Shropshire Star

‘The Queens of the North’ finally claim their crown

Moreton Hall School brought home the coveted Champions Cup from the National Schools Lacrosse Championships after a gruelling weekend in Aldershot.


Although one of the smallest schools in the competition, Moreton Hall’s reputation in lacrosse is undisputed at the championships that boasts the finest young lacrosse players in the country.

With a number of English and Welsh under 19 players in the squad, Moreton’s girls were nicknamed ‘The Queens of the North’ after their second place finish last year.

Watching every nail-biting minute, Principal Michael Brewer commented: “What an event and what an outcome.

“This was a victory many years in the making, a tribute to the expertise of our coaching staff, the talent and tenacity of our girls, and the unwavering support of the families that have cheered from the sidelines hour after hour in all weather conditions.”

The Oswestry school went one better than last year’s second place by recovering from going behind early in the final to win 4-3 in a pulsating contest to seal a memorable victory for the players and their supporters.

Moreton had made a habit of securing comeback wins after finding themselves 3-1 down to Queen Anne’s Caversham in the quarters before winning 4-3, and were then 2-0 behind in their semi-final against St Catherine’s but surged to win 4-2 and book a return to the final.

Cheering on the sidelines, Moreton mum Heather Pickering said: “I think we will be celebrating this historic achievement for a long time following a weekend with many heart-in-mouth moments.

“The girls knew there would be some very tough matches against schools with umpteen subs, coaches and even physios, but our girls went out there keeping their eyes on the prize, with some fabulous tactics up their sleeves and got the job done”

Head Coach Carina Walsh said: “I can’t put into words what this means for the players, the staff, and this school.

“We are a small school from the north and have achieved the ultimate prize.”

Acting Director of Sport Stuart Penrose added: “I don’t think this will sink in for a long time.

“My words to the team expressed that their name will be forever etched in the history books, and no one can ever take that accolade away from them.”

U19s captains Emma Barnes from Oswestry and Karina Henshaw from Altrincham also could not hide their joy, saying: “Winning Nationals 2024 has been a dream come true.

“One of the best feelings in the world is when you accomplish something you’ve worked so hard for.

“The moment was surreal; no words can describe how it felt in that moment to lift the trophy with cheers from our friends and family. The feeling of pride was a testament to the countless hours of dedication and training put in, both by our team and our amazing coaches.

“The memories made will stay for us forever.”

Sarah Thomas from Baschurch watched with her Old Moretonian daughter Georgia, who as one of last year’s finalists had travelled from Edinburgh to cheer on the team.

Revelling in the history of the moment, Sarah enthused: “The Queens of the North finally claimed their crown.

“The heart and bravery with which they defeated so many of Southern giants was testament to a long acknowledged truth of Moreton sport: size is no match for spirit.”