Valley Gardens to represent region after cup victories

VALLEY Gardens Middle School is to represent the North of England in a national under-11 seven-a side football competition this weekend after an amazing run of cup victories.

The Whitley Bay team won the English Schools’ Football Association’s (ESFA) Northumberland tournament for the first time in their history in February this year.

But then went one better in the ESFA’s North of England tournament by securing a place in the prestigious national finals.

The tournament took place at Newcastle United’s Academy in Benton where the Valley Gardens youngsters were carrying the flag for the whole of Northumberland.

The boys had a fantastic run of games against the cream of under-11 teams from schools across the North of England including Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Durham, Cleveland and Cumbria, and went through the whole tournament without conceding a single goal.

Two wins and two draws were enough to secure a winner-takes-all clash against Warrington’s strongly-fancied Barrow Hall Primary School in the deciding game.

The Valley Gardens boys saved their best till last to despatch the Cheshire side with a stunning 3-0 victory and book their place in the national finals on May 19.

School teacher Mr Roys said: “Valley Gardens has been fortunate enough to be represented by some excellent sides in the past, but not one of them has done this well in this competition.

“The final is a reward for all the boys’ hard work and I’m sure they will do themselves and Northumberland proud.”

The Valley Gardens youngsters will now head for Watford for the finals on Saturday where they will take on teams from across England in the ESFA Tesco Under-11 seven-a-side national finals.