St Martin’s celebrate superb win after securing national crown in mixed rounders
PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 July 2018
St Martin’s School’s under-14 mixed rounders team are celebrating this week after being crowned national champions at this year’s English Schools Finals.
Having dominated the district and county rounds of the competition, the team travelled to the University of Leicester to test their skills against other county winners from across the country in a day-long tournament.
In the group stage, St Martin’s lost to Oxford Academy, but settled quickly with victories over Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Academy from Wolverhampton and Wigan’s Byrchall High School.
Charlie Ford and Grace Girling’s teamwork as backstop and first base ensured that any batter missing Henry Hunwick’s fast bowls would walk.
As group runners-up, St Martin’s progressed to the quarter-finals to play Paget High School from Burton-upon-Trent.
Intelligent decision-making in the field and risk taking at the right time when batting resulted in a 6½-4 win.
Exceptional hitting, particularly from PJ Backhouse-Jaques, brought about some excellent rounders in the semi-final and St Martin’s were through to the final.
There, St Martin’s faced Saffron Walden County High School, who had been given a wildcard to the finals, having already been beaten convincingly by St Martin’s in the Essex County round.
St Martin’s fielded first and kept the opposition down to an impressive one rounder total.
The Hutton-based school showed exceptional skill and their teamwork was faultless.
With a potential 18 balls to bat, St Martin’s were able to take the national title on ball three as the innings being closed with the Hutton-based school on 1.5.
Head of girls’ PE Lynne Swan, who coached the squad with Pat Hallahan, said: “The team’s success was down to a dedicated commitment to training and a real sense of shared responsibility and desire to win.
“Our squad was made up of girls and boys from years eight and nine, each of whom played integral roles at different points during the tournament resulting in the overall win.
“This is the third time in six years that St Martin’s have won the national mixed title and, as always, the standard of play was extremely high.”