Ormskirk School National Cricket Champions
Staff and pupils at Ormskirk School have been celebrating after their Girls Under 13 cricket team were crowned the 2013 national champions when they beat Godolphin and Latymer School by 24 runs in last Wednesday's final of the Lady Taverners Indoor Schools Competition at Lord's.
The girls' triumph at the most famous cricket ground in the world marked the end of a long road which began in February when they won the West Lancashire District Final and then culminated in a tense final tie.
Chasing 110 for victory, London school Godolphin and Latymer had got to 80 in no time at all when Lucy Staunton-Turner took five wickets in six balls to decide the issue and establish Ormskirk's Under 13s as the best team in the land.
The competition was entered by 750 schools from across the country and the final was watched by the England womens' captain Charlotte Edwards. It was therefore little wonder that the Ormskirk school's PE teacher Laura Goff was overjoyed at her side's triumph.
"Words cannot describe how proud I was of those nine girls last Wednesday," said Goff. "They were a credit to themselves and to the school. The team put in an incredible performance and blew away the competition.
"They won over the hearts of the England womens' captain and the other England ladies who were glued to their final match and supported them all the way.
"It was the most amazing and exciting day, one that I know I will always remember and feel proud to have been a part of."
However, the victory of the Under 13 team on the national stage is only one part of the Ormskirk School success story.
The Under 15 team reached the 2013 North of England finals at Headingley before losing to Ilkley Grammar School by four runs, and this year was the fifth in succession that the school has been represented at the regional finals in at least one age group.
For James Cutt, the Cricket Development Coordinator for West Lancashire, the school's success is directly linked both to hard work and to the Chance to Shime programme which has helped to bring cricket into state schools.
"Chance to Shine has been ongoing at Ormskirk since 2009 and has proved really popular among the girls at an after-school club which has been running for five years," said Cutt.
"The link with Ormskirk Cricket Club is also fantastic and many of the girls have gone on to represent Wesl Lancashire . There are also seven Ormskirk girls in the LCB County Age Group programme.
"It's fantastic to see a school so enthused about girls' cricket and their success in the Lady Taverners' Competitions over the last five years is pleasing given the work undertaken by the school."
Written by: Paul Edwards