HALE Primary School won the Danone Nations Cup in the small schools competition held at the Ricoh Arena the home of Coventry City.

This was after they beat Loyola Prep from Essex after a thrilling penalty shoot-out.

This was after Sam Murray scored a dramatic late equaliser to send the game into extra time.

The journey to national success began back in September in Southampton where they won a tournament to become the representatives for Hampshire.

This took the team to Bristol for the regional finals in April where they were once again successful coming runners up and going forward to represent the South West at the national competition.

The Hale team is made up of nine children from years five and six, George Cheetham, Sam Murray, Charlie Coles, Florry Siderfin, Elystan Josty, Ollie McGowan, Barnaby Oxley-Thorne, Howie Cole and Tommy Budworth.

The children voted their team manager for this event as Ollie McGowan who did a fantastic job in this role.

The team is managed jointly by Rachel Rees and Chris Coles.

Hale school is on the edge of the New Forest right on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border usually the smallest small school at these events, as there are only 31 children in years five and six.

The children don't have a playing field with a football pitch like most schools but instead use the village green, along with the ponies and cattle.

Joint manager Rees said: "It has been an honour to accompany this team during the course of our journey to become the National Small Schools Champions. They are a wonderful group of children who have shown enormous courage and perseverance throughout the last 8 months leading up to the final. Their conduct on and off the pitch is faultless, I can always depend on them to make the right decision. I am so proud of the children and would like to thank them and their parents and also Chris Coles who co managed the team."

Head of school Alice Tubbs said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the team and very well deserved! The children have shown sheer determination and team spirit throughout. We are very proud of their sportsmanship and gratitude. I’m sure this is a memory they will cherish."

The final's day started with three group games, Hale drew 0-0 with Loyola, beat Condover Primary School 1-0 as Howie Cole scored the winner.

Their final group game saw another 0-0 draw with Lanchester All Saints RC Primary School.

This gave them five points, enough to book a semi-final place and they beat Charmouth thanks to a goal from captain Ollie McGowan.