PROVIDING football for youngsters in a fun and warm environment, a winter tournament held by the Herefordshire Junior League saw 50 teams competing at Point4 in Hereford.

The winter football programme for under-eight and under-nine age groups has proved highly popular over the past two months.

Ken Hooper, Junior League Treasurer, introduced the programme six years ago.

He said: "The initial inspiration came to me watching an under-eights game in freezing rain.

"I'm all for playing outdoors on grass but it was clear at certain times of the year it ceases to be fun. So now from January to March we hold all day football indoors and with seating for parents for the under eights on Saturdays and under nines on Sundays.

"With the exception of one day which fell victim to storm Dennis we've managed to provide football for a lot of youngsters who would otherwise have been stuck at home during the rainy season."

Mr Hooper also paid tribute to the small band of referees who helped throughout the eight weeks.

On the final Saturday of the programme a special 'Young Referee of the Programme' award was presented to Jacob Morgan for his outstanding performance.

In the under-eight category Leominster Town won the green group, with Leominster Colts finishing in second place.

In the orange group Orleton Orange took the top spot with Westfields Wolves taking second spot.

Meanwhile, in the under-nine age category the Secretaries Cup was won by Bromyard Bulls with Lads Club in second place

The red group Chairman's Cup was won by Ross Juniors with Leominster Town in second place

In the orange group the President's Cup went to Bartestree FC with their stablemates in second place and Lads Club wining the Sportsmanship Cup.

The green group was decided in the final match with Ledbury Swifts Rovers and Athletics competing for the Treasurers Cup.

With nothing to separate the sides the Athletics just edged out a 2-1 win.