SIR John Barrow School came out on top in the first girls football tournament to be held at Better, Ulverston Leisure Centre.

The victors were among seven schools to send teams to the competition, with dozens of Year 3 to 6 pupils pulling on their trainers to take part.

SJB saw off the challenge of two Croftlands Junior teams – one of whom finished as runners-up in the round-robin league format – with other schools to take part being Low Furness, Coniston, Broughton, Pennington and Penny Bridge.

Games were played on the leisure centre 3G pitch, with two seven-minute matches being played at once, each on one half of the field and watched by teachers, supporters and parents.

Organiser Hannah Paling, from Better, Ulverston Leisure Centre, was thrilled with the success of the venture, with plans already in place for further competitions.

She said: “We had a few schools who travelled through, from Coniston and Broughton, and it was good that they travelled through to Ulverston.

“It was about getting them all down there for the first girls tournament we have run. There are usually just tournaments for the boys, where some schools can bring one or two girls, but this was the first time where we had just girls.

“They loved it. Some girls can feel intimidated when they come and play with the boys, but they were a lot more comfortable with just girls, having a good time.

“The experience of taking part will have been good for them, and it's always exciting taking part in a tournament.

“The teachers were all thankful we put it on, because it was the first time we have run for just for the girls.”

She added: “We've said we will hold another one in the summer.

“We didn't want to say with this one that it was only for Year 3 and 4 or 5 and 6, because some schools might struggle to get teams and we would only have one pitch for each age group and teams wouldn't be able to play as many games.

“We will probably keep it the same way for next time.”

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