A GROUP of young athletes showed they are a force to be reckoned with as they were crowned champions of a national championship this month.

With national championships taking place at the Bench Buddy Arena in Rotherham on Sunday, July 2, the youngest team of Atherton's Devils Inline Hockey Club took on teams across the country in tense indoor hockey battles.

Playing "kids twice their size", the young hockey stars were "ecstatic" after they got through to the final and came from behind to beat Eastbourne Edge 4-3.

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With the youngsters taking part in a unique sport, the achievement underlined their togetherness and talent.

The coaches at Devils Inline said: "Congratulations to each and every one of our players for bringing home the gold! All your hard work this season has paid off!

"We are incredibly proud of you."

Leigh Journal: The hockey club has had numerous successes in recent yearsThe hockey club has had numerous successes in recent years (Image: Devils Inline Hockey Club)

The under 8's championship win is the latest success story for the Atherton hockey club, with the Devils Women also winning a tournament in Market Drayton this month.

Earlier this year, the hockey club also had numerous players from the Under 14s, Under 10s, and Under 8s selected to play for Great Britain's Under 14s in the Spanish tournament, in Igualada near Barcelona.

After originally starting in Glossop more than 20 years ago, the Devils switched over to Atherton once the Northwest Rollersports venue opened on Bolton Road around nine years ago, and have been going from strength to strength ever since.

With mixed junior teams from Under 8s up until Under 18s, as well as Senior Men's and Women's teams, the club travels across the country to play hockey games and have had numerous teams qualify for the British Inline Puck Hockey Association nationals finals.