Northern champions

Zara Naughton, Rachel Gourley and Lois Blythe teamed up to win the Team Championship at the North of England Final for the National Schools Golf Championships, as Zara won the girls’ individual title.

Zara (Ponteland Middle School) led the field at Denton Golf Club, Manchester with rounds of 73 and 77 as Rachel (Cramlington Learning Village) finished third overall.

In the team event, Zara, Rachel and Lois (Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham) topped the leaderboard – finishing 12 shots ahead of the Durham team.

The win was Northumberland’s first in the event since 1986 and saw them finish ahead of teams from Durham, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire.

A total of eight golfers from Northumberland competed in the event with five boys in the team – Freddie McKenna (Kings Priory, Tynemouth), Cameron Thoburn (Ponteland High School), Junior Dobson and Angus Buchanan (Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham) and Alex Heppell (Haydon Bridge High School). Alex produced the best golf among the boys, finishing in seventh place and being selected to represent The North at the national finals as Yorkshire’s Oliver Caton lifted the boys trophy.

Zara, Rachel and Alex now advance to the National Schools Final, which will be held at Sherwood Forest Golf Club, Nottingham. Durham’s Alexandra Stevenson, Will Skipp and Duran Gun will also compete in the national finals.