IT was a battle of the Saints in the final of the Blackburn and Darwen High 5s Netball competition with St Paul’s Feniscowles emerging triumphant.

The popular mixed team event was held at St Bede’s High School where 10 teams battled it out for the right to represent the borough at the Lancashire School Games.

And when they were whittled down to the final two, it was St Pauls Feniscowles who booked a trip to Blackpool following an impressive 5-0 win over St Gabriel’s.

The talented 10 - Lower Darwen, Longshaw, St Gabriels, St Pauls Hoddlesden, Turton & Edgworth, St Paul’s RC, St James Lower Darwen, St Francis, Shadsworth and St Barnabas’ Darwen - reach finals day having come through two qualifying rounds that had included a total of 27 schools.

Teams were split into two groups and played each other in a round robin format over four courts. The top two teams from each group then progressed to the semi-finals.

In Group A, St Gabriels won all four games to top the table with Turton & Edgworth - with three wins out of four - also progressing to the semi-finals.

The group also included Lower Darwen and Longshaw.

St Pauls Feniscowles topped Group B with St Francis in second place while St Paul’s Hoddlesden and St James Lower Darwen missed out on a place in the last four.

In the semi finals, St Gabriels took on St Francis while Turton and Edgworth faced St Paul’s Feniscowles in what turned out to be two very competitive games.

The losing semi finalists, St Francis and Turton and Edgworth played each other in the third/fourth place play-off and it was the Saints who took the bronze medals thanks to a 2-1 victory.

And it was St Paul’s Feniscowles who struck gold to claim the 2019 Blackburn and Darwen High 5 Netball title after their 5-0 win over St Gabriels.

The Saints will now represent the borough at the School Games that will be held in Blackpool on July 2.

“I wish St Gabriel’s the best of luck and I’m sure they will do themselves, their school and the borough proud,” said School Games Organiser Andrew Mercer.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the Young Leaders and staff from St Wilfrid’s and St Bede’s for their support in running and officiating this competition over three weeks.”

* The SPAR Lancashire School Games are sponsored by Lancashire business, James Hall & Co - SPAR UK’s wholesaler and distributor for the North of England - who are based in Preston. This will be the thirteenth year that James Hall & Co have sponsored the SPAR Lancashire School Games and the company is delighted to be continuing the partnership.

Peter Dodding, sales and marketing director at James Hall & Co said: “We are thrilled to be able to continue our support for the SPAR Lancashire School Games and to help to promote healthy, active lifestyles throughout the county alongside our partners Active Lancashire and the Lancashire school games organisers. Last year the games reached over 94,000 Lancashire school children – an amazing achievement and one we can’t wait to repeat in 2019.”