BROADSTONE Middle School girls earned praise from ex-England defender John Scales after finishing second in the English leg of the Danone Nations Cup.

The Dorset team were beaten 3-2 by Greenside Primary in the final at Stoke City's bet365 Stadium – in the world’s biggest football tournament for 10 to 12-year-olds.

Tournament ambassador Scales said: “Hats off to the team for their superb performances at the national finals. I watched several of their games including the thrilling final against Greenside.

"Unfortunately, their luck ran out in the last game but second place from more than 500 teams is an astonishing achievement."

Broadstone secured five points from a possible nine in the group stages. They overcame Ponteland in the semis before falling just short against Greenside.

Teacher Patrick McCalister said: "We're very proud of our team. They have improved so much and to reach a national final is an outstanding achievement.

"It was been an incredible experience for the team to play at a Premier League ground.

"Reaching the national finals in two consecutive years doesn’t happen very often and finishing as runners-up this year is something the school is very proud of.

"Thank you to the parents who have supported the girls throughout the past two years.”