YOUNG netball stars from the district have become Northumberland county champions.

The U13 team from Prudhoe's Highfield Middle School defeated Blyth's Bede Academy16-6 in the grand final to win the prestigious title.

It is the first time a Highfield Middle School side has been victorious in the competition, in which they compete against bigger schools from across Northumberland.

And it was the fitting culmination of a long season for the Highfield girls, who had to win their local league to reach the county finals, which took place at Bede Academy.

Highfield faced a tough semi-final against Morpeth's Chantry Middle School, but they ran out 12-6 winners, to set up the grand final against Bede.

PE teacher June Lomax said: "The girls have worked really hard at their netball, and we have seen massive improvements both individually and as a team.

"They are absolutely over the moon with what they have achieved, and we are very proud of them.

"These were difficult matches against a very good standard of opposition, yet they have risen to the various challenges they faced throughout the season and at the finals.

Netball is popular at Highfield Middle, and youngsters in Years 5, 6, and 7, are also beginning to emerge as promising players.