A TEAM of veteran tennis players - including two from local clubs - have been crowned national champions.

The Northumberland Ladies’ over 70s team defeated Middlesex in a closely-contested final of the Seniors’ Inter-County Competition at Dudley in the West Midlands.

The line-up of captain Angela Appleby, Pauline Storey, Megs Rogers and Mary Corbett, proved that if at first you don’t succeed - try and try again.

For back in 2010, the quartet were defeated in the over 60s category of the same competition.

This time around it was all smiles for Mary, who plays for Stocksfield Tennis Club, and Megs, who plays at Ponteland Tennis Club, as well as the Northumberland Club in Newcastle.

Angela plays at both Jesmond and the Northumberland Club, while Pauline is a member at Boldon Lawn Tennis Club on South Tyneside.

During the summer, the foursome won Division 1B of the over 70s league, which earned them a meeting with Middlesex, the champions of Division IA.

In the final, both Northumberland pairs won their first rubbers, before Middlesex reduced the arrears to 2-1. It was down to Megs and Mary to play out the final tie break. They valiantly saved a match point at 9-8 down, before going on to win 11-9 in dramatic fashion.

It was a sweet victory for the team, who practice weekly at the Northumberland Club, alongside players from both over 60 and over 65 categories. It was an ideal way to soften the blow from almost a decade ago, when the same quartet lost to a strong Surrey team back in the 2010 final.

County player Christine Fair said: “The ladies have brought fame and delight to their clubs and the region, and we are so proud of them.”