THE Castle School girls' under-13 cricket team have been crowned regional champions in the Lady Taverners competition and will now progress to Lord's to compete in the national finals.

They were crowned county champions after winning against Millfield Prep to book their place at the Ageas Rose Bowl, home of Hampshire CCC.

The Castle team joined seven other teams, which included the county winners from the following regions, Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, South Wales and Isle of Wight.

Castle were drawn against Hampshire, Cornwall and Dorset, with the top two teams in each pool qualifying for the semi-finals.

The girls did not play well in the first game and lost to Churcher's College (Hampshire) in a close match.

They then had two convincing wins against teams from Dorset and Cornwall, which enabled them to qualify as runners-up in their group for the semi-finals.

In the semi final they played a confident and, unbeaten on the day, South Dartmoor.

The girls bowled beautifully with precision and control and bowled them out for 11 runs.

They chased it down with ease to progress to the Regional final.

At this point, the girls' confidence was growing and they were peaking in the competition.

The team they had to play in the finals was the team that they lost against in the first game, Churcher's College.

In the final Castle set a competitive score of 81 in eight overs.

More fantastic bowling and fielding ensured that Churcher's were never up with the run rate and Castle won by 30 runs to be crowned regional champions.

After the presentation ceremony, they had photos taken on the Ageas Rose Bowl outfield with former England captain Charlotte Edwards, who was very complimentary of the quality of cricket shown on the day.

Special thanks go to Mrs Hughes for coaching on the day and to Taunton Deane CC, where all the girls are cricketing members.

The next step is Lord's and if the girls play near to their potential, they have every chance of doing very well.

Regardless of the result, it will be an incredible experience for them all.