ENGLISH footballers may often struggle against Germany, but on the table two Darlington boys proved they had the upper hand.

Matthew Warr and Callum Oakes, both 16, won the table football Junior World Championship title from the former German champions in a hardfought final in Austria.

It was a surprise win for the North-East lads who scraped through the qualifying rounds of the championship, winning only two of seven qualifying games.

Matthew and Callum learnt their skills at a table football group that meets monthly at the Hopetown Club, in Darlington, and its leader, Councillor Martin Landers, was delighted at their success. He said: “They have three more years to go in the juniors’ category. To win it at 16 is incredible.”

Darren Warr, Matthew’s father, said that both boys had only played the sport for three-and-a-half years before winning the title and he hopes their success will persuade more to take up the sport.

Mr Warr said: “We knew they were good, but we weren’t quite prepared for them to win this year.”

But Matthew and Callum soon became the dark horses of the competition; beating the world number one team from Germany 3- 1 in the semi final, before going on to win the overall final with another 3-1 victory.