St George’s shock everyone but themselves to take national lacrosse success
- Credit: Archant
A school in Harpenden have been crowned champions at a national lacrosse competition.
St George’s school took a squad of 40 to the Lacrosse World Cup Festival in Guildford, where they were competing in the U13 age category.
The tournament, held over three days, was for schools and clubs and took place alongside the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.
The Sun Lane school have pedigree in the sport with current England captain Laura Merrifield, and world-class player, being an Old Georgian.
Merrifield even took time out from her own busy schedule to come and watch her old school, much to the delight of the current crop of players.
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It was always going to be a tough ask for St George’s, who are one of only a handful of state schools who play the sport, up against the likes of Guildford and Berkhamsted, who are some of the country’s top independent lacrosse schools, and top clubs like Cheadle.
But the Harpenden side answered the challenge, defeating Berkshire’s Queen Anne’s Caversham 4-1 in the final having squeezed through a nail-biting semi with a winning goal 30 seconds from time.
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Squad coach and St George’s deputy head Paddy Storrie said: “Unlike our opponents we don’t have a rash of lacrosse coaches which would allow every dozen girls to be fine-tuned. Our practices sometimes have a ratio of 1:70 and we work on the basis that everyone who trains gets to play for the school sometime.
“We have no astroturf, no floodlights, only a lot of enthusiasm and some amazingly supportive parents, three of whom have volunteered this year to learn the game from scratch to help our programme.
“But we have the most amazing group of girls who have worked for hundreds of hours, support each other, and leave nothing in reserve.
“Many people will have been surprised we won nine games of nine to take the title but I cannot say I was.
“The Chancellor has been quoted in the news this week as saying that public sector workers are ‘overpaid’.
“I might disagree except in terms of the priceless reward we get of seeing our girls, talented or not so talented, reach and then exceed any reasonable expectations both as players and as young people.”