TYLDESLEY’S Emmie-Rose Eastwood and Stephanie Whittaker from Astley were part of England under 18’s gold medal-winning water polo squad.

The pair of 17-year-olds were part of the England side who won the EU Nations U18’s Trophy for the first time in the tournament held in the Czech Republic.

They topped their group by beating Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany before comfortably defeating South Africa 12-7 - 4-0, 2-2, 2-1, 4-4 - in the final in Prague.

Champions England played five, won five and dominated this tournament from day one, firing in an incredible 105 goals and conceding only 14!

Both Eastwood and Whittaker began their Water Polo journey playing for Tyldesley Water Polo Club from an early age before moving on to the City of Manchester Team.

They are now working hard to compete in the European Championships in Serbia in August

Eastwood said: “We went into the tournament knowing that we had a good chance of placing, however, to beat the South Africans in the final was amazing.”

Whittaker added: “The squad performed exceptionally and with all the hard work we have put in over the last 3 years, this is setting us up to compete in the European Championships in Serbia in August.”

The prestigious European tournament attracts two non-EU countries every time it is held in order to keep an eye on how the other nations are doing.

This year Israel and South Africa were invited to take part.