Bury Tchoukball Club’s youngsters reigned supreme for a second successive year in the Tchoukball UK National Youth Championships.
The club’s under-18s, Bury Dukes, and under-15s, Bury Earls, both left as national champions in their age group, with Dukes taking first place in the overall league structure.
Both sides went the day having won all of their matches, guaranteeing individual age group success, before facing off against each other for the honour of finishing top of the league.
Despite being the younger side it was the Earls who started the brightest with a stunning display of free-flowing tchoukball.
Some slick switching and shooting from trio Ethan Page, Tan Sakpreechakul and Joshan Lally caused the older Dukes players problems but eventually the experienced defending of Jordan Ward began to make the difference.
At the other end Dukes’ shooters Tilman Bensiek and Abdullah Muhammad found gaps in the previously impenetrable defence of Niamh Farrelly to ensure the younger players could not build a lead.
As nerves set in, mistakes crept into the young Earls’ game and the Dukes ran out eventual 21-16 winners.
“While the older guys in the Dukes used their experience to win, overall some of the play by the Earls was just superb,” said Bury’s head coach Ian Parker.
“Their movement was of the level you see in the national league, let alone from a squad of 14 and 15-year-olds. Earls’ centre George Bedford is still only eleven.
“All 15 players were exceptional.”