The U15s girls handball team will be tackling the game at a national level next, after their latest win crowned them South West champions.

Kingsley School’s handball team are celebrating returning home as the South West Handball Champions.

The U15 girls qualified for the championships in September 2016, with the competition getting tougher each year.

On Wednesday, they travelled to Paignton to do battle for the champions’ spot.

First they had to get out of the group stage – with each game a straight 17 minutes, they spent the time absorbing pressure for the first two minutes, but coming to life after that.

Simon Mathers, head of boys’ sport at Kingsley School, said: “We literally went from 2-2 and struggling, to relaxing and taking teams to pieces.

“The results were 8-3, 10-3 and 8-3 to qualify for the final.”

They took on group-winners Stroud after only 20 minutes to rest – with the opposition enjoying an hour to recuperate.

Captain Alice Beresford said they knew from the start it would be a hard game, but some early scores and crucial saves helped them to a 4-3 score at half time.

“We carried on showing them our potential with Poppy Goaman and Jazz Stapleton helping us get to a 6-4 lead, with a real team effort and Ruby being on the end of them slotting them in one after the other,” said Alice.

“We then went to 6-6 after some mishaps; there was a lot of pressure on the girls considering we had been ahead the whole time.

“With 40 seconds remaining Megan did what she does best by getting us a penalty.”

Mr Mathers added: “An age passes and finally, the referee awards the penalty.

“14 seconds and Alice has the pressure to score against the England keeper to put us nearer to the win.

“The huge crowd, that had been screaming so loudly before, fell silent; I could almost feel poor Alice’s heart beat as she picked up the ball.

“The whistle goes and she smashes it into the bottom corner leaving the keeper no chance.

“One last attack from Stroud and - miss.”

Kingsley came away with a 7-6 win on the final whistle, and will be playing in the nationals on June 10.