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Western Storm Exeter graduates

Exeter alumnae represented in the Western Storm squad (left to right: Freya Davies, Amara Carr, Rebecca Silk and Lissy Macleod)

Storming success-Western Storm take their 2nd Kia Super League title in league finale

Formed with a unique consortium approach when University of Exeter, Somerset County Cricket Club and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club joined to secure the hosting rights for Western Storm 4 years ago, they have become the most successful team in the leagues history when winning the Kia Super League title for the second time in 2019.

Western Storm had the near perfect 2019 season finishing top of the league and securing a guaranteed spot to fight for the title on finals day, only losing the final game of the group stages.  In the final itself they were able to chase down 173 with an over to spare in what was a Kia Super League final record. Heather Knight finished on 73 and was well supported by Deepti Sharmi as they shared an unbroken stand of 71 from 33 balls. In the final year of the Kia Super League Western Storm finished as the most successful side having qualified for finals day every year and winning two league titles.

Each year Western Storm have University of Exeter Sport as their training home, staying in University accommodation and utilising the cricket pitches at Topsham, the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Indoor Cricket Centre, Russell Seal Fitness Centre and the Athlete Development Centre (ADC) for their training requirements. Ocean Physio have provided training and match day physio cover for Western Storm across the Kia Superleague competition period each year and University of Exeter has also supported the Strength and Conditioning (S&C) and junior development programme with members of our S&C team and S&C placement students. The University of Exeter has also enjoyed hosting the “Little Stormer camps” and welcoming young children from across the region, some of whom were having their first taste of cricket to the Sports Park.

A number of University of Exeter alumnae have been represented in the Western Storm squad over the years including Freya Davies (LLB Law 2014-2017), Lissy Macleod (BA Philosophy 2013-2016), Rebecca Silk (BA English and Spanish 2014-2018) and Amara Carr (BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences 2013-2016). All of these former Exeter students have been members of the University of Exeter Ladies Cricket Club, Performance Programme and Sports Scholarship Scheme, contributing to a number of fantastic BUCS performances, including indoor BUCS gold and outdoor BUCS silver.  2019 was a significant year for Freya Davies who gained her first full central contract with England Cricket and made her senior England debut against Sri Lanka in the first T20I in March. She also played a huge role in Western Storm’s winning Super League 2019 season, taking the most wickets in the league of any bowler, finishing on a total of 19 wickets across the competition.

Reflecting on the Western Storm franchise and the progress they have made Head Coach Trevor Griffin commented “To think what’s been achieved in the last four years is incredible. Four and a half years ago we didn’t even have any players let alone an infrastructure. The brand that has been created is something very special. There are so many people who have been involved in making Western Storm what it is today and I can’t thank them enough. What we’ve been able to create with Western Storm is really exciting and it’s something that each and every one of us should be really proud of. I think this is just the start for the women’s game, and what’s been planned for the future is very exciting.”

Director of Sport Alison Davidson added “We have thoroughly enjoyed our time as part of Western Storm and it has been really special to see some of our former Sports Scholars performing so well in the squad over the past 4 seasons. We are always looking to take the opportunity to be involved with NGB performance pathways and associated franchises to strengthen our performance programme here at Exeter and Western Storm has been a good example of that”.

Cricket is supported as part of the University of Exeter Performance Programme and led by Head of Student Cricket Ruan Louw. Last year the Men’s 1st team secured promotion to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Premier league for the 2019-2020 season and the Women’s 1st team took BUCS Indoor Silver. Both sides will be looking to continue with their success in both the league and cup competitions for the upcoming season.

Date: 13 September 2019