DURHAM Sixth Form enjoyed a delightful double when Alexandra Stevenson and Matthew Watson won the gross titles at the Durham Schools’ Championship at Beamish Park.

There was also success for Seaton Carew’s Ella Jackson and Wearside’s William Girdwood in the net section, which saw Jackson claim the Under-16s girl crown too at the annual event.

For Jackson it proved the perfect reward for an enormous amount of progress in a short space of time, leading to this run of good form which saw her claim back-to-back titles in quick succession.

After winning the Durham County Schools’ Championship by a five stroke margin with a personal best 67, she then went on to win the prestigious Appleby Bowl at Darlington Golf Club.

Not content with what had happened at Beamish, Jackson won the Durham County Girls’ Stroke Play event (the Appleby) in even greater style. She turned it on after the turn to leave the rest of the field behind.

The 14-year-old, from Seaton Carew, took three more shots off her best ever round with a net 64, leaving her comfortably seven clear at the top of the leaderboard.

“It feels great to be the Durham Schools’ champion, I am winning more major things now and not just nine hole competitions like I was before,” said Ella, whose handicap has been cut again.

“Before the Schools’ competition I had never got under 90 gross. I haven’t done that much practice over the winter, that gave me a break, and my new clubs feel softer and nicer which seems to have helped.

“I am now going to competitions believing I am good at golf so I just want to keep practicing. My dad (Cliff Jackson, the Seaton professional) has helped me a lot.

“From being little, from five, six, I used to come to the junior golfer sessions, I used to have plastic clubs when I was four. I used to do gymnastics as well but over the last two years I have got involved in more competitions.”

Ella’s first main competition was the Graeme Storm Junior Open in 2016 and she has her sights set on becoming a Tour golfer, after heading to the United States for a scholarship.

She finished five shots ahead of Parkside Academy’s Emily Atkinson (72) at Beamish and a further two in front of Durham Sixth Form’s Stevenson.

But Stevenson won the best gross with a 75 to win the main girls crown, which was two shots clear of fellow Durham student Briony Bayles and Dyke House’s Amy Sutheran was third (81). Ella, despite her younger age, was fifth with 89.

The boys’ section saw Monkwearmouth Academy’s Girdwood finish three shots clear of Greenfield’s Matthew Goad to win the net title. Parkside’s Cameron Hamilton was third with a 68.

Durham Sixth Form made it a strong double in the gross when Matthew Watson carded a 71 to finish three clear of fellow Durham student John Heppell.