IT was a case of if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again for the St Francis Primary School who left their best until last.

After several near misses throughout the year, St Francis finally lifted some silverware in the last event in the Blackburn and Darwen schools sporting calendar.

The Cherry Tree Lane school has a proud tradition of producing sporting champions but, by their own high standards, it has been something of a barren season.

But if they could rely on one sport then rounders it was as the super Saints successfully defended the title they won last year.

“Rounders is a sport the boys and girls particularly enjoy and they seem to be pretty good at it,” said coach Simon Wooton. “We won the competition for the first time last year and we worked very hard to achieve what we did.

“This year, we didn’t do as much practice but I think what we learnt last year stuck and the team, which was made up of Year Six pupils, did superbly well to win it again.”

St Francis have had several impressive performances this year but haven’t quite managed to lift the silverware having impressed in the Blackburn and Darwen swimming gala, athletics and football.

“We’ve done well and reached finals day but have just fallen short in a number of events,” added Wooton who guided the school’s football team to Jubilee Shield success a few years ago.

“So it was nice to round off the year by winning the final event.”

A total of eight schools took part in the competition that was held at St Bede’s High School.

The teams, made up of boys and girls from year five and year six, were split in to two groups and played each other in a round robin format.

The top two two in each progressed to the next stage with runners-up playing each other for the third and fourth placed play-off while group winners battle it out for the overall Blackburn and Darwen title.

St Gabriel’s and Feniscowles played each other to determine who finished in third place and it was the latter who came out on top.

The final itself was a tight affair with plenty of quality batting, bowling and fielding on display.

But in, the end it was St Francis who came out on top defeating a talented Audley side by three-and-a-half rounders to three rounders.

Andrew Mercer, school games organiser for Blackburn and Darwen, was delighted to bring the curtain down on another successful sporting year for schools across the borough.

Young leaders from St Bede’s did a terrific job officiating and scoring the games

“This was the last borough competition of what has been a very busy academic year, not just in primary school but secondary school sports competitions as well.

“But it has been very successful and we have a lot of talent in our schools across the borough. But just as importantly, it was great to see so many youngsters competing in and enjoying a wide range of different sports. Young Leaders at every secondary school have played their part in that success and that was the case again at St Bede’s who helped run the event.

“We look forward to starting all over again in September.”