Wetherby Cricket Club captain Richard Grogan hailed the best set of players he has ever played with after the club regained the Wetherby League crown on Saturday.
Wetherby bowled in-form Barwick-in-Elmet out 27 runs short of their 186-5 total away on Saturday to put an end to their opponent’s title hopes.
But, Grogan’s men were left waiting to hear that reigning champions and long-term title rivals Great Preston had fallen to defeat against St Chad’s Broomfield before the celebrations could start late into the night.
The turn of results left Wetherby seven points clear at the top of Division One with only one match weekend left to play this Saturday.
And after sealing the championship for the first time as captain, Grogan said
“We knew it was going to be tough but we backed ourselves and it was fortunate St Chad’s did us a favour,” he said.
“I have played cricket over the years with a lot of good teams but this Wetherby teams is probably the best group of players I have played with.
“We are all at a similar age and are all at the peak of our powers.”
Ian Twitchen has starred with both bat and ball for the Grange Park outfit all summer, scoring 546 runs in 16 innings at 49.64 and taking 32 wickets at 14.25.
But Grogan (379) and Thomas Hudson (199) are also high up in the batting charts, while Adam Wilkinson has snaffled 33 victims with the ball.
Wetherby have also achieved the league championship without the help of an overseas star, after Jacob Brewer returned to Australia early in the season due to family reasons.
Grogan said: “It has been a real squad effort. When people haven’t fired there’s always been people to help out.
“There’s been a real sense of team spirit and team unity.
“The stand out performers though has been Ian Twitchen at the top of all-rounder statistic. He’s the best all rounder in the league and only behind Barwick’s Matt Prosser in the batting averages.”
Grogan has decided to stand down from captaincy after this Saturday’s fixture at St Chad’s due to family commitments. In his two years at the helm, the club have won the Fred Fleetwood Cup and now the league title.
The captain added: “When I first came, Andy Twitchen was captain and in my first year we won the league.
“Last year we won the cup in my first season and in the final we beat the league champions Great Preston.
“I fully backed my players and the squad to bring home the league, which we have done.
“There are some good teams in the Wetherby League but if we can keep this squad together, I would back us to do well for years to come.”
Grogan added: “We have had a really successful year on the field as a club with the Under 13s and Under 15s also getting to their respective finals.”