Saturday 30th of January marked a first for Aston Fields Middle school and for the pupils that make up their lacrosse team. The team took on a major step in their lacrosse programme, playing a ‘proper’ lacrosse match against Cheltenham Ladies College.

The lacrosse programme at Aston fields Middle school, is part of a development programme in the Worcestershire area, the school based in Bromsgrove welcomed the new sport which grew from some taster sessions, to a block of school sessions now running as a well-attended after-school club. With support from English Lacrosse, the county sports partnership, local area coach Andy Kilmister and Ryan Molesworth from the school, Aston Fields have truly embraced lacrosse and this shows in their enthusiasm at every training session and their entry to the 2016 Rathbones National Schools Lacrosse Championships.

The school’s first taste of competition came in the form of the 2015 West Midlands regional POP competition, facing a number of experienced POP lacrosse sides. A strong showing meant they finished up in third place overall which was a great achievement for players that had only picked up a stick a couple of months before.

Taking the bold step to enter national schools with support of tournament sponsors Rathbones, has enthused the players further and with this in mind they have upped their training. In preparation, Cheltenham Ladies College kindly offered to host the team for a friendly match as well as the opportunity to watch their senior teams in action.

The team were welcomed by CLC head of lacrosse Ceri Tamplin who gave the girls some words of WP_20160130_14_05_50_Proencouragement before they were escorted to the lacrosse pitches for a warm up. The first minutes of the game was frantic with both teams fighting to pick up the ground balls but as the game settled the CLC players were able to control more of the ball possession. After a half-time chat and a new game plan, Aston field came out of the blocks and were able to make more progress in the second half with more possession and some good midfield play.

The game gave an opportunity for the Aston Field players to see where they need to improve while playing against a good CLC team. The players enjoyed their match and after some post-match food provided by CLC watched the seniors play in a thrilling match.

For a school that does not usually have weekend fixtures it was the opportunity to play in this fixture which meant the girls put in the extra effort, as well as playing in a game, new friendships were made. With the days counting down to nationals, Aston Fields Middle School will be practicing hard and looking forward to competing at such a great tournament.

Thanks to Ceri Tamplin & Cheltenham Ladies College for Hosting and Ryan Molesworth for taking the team.