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By Laura Taylor, May 18 2019 09:04AM

The last sixteen of the School Sport Magazine National Schools U15 Girls T20 Cricket Cup is beginning to take shape.

Six matches in one day proved the perfect setting in Surrey - and it was Reigate Grammar who emerged triumphant after three wins out of three in an exciting round-robin competition.

Millie Hetherington’s smashed 72 off just 29 balls against St George’s College Weybridge in a 74 run victory while Reigate also overcame Winchester’s St Swithun’s School by 90 runs.

But it was Emily Burke’s unbeaten 54 off 21 balls that proved the difference in their decider against neighbours Kingston Grammar, who themselves had won two matches.

Imogen Sidhu proved the star of the show in Suffolk as her 67 not out helped Farlingaye High School overcome Framlingham College by six wickets while her unbeaten half century saw off Woodbridge School by 50 runs.

Elsewhere, in an all-Somerset battle, Niamh Holland hit an unbeaten 67 and took three wickets to help Wellington School overcome Castle School.

Castle posted a more than respectable 153 in their 20 overs but Niamh’s batting led Wellington to a six wicket victory with seven balls remaining.

Meanwhile in the south-east, King’s School Canterbury overcame St Lawrence College by eight wickets after their Kent opponents were bowled out for 79.

And in Shropshire, the group stage will do down to a decider between Moreton Hall School and Shrewsbury School after both sides recorded two victories over Ellesmere College and Shrewsbury High School.

By Laura Taylor, May 14 2019 07:09PM

Some of the best young footballing talent in England will take centre stage at West Bromwich Albion Football Club as they take part in the English Schools’ FA (ESFA) PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival later this month.

Staged from 21st to 23rd May, 30 school finalists will be given the full match day experience, making their way to the home or away dressing room before walking out onto the hallowed turf at The Hawthorns Stadium.

A total of 15 boys’ and girls’ national schools’ football finals will be contested across the three days in U12 to U15 age categories.

Now in its sixth season, the ESFA PlayStation Schools’ Cup has grown into the biggest and most acclaimed football tournament for secondary schools in England with over 200,000 players taking part.

With entry free for all attendees, more than 5,000 spectators attended last year’s finals.

(For reports and pictures check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine next month)

By Laura Taylor, May 10 2019 04:17PM

Parkstone Grammar surged into the last 16 of the School Sport Magazine National U15 Girls T20 Cricket Cup with three early early season victory.

In a superb four-team tournament hosted by Clayesmore School over two pitches, Parkstone defeated Truro School and Sherborne Girls School by nine wickets and Clayesmore by 114 runs.

The Devon state school will now play the Somerset champions in the last 16 after half term.

One step nearer to the next stage are Oxford High School who won both their mini-group games, beating St Helen & St Katharine School by six wickets and St Edward’s School by seven wickets.

They will now travel to Dauntsey’s School for a place in the last 16 after the Wiltshire side overcame Monmouth School for Girls by 38 runs.

By Laura Taylor, May 4 2019 09:31AM

Berkhamsted School have become the first team to reach the last 16 of the School Sport Magazine National U15 Girls T20 Cricket Cup.

The Hertfordshire side followed up their fine win against Queenwood with triangular tournament victories against Haileybury (by nine wickets) and Beaumont School (by ten wickets).

They will now meet the winners of Felsted School, New Hall School and Shenfield High School.

In another early season result, Wakefield Girls High School took a step closer to the last 16 after beating Sedbergh School and Ripon Grammar in another triangular T20 tournament to top their mini Yorkshire group.

They will tackle the winners of Fallibroome School, Ormskirk School and St Peter’s Catholic High School, Wigan to decide who reaches the knockout stage after half term.

And in a high-scoring game in the Midlands, Leicester Grammar School 256-2 overcame Stamford High School 123-6 by 133 runs.

By Laura Taylor, Apr 26 2019 04:57PM

Sussex side Bede’s School kicked off the sixth School Sport Magazine National U15 Girls T20 Cricket Cup in style yesterday.

Mary Taylor (4-5) and Izzy Atherton (3-3) bowled by Hurstpierpoint College for just 30 runs before Bede's knocked the total off for the lost of just three wickets.

Elsewhere in Hertfordshire, Berkhamsted School started well with an eight wicket victory against Queenswood School.

By Laura Taylor, Apr 24 2019 02:29PM

Some of the most talented primary school footballers in the country are set to do battle on Saturday May 4 as part of the world’s biggest football tournament for 10-11-year-olds.

The ESFA U11 Danone Nations Cup National Finals will be held at St Andrew’s Stadium, Birmingham City FC when 32 primary school teams will get a taste of a ‘professional football’ experience.

The competition is organised into four categories including School Teams’ Cup, Small Schools’ Cup, Girls’ Cup and District Team Cup.

Teams have progressed through a demanding qualifying process via district, county and Regional Finals to qualify for this anticipated sporting event.

