflects not just their talent but also the spirit of Stonyhurst's sports ethos. Competing against schools that comprise top county-level players and coming out on top is no mean feat. It’s a proud moment for us all."

He continues: “As the girls gear up for their appearance at the National Finals at Lord’s, they do so with the full support and admiration of myself and the entire Stonyhurst family. Their journey continues to inspire and exemplify what can be achieved through hard work and dedication in cricket. I am very proud of them all.”

Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall is committed to nurturing talent and upholding excellence across all sports from hockey and netball to rugby, athletics, tennis and even NFL Flag Football. Pupils can thrive thanks to highly experienced teaching staff, many of whom have played at national or international level themselves. Pupils are identified at a young age and placed on Sporting Pathways to ensure their individual talents in a particular sport are honed and nurtured.

Stonyhurst is also the venue for the Lancashire Cricket Development programme, who use the extensive net facilities for all year-round training. A number of the pupils at Stonyhurst attend these training sessions together with other players from the local area. The school are also seeking to form a partnership with Lancashire Cricket Thunder Academy for the use of their facilities for practice sessions and matches.

Stonyhurst believes in the power of sport as a crucial component of a holistic Jesuit education. Through sport, pupils learn about teamwork, leadership, and resilience. The school continuously seeks to enhance its sporting programmes to ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to pursue their sporting interests at competitive and recreational levels.