VOLLEYBALL has become a firm favourite on the sporting calendar in schools across Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.

While tournaments don’t lead to county qualifications, the exciting sport has become increasingly popular since it was introduced a few years ago.

Some schools have now introduced it to their curriculum with pupils studying it as part of the GCSEs.

This year’s competition was held at Norden High School with secondary schools across both boroughs taking part in boys and girls tournaments.

The girls event was a round robin format with all teams playing each other in a mini league.

And it could not have been closer at the top with Mount Carmel and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School finishing with the same records with Mount Carmel crowned eventual champions on account of scoring more points.

St Augustine’s finished in third place in a competition that also included teams from Accrington Academy and host school Norden. The boys event saw teams split in to two groups with Clitheroe Grammar and St Augustine’s topping their respective groups with Hollins and Accrington Academy also reaching the semi finals as group runners-up.

In the first semi final, Hollins beat CRGS while St Augustine’s got the better of Accrington Academy.

The final itself was the closest game of the day and there was a dramatic ended as the scores were level after the clock had run down – so it was St Augustine’s who were crowned champions after winning the deciding point. Hollins were runners-up with CRGS in third place.

Jane Sheridan, School Games Organiser, said: “Since volleyball was introduced a few years ago, it has become very popular with the pupils.

“It is an exciting and fast game to play and watch and while it is something of a one-off sport as it doesn’t serve a qualifier for the Lancashire School Games, the standard of play is improving every year.”

There is plenty of sporting action across the two boroughs in the coming weeks with Clitheroe Rugby Club hosting the Ribble Valley Primary Schools tag rug on March 1.

Hyndburn schools tag rugby takes place at Hollins High School on March 5.

The Hyndburn and Ribble Valley under 16s table tennis competition will be held at Bowland High School on March 7.

Hyndburn Sports Centre and Accrington Academy will host a cluster schools multiskills event on March 11 with the secondary schools gymnastics competition being held at Stonyhurst College the following day.