Eight schools have qualified for the boys’ final including Huntington Primary Academy, Gosforth Junior, Battling Brook Primary, Lowes Wong Junior, Broadstone Middle, Fair Oak Junior, Gerrard’s Cross and Cheam Common Junior.

Finalists in the girls’ final are Easington Colliery Primary, Ovingham Middle, Fulfen Primary, Walkwood Middle, Highnam Primary, St Katharine’s Primary, Long Ridings Primary and Canonbury Primary.

Two and a half million children worldwide take part in the FIFA-approved tournament, the English leg of which is run by the English Schools’ Football Association.

By Laura Taylor, Apr 18 2019 04:46PM

An Ofsted-style grading system for school pitches is being launched by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG).

The scheme - available to both the independent and state sectors – aims to allow schools to showcase their sports turf facilities and recognise the skills and expertise of its grounds teams.

A nationwide pilot scheme is planned with a selection of independent schools taking part to help inform the pitch grading framework before the scheme is rolled out

The concept has been supported by all national governing bodies of sport and aims to boost industry standards for grounds facilities, improve the knowledge within the sector and set benchmarks for playing surfaces.

Natural turf sports pitches standards will be graded from levels 0 to 5, with 5 being ‘elite’ status while grounds teams will be advised to have a certain level of qualifications to obtain certification for each grade.

Each level is complemented by a training and qualification recommendation framework that features specific and accurately blended learning, delivered both online and in the traditional format.

Programme chiefs hope the scheme will add a new dimension to schools to help them attract potential students and their parents as well as boosting community use.

The framework will not only highlight the level of an individual playing surface quality but also the appropriate training and education, and the recommended levels of qualifications, needed by the ground’s management team who maintain it.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the IOG, said: “In a similar style to OFSTED, schools will be able to promote their rating and highlight the standards of its sports and green-space facilities, as well as the knowledge and expertise among its team.”

“The pitch grading framework aims to deliver a much-needed requirement in the industry. It creates a standard for facilities to be compared against, which will be of huge benefit to schools when attracting new students and providing the students with sports pitches to excel on.”

To take advantage of significant training and service discounts, schools must be member of IOG with costs of £300 per year, which provides access to benefits for the entire grounds management team.

This gives access to leading experts; resources, the latest industry science and knowledge as well as discounted fees on training and qualifications.

For further information visit or call 01908 312 511.

By Laura Taylor, Apr 16 2019 11:06AM

A Warwickshire school is planning to put the sixth School Sport Magazine National Schools U15 Girls T20 Cup at the forefront of its summer cricket programme.

Rugby School will be making its debut in this year’s competition where the draw sees them in a group that includes Wellingborough, Oundle and Bromsgrove and director of cricket Michael Powell is looking forward to the challenge.

He explained: “The competition is an essential aspect of the season now and will hopefully inspire more girls to take up the sport.

“We feel it is yet another cog in the wheel for girls’ cricket and they are very much looking forward to competing and continuing to develop their skills.

“The national game is growing at a rapid pace and the quality of coaching is vital to this growth. We are fortunate in what we are able to offer at rugby with excellent facilities for the girls and coaches that are keen to develop their knowledge of the sport also.

“Last season we had 73 girls opt for cricket instead of tennis and athletics and our expectations for the 2019 season are to see a continued increase in participation at school, county recognition for more girls and most of all thorough enjoyment to be involved in the competition.”

By Laura Taylor, Apr 5 2019 04:32PM

A Somerset school is planning to use competitive cricket to get girls involved in the game for the first time.

King’s Bruton will be making their debut in this season’s sixth School Sport Magazine National Schools U15 Girls Cricket Cup.

And head of cricket Louis O’Grady explained: “I have always been passionate about starting a girl's’ team to give young ladies to have an accessible and fun introduction to cricket, hopefully enjoying some time in the sun with their friends whilst playing a brilliant game, which is accessible to all.

“I have decided to enter the competition this year, simply to give the girls an aim to train for, and to show them that I take them seriously.

“It is important to me to get girls playing cricket at school because I would love to be able to give them the courage to play a sport which is typically male dominated, showing them that they can do absolutely anything that they would want to in life.

“These little moments of normalising sports which are single gender dominated stereotypically, send an important message to these young ladies which hopefully they can carry forward into their successful and happy lives.

“That is not to follow the norms of doing what everyone else does but instead, to be their own people and lead the way for people around them to try new things because they want to, not because they are expected to.”

King’s Bruton have been drawn in a group that includes Holyrood Academy and Millfield with the winners playing the victors of another Somerset group involving Castle School, Wellington School and Taunton School.

By Laura Taylor, Apr 2 2019 04:50PM

Hampton School pipped Repton School 3-0 on penalties at Shrewsbury Town FC’s Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium today in the final of the ESFA U18 Boys Football Cup.

(To read full competition round-up reports in new edition of School Sport Magazine out this month, subscribe for just £29 a year by emailing [email protected])