A Rossendale high school football team are celebrating being crowned Lancashire Champions after their sweeping win in the county final.

Haslingden High School Under 14s team played against Leyland’s Balshaw High School’s team at Darwen Football Club, and won with a final score of 7-2 on May 25.

Haslingden PE teacher and football coach Nikki Berko said: “They are a phenomenal team and next year we want to go one better and win both the Lancashire and England titles.

“There were 11 in the team and five substitutes and on the day every single member of the squad got to play in the match, so the win was a real team effort and everyone played their part.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Haslingden High School in Rossendale Haslingden High School in Rossendale

Their success comes just weeks after a close penalty shootout defeat, unfortunately costing them a semi-final place in the English Schools’ Football Association Under 14s PlayStation Schools’ Cup.

Centre midfielder and team captain, Ocean Flanagan, 13, who also plays for Bury, said: “Within the first two minutes Hattie Simpson had scored a header from a corner and by half-time we were 6-0 up.”

In the first half Hattie scored a hat-trick while Daisy Botham, Darcie Dixon and Ocean also scored a goal each.

Ocean said: “As soon as we scored, we had much more confidence, and it was the best we had ever played.”

By half-time, the mood among the team was ecstatic. Although Balshaw pulled a goal back about ten minutes before the end of the game, Senaiya Knill went on to score a seventh for Haslingden. Balshaw then added a further consolation in the dying minutes landing a final score of 7-2.

Parents watching the squad mentioned the team spirit and togetherness among the Haslingden girls, stating it was a good clean match and they were a very respectful team.

Central midfielder and hat-trick hero Hattie, 14, who also plays for Bury and Rochdale, said: “We always give the other team three cheers whether we have won or lost.”

Goalkeeper Holly Thomas, 14, also plays for Blackburn and is hoping to make her career in football coaching.

Many of the U14s team represent the school in the U15s team which also made it through to the quarter-finals of the English School’s Football Association Cup.

The high school has become a lot more active in the sport. Coach Berko added: “I don’t think we have ever had a team playing so many games of football before.

“They played seven matches in the U15s in the English Cup, another seven in the U14s English Cup and then five rounds in the Lancashire Cup.”