A WORCESTER school has finished runner-up in the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) National Under 11 finals at Repton School in Derbyshire.

The team from Royal Grammar School The Grange started the tournament in disappointing fashion, with a 1-0 defeat to Clifton Prep School.

But the side’s battling qualities showed as they followed up with three victories against South Lee (Bury St Edmunds), Witham Hall (Lincolnshire) and Twyford School (Winchester), without conceding any goals, to finish second in their group.

In the quarter-finals, The Grange came up against the previous year’s champions, Danes Hill from Surrey.

A tremendous defensive performance was franked by a goal five minutes from time from Lottie Atkinson to secure a 1-0 win.

The girls played local rivals Warwick Prep School in the semi-final. Goalkeeper Jess Biddle continued her good form, producing one breath-taking save.

With the clock ticking down, a Lucy Hawkes strike deflected in for a 1-0 lead and a place in the final against Junior King’s Canterbury.

The Grange started the final on the back foot, conceding an early goal.

Despite a huge effort, RGS could not peg it back and so suffered a single-goal defeat. “I was incredibly proud standing on the touchline,” said Gareth Hughes, head of The Grange. “This caps a superb season for the team, winning three tournaments, including the IAPS regional final.

“We can rightly call them one of the best teams in the whole country.”