THEY are already the toast of Cheshire, but could they finish the season as the best in England?

Winsford Academy’s under 13s girls football team have set up the chance to achieve that by reaching the final of the National Cup, to be played at one of the most recognisable grounds in the country.

Next month, the Winsford team will step out at The Hawthorns – home of West Bromwich Albion FC – to take on Shenfield High School of Essex for the right to be called national champions after a superb run to the final.

That was capped on Wednesday by a memorable 2-1 win over Newcastle side St Joseph’s in the semi-finals – a game in which they came from behind.

An early goal meant St Joseph’s hit the front after just five minutes, but Winsford struck back just two minutes later as Esme Entwistle equalised.

The Winsford defence then stayed resilient in the face of pressure and when St Joseph’s did get through, they found goalkeeper Eris Davies in superb form.

Then at the other end, the goal that proved decisive followed as Ella Hopley struck to give Winsford the lead.

Both sides had chances in the second half, but the Davies and the Winsford defence were in no mood to be beaten, with Faye Yarwood, Ruby Williams and Ella-Louise Clarke impressing in what was a superb team display.

That came just a week after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Great Sankey High School, which allowed them to claim the Cheshire Cup.

Again, they had to come from behind but this time, they had to do so twice – Esme Entwistle’s superb goal cancelled out an early opener, but the Warrington school soon hit back to take a 2-1 lead.

Entwistle again was on hand to level and as the clock ticked down, it looked as though the game was destined for penalties.

However, skipper Ella Hopley found the crucial winning goal and despite Great Sankey’s attempts to respond, the team held out for victory.

Squad: Ella Clarke, Ella Hopley, Esme Entwistle, Lola Noden, Lyla Thomas, Faye Yarwood, Summer Jones-White, Ruby Williams, Lily Rogers, Eris Davies, Lexie Brookes, Ellie-May Cain, Kia Latham, Amber Griffin

Northwich Guardian: The team lifts the Cheshire Cup after beating Great Sankey High SchoolThe team lifts the Cheshire Cup after beating Great Sankey High School (Image: Contributed)