BRAMHOPE'S Shayan Siraj led the North East to its first School Games gold medal since in eight years as he suffered just one defeat in the event's table tennis tournament last week.

The 16-year-old was part of a four-man team who faced four English regions, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, on a round-robin basis over three days.

Three of the first four ties, which consisted of four singles matches and one doubles, finished 5-0 in favour of Siraj's team, as they disposed of Northern Ireland, the North West and the Midlands with ease.

A 3-2 loss to Wales meant they trailed Scotland, the South East and the South West at the end of the first day.

But they defeated all three to win the competition - Siraj clinching the win as he and teammate Josh Weatherby beat the South East in the doubles in their final tie.

Siraj would lose his unbeaten record in that fixture, falling 3-2 to George Hazell in a thrilling match, but the teenager was pleased nonetheless with victory for his team.

“The last match, I maybe took it too easy because I knew we’d already won," he said.

"I still didn’t want to lose – but he played well, to be fair.

"Scotland was the crucial match, that's what gave us the energy and confidence to win on the last day," Siraj added.

“We knew it would be difficult but we managed to come through."

It's the first gold for the region since the girls’ team - also on the podium last week, scooping silver behind the South East - won in 2009.