TWO girls in Hartford School of Gymnastics colours claimed a county title at the Cheshire and Merseyside Four Piece Championships.

Katie Ridge and Philippa Meachin both outscored their rivals in an all around competition for their age and skill level.

“We had 13 girls all with smiling faces,” said head coach Michelle Oakes afterwards.

“They achieved their personal targets in what was a tough and tiring two days, but they have a total of 19 apparatus medals – and three overall – to show for their efforts.”

Katie beat clubmate Mollie Stamper-Clark to top spot at level six for 11-year-olds after posting the best score on uneven bars and for her floor routine.

She was second too on balance beam, while Mollie’s vault was rated the best on show in a category with more than 20 entries.

Hartford’s Katie Hall and Amy Buckley were second and third on vault respectively with Eleanor Ma fourth on her debut at a four piece event.

All three ranked inside the top 10 overall at Liverpool, while Emily Sutton was 13th.

Hartford gymnasts also occupied the top two steps of the podium at level six for girls aged 12 and over.

Philippa took first prize after scoring highest on three pieces of apparatus – vault, beam and floor – while Taylor Jackson finished as runner-up.

She impressed the judges on the uneven bars.

Rhea Carless claimed a bronze medal at level five for under 12s after a consistent performance that saw her rank inside the top three on all but one piece of apparatus.

Twins Ella and Rea Gaskill were fifth and sixth respectively, with Ella producing the best vault in the category.

Molly Seddon narrowly missed out on all around bronze in the level-six competition for 10-year-olds, finishing 0.3 points adrift of third-placed Keira Woods (Warrington).

Hartford’s Abbie Walker classified 10th.

Hartford were represented too by Megan Palmer, who was head judge, and Hannah Blain who assessed gymnasts for the first time at the annual event.

Oakes added: “The girls performed their hearts out, supported by a green army of family and friends.

“We saw them put the finishing touches to months of hard work in the gym, and they should be proud.”