TWO young golfers from the district have led Northumberland to victory at the North of England Schools Girls Championship for the first time in more than 30 years.

Zara Naughton, of Ponteland Middle School, and Lois Blythe, of Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, were joined by Cramlington’s Rachel Gourley for the competition at Denton Golf Club in Manchester.

The girls started their campaign in fine form with Zara leading the field after 18 holes, shooting a level par round.

Zara was closely followed by team-mate Rachel in second place shooting one over par. The quality of the girls’ golf continued throughout the 18 holes in the afternoon.

Zara came first in the individual tournament and was crowned North of England champion, while Rachel came third.

Their aggregate score saw the team win the championship, beating the girls’ team from Durham by 12 shots. The win marked the first time since 1986 that Northumberland Girls have lifted the trophy.

The district was also well represented in the boys’ team, with Cameron Thoburn from Ponteland High School, QEHS’s Junior Dobson and Angus Buchanan and Alex Heppell, of Haydon Bridge High School, all selected alongside Tynemouth’s Freddie McKenna.

They performed well in a hugely competitive tournament, with Heppell finishing in seventh and being selected to represent the North at the national finals.

Zara, Rachel and Alex now advance to the National Schools Final, which will be held at Sherwood Forest Golf Club, Nottingham, later this month.