THREE Whitby footballers were part of the North Yorkshire Counties Schools’ FA side which secured an historic title after overcoming Roses rivals Lancashire.
Liam Beckett, Robbie Seaton and Ryan Braithwaite were all part of the squad which reached the showpiece event at Victoria Park, home of Nelson FC near Burnley.
North Yorkshire stormed to first place in the Northern East Counties League, beating Cumbria, Cleveland and Durham and drawing with Northumberland.
The top two from the North East and North West Counties League qualified for the semi-finals, where North Yorkshire then triumphed 1-0 over Cheshire to book a tantalising final berth against a strong Lancashire team.
Lancashire had beaten Cleveland in the other semi-final, and were brimming with confidence after winning the English Schools’ Football Association national trophy the previous month.
A determined and thoroughly disciplined performance, however, ensured a first-half own goal was enough for North Yorkshire to end their season in emphatic and glorious style.
It is the first time the White Rose have won the competition, after losing in the final four years ago, and Whitby-based manager Mike Mastrolonardo was proud of his side’s achievement.
He said: “The lads had an outstanding work ethic and team spirit.
“They are a credit to their families, their schools, their districts and North Yorkshire.”
Whitby Community College head of boys’ PE, Dale Corcoran, added: “These three are all excellent players but more importantly, they represent Whitby and Whitby Community College impeccably.
“Their behaviour and attitude has been spot on.”