Young footballers had a night to remember as they proved themselves as the best in the town in front of thousands of fans.
Pupils from Eskdale Academy beat their counterparts from schools across the town in a penalty shoot-out competition at Victoria Park.
Considering we’re a small school, it’s phenomenal for the childrenElizabeth Killeen
However, far from being nervous, the children rose to the occasion, making it to the final, where they defeated Lynnfield Primary School in sudden death.
The youngsters – from the school’s Year 4, 5 and 6 groups – were led by head coach Graham Tregear, and retained a title Eskdale had won a year earlier.
Elizabeth Killeen, headteacher at the school, in Eskdale Road, Hartlepool, said: “This is another great achievement for the school.
“I am so proud of each and every one of them, and they are a credit to the school. A huge thank you must go to Mr Tregear.
“We take part in the competition every year, as do all of the schools in Hartlepool, and it’s fantastic that our pupils have managed to win it again.
“Our sport is excelling at the moment.
“We won the basketball back-to-back regionally as well, so for the football team to do it too is a brilliant achievement.
“Considering we’re a small school, it’s phenomenal for the children.”
The contest was held at half-time of Pools’ late-season defeat to Accrington Stanley in front of almost 3,500 supporters.
The children were treated like heroes on their return to the school, and were even given a special treat by Ms Killeen.
She added: “We had a huge assembly and got them some trophies. We made a huge deal of it.
“I also took them to Pizza Hut for a treat.
“They absolutely loved being on the pitch at Victoria Park.
“Being watched by such a big crowd could have been daunting, but they didn’t show that at all and just showed how good they are.
“We’ve won it two years running now, so it would be great for us to keep this momentum up.”