Champions!

Girls from The Princess Helena College in Preston have been crowned national lacrosse champions. They fought off opposition from across the country to win the National Small Schools Lacrosse Championship. The tournament was at Cirencester Agricultural Co

Girls from The Princess Helena College in Preston have been crowned national lacrosse champions.

They fought off opposition from across the country to win the National Small Schools' Lacrosse Championship.

The tournament was at Cirencester Agricultural College and was the culmination of regional heats across the country earlier this season.

Princess Helena represented the East, together with Abbot's Hill School and faced the qualifiers from four other regions. They began their campaign by beating their local rivals Abbot's Hill 4-0 in their first game.

The girls then went on to win against Fettes School, who had flown in from Edinburgh, Rendcomb (West) and Malvern (Midlands) and only conceded one goal along the way.

They met St James' in the semis, using effective possession play to go through to the final against Stowe.

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Hotshot Olivia Rowe, who represented Wales in the junior home internationals the following day, scored 13 of their 14 goals scored during the tournament in an impressive display of consistent accuracy and power.

Others stars were goalkeeper Lizzie Attwood, captain Hannah Cussen and Hannah Whidborne who scored the championship winning goal.

Princess Helena has a long and illustrious lacrosse history.

Founded in 1820, the college is one of England's oldest academic girls' schools and it is also cited as being the first school in England to play lacrosse.

Deputy head Juliet Jaggs, who herself represented England in three world championships over 11 years, coaches the girls aged 11 to 18 to play the sport.

Juliet said: "I strongly believe that girls have a real sense of how important lacrosse is at Princess Helena because of its long association with the school.

"We are fortunate to have great lacrosse facilities for all girls to use and to have a specialist American coach Kate-Robin Shuart who inspires them to compete.