Newport Cricket Club’s Sophia Smale was this season’s breakout star in the Women’s Hundred competition and is eager to create a legacy for other girls to get into the game.

Two years ago, Smale was collecting a trophy at the club’s annual Junior Presentation Evening, this year the 17-year-old was presenting the awards to girls who aspire to follow in her footsteps.

Having played in Newport Cricket Club’s Junior (Boys and Girls) teams since the age of seven, she has fond memories of those early days, vividly remembering her first match for the club, when she played her first hard-ball game, and got a hat-trick.

Smale has since played in all of the club’s age group teams (boys and girls) and, when the time has allowed, she’s also played men's cricket for Newport and is a key figure in the Newport Women’s team.

Sophia credits the club’s girls' setup with her early progression, captaining the under-12s by the age of 10 and played for Newport’s Junior teams (Boys & Girls) starring at the Lady Taverners UK U13 Cup Finals Day in 2017.

Although the Newport U13 Girls team finished third, Sophia was presented with the player of the tournament award by her hero Sophie Ecclestone (England’s left arm spin bowler).

A very confident, athletic and competitive cricketer, she is the granddaughter of Malcolm Price, one of the club’s coaches in the 1960s, 70s and 80s who was responsible for the development of some of the best young players at that time.

Smale started the 2022 season with hopes of breaking into the Western Storm regional team after having impressed in the academy.

She was promoted to the Western Storm senior squad in May 2022, making her debut against Sunrisers in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

She signed for Oval Invincibles for the 2022 season of The Hundred as a late injury replacement player.

Australian star Alyssa Healy was her first Hundred wicket and she followed up by taking the scalps of other top international players Danni Wyatt, Tahlia McGrath, Bryony Smith, Sophie Devine, Emma Lamb.

In the final she dismissed Indian superstar Smriti Mandhana as Oval Invincibles recorded a five-wicket win against Southern Brave.

To cap a fantastic 2022, Smale has been selected in the England team for the U19 World Cup in South Africa in January.

Newport head coach Mike Knight said: “Sophia has been an excellent role model for the younger girls in the club and deserves every bit of her success as she’s worked so hard at her game from a very young age.

“Hopefully, she’ll provide the inspiration for some of the club’s other very talented girls to follow in her footsteps.”

Smale presented Welsh caps to some of the club's talented young cricketers at the junior presentation evening and presented Knight with an Oval Invincibles shirt autographed by the winning squad for the club's museum.

Newport Cricket Club are looking to create a new U11 girls section during the winter, with girls only training sessions held on Friday evenings in the Indoor Tennis Centre at Newport International Sports Village starting in November.

Any girls interested in learning to play Cricket should contact Knight on or 07793823294.