KIRKBIE Kendal School’s tennis team is the best in the north of England – and that’s official.

The boys’ team travelled to Sunderland Tennis Centre for the North of England and Scotland finals of the GB schools team tennis event, putting them already in the last 16 teams in the country.

And KKS won their semi-final match against Harrogate Grammar school 6-0 with singles wins for Alfie Richardson, Tom Casey, Freddy Blaydes and Billy Blaydes, followed by the pairs of Tom and Alfie and the Blaydes brothers proving irresistible in the doubles.

But all did not go according to plan in the final against Merchiston Castle, a tennis academy from Edinburgh, as the Scots raced into a 3 -1 lead to put pressure on Billy to win his singles to keep the match alive.

In a thrilling contest, worthy of the ATP tennis finals, the match reached tie-break with both players hitting winners from the back of the court as Billy gained the upper hand to win the tie break 8 - 6.

Billy and Freddy then won their doubles game to take the final to a super match tie-break, but the Scots had the edge and won through 10 -7.

KKS finish as the best team in the north, beaten only by the Scottish academy champions who go through to the last four in Britain at their expense.