AN all-conquering junior cricket team has won the right to compete in the regional finals of a prestigious competition.

Norton Under-13s have defied the odds by reaching the Regional Finals day of the Vitality Under-13 T-20 Trophy, staged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The finals take place on Wednesday at Neston Cricket Club in Cheshire, with Norton representing County Durham, and playing Yorkshire’s representatives, York Cricket Club, in the semi-finals.

If they win, they would play either West Bridgfordians, representing Nottinghamshire, or Macclesfield, representing Cheshire in the final.

The boys, coached by Dave Parr, have gone from strength to strength since winning the Junior Team of the Year title at The Northern Echo’s Local Heroes Awards two years ago after going through the season unbeaten as under-11s and winning their league and cup competitions.

They have again gone unbeaten in 17 matches this season, winning the NYACC League and the Durham Cup, with victories over Durham City and then Whitburn in the final.

That gave Norton the chance to play Tynemouth for a place in the Vitality Under-13 Regional Finals and they emerged victorious in a thrilling match that went down to the last two balls.

If they win on Wednesday, they will progress to the national finals at Rugby School, in Warwickshire, on August 13, with the country’s best four teams competing for glory.

Four members of the Norton team – Ankith Rangan Robbie Morrow, Ben Pattison and Kenzie Peakman – have been selected to play for Durham.

Other honours in recent seasons include winning the Gremara Cup in 2015, 2016 and 2017; and the Lowery Cup and Norman Fishpool Trophy in 2018.

To recognise their latest achievements, Norton Cricket Club’s junior sponsor, Avant Homes, has supplied the boys with new training kits.

Team manager Vicky Spencer said: “We are so proud of the boys for their amazing achievements. The key to their success is that we have strength in depth right through the team, and they are always been complemented for their sportsmanship and camaraderie. Whatever happens on Wednesday, they have been a credit to the North-East.”