SETTLE Cricket Club chairman Andrew Davidson has called their Ribblesdale Senior League title the most satisfying of the three that he has been involved with.

Reflecting on their eighth title in all since 1893, the 58-year-old has also been a factor in their triumphs in 1984 and 2005.

However, he said of his young charges, who clinched the crown with a week to go, unlike the other two, which went to the wire: "Of the three title sides I have been involved with, I have to say this is the most satisfying.

"The side may not be as strong as the 2005 unit with (Mohammad) Hafeez as professional, but it has a local unity and we haven't had to rely on outside imports to make us competitive.

"We did not have an out-and-out professional but a young overseas boy (Sadrian Ward) stepping into a whole new experience.

"We lost skipper Tom Davidson for half a season and Callum Lockett was inhibited in appearances due to university commitments but we still pulled through with a side that was basically fully home-grown - one representing the best of Dales cricket."

Davidson not surprisingly takes extra pride in seeing his youngsters develop.

He added: "Many of these lads have come through the junior sides and have now blossomed into a strong cricketing unit.

"Several were thrown in at the deep end when they were only 15 or 16 years of age in 2010 and we knew in time they would mature into good players, so it is a refreshing to watch these lads play attacking, high-tempo cricket which entertains and is a winning formula."

Of course, it hasn't all been plain sailing this season, and Davidson has pinpointed their ability to pull themselves out of several holes as a crucial factor in them remaining top of the table throughout.

He said: "When teams win leagues, they usually pull themselves out of trouble when staring defeat in the face.

"I remember last season when we were neck and neck with Clitheroe and saw on a few occasions that they were 67-7 chasing 140 or similar scores and thought we could steal points, but every time they managed to secure a victory!

"This season we have been in the mire in at least five matches, such as 30-5 at Brinscall, 60-6 against Padiham and recently 66-6 against Barