Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall girls propel into national finals as North of England Indoor Cricket Champions

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The girls’ cricket team from Stonyhurst Prep School, St Mary’s Hall, bowled over the opposition when they won the Regional Indoor Cricket Competition 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 May 21st. 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.

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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 girls' cricket team from its Prep School, St Mary’s Hall, won the Regional Indoor Cricket Competition at Bolton ArenaStonyhurst girls' cricket team from its Prep School, St Mary’s Hall, won the Regional Indoor Cricket Competition at Bolton Arena
Stonyhurst girls' cricket team from its Prep School, St Mary’s Hall, won the Regional Indoor Cricket Competition at Bolton Arena
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Francois said: “Our girls have shown extraordinary skill and determination. 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.

“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.”

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.