Pupils bowl over competition at Lords

A school cricket team played at Lord’s last week in the finals of a national competition.

Pupils from Lonsdale School in Stevenage travelled to the home of cricket on Friday to take part in the Macquarie National Table Cricket Competition along with disabled youngsters from across the county.

The sport is played by six players on a table tennis surface with specially designed bats and balls. It enables young people with disabilities and special needs the chance to enjoy cricket and represent their school on a competitive basis.

Lonsdale teacher Gina Kelley said her pupils did “brilliantly” to come sixth in the finals, out of a total of 12 teams after beating other schools to get to the finals.

“The whole day was amazing. One of our little folks Weslie Gray (aged 12) got selected for the national team. He was thrilled.

“It’s such a great little game for them to play. They all got medals and certificates. We had a good look round Lords and had a really good time.”

Matthew Patten, chief executive of competition partners The Lord’s Taverners, said: “All young people should have access to sport and recreation, particularly those with disabilities and special needs. Macquarie’s support for this competition has given even more young people the chance to play cricket against their peers at iconic venues like Lord’s.”

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Middlesex CCC players, including Ashes-winning fast bowler, Steve Finn, and former England international cricketer, Angus Fraser were on hand to give tips to the young players. Former EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ricky Groves helped officiate proceedings and has promised to come to Lonsdale school in the near future.

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