Arsenal girls claim schools trophy

A last-gasp strike by Stoke Newington School’s Paige Bailey-Gayle gave Arsenal schoolgirls a victory in the Under-13 Premier League Schools Tournament Finals at Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane on Thursday afternoon.

The girls had made it through their group on goal difference, defeating Hull City 3-1 in the semi-finals to set up a final against Everton.

The Gunners came out 2-1 winners over the Toffees, thanks to a brace from Bailey-Gayle, which included a powerful free-kick.

"I didn't think the free-kick went in, I thought it hit the side netting, but when the players reacted then I knew," said Bailey-Gayle, 13, who played for Stoke Newington at Etihad Stadium last year.

"It is a great feeling to win it. We won it because of team spirit. We wanted to win it a lot more and we knew what it would mean, especially to win here because most of us are Arsenal fans."

Premier League referees took charge of the Schools Tournament matches, with the teams coming out onto the pitch at White Hart Lane tunnel to the Premier League anthem.

Over the last few months, the 20 Premier League clubs have ran their own Schools Tournament competitions to determine who would represent them at White Hart Lane. In total 1,518 schools and 12,144 players took part in qualifying.

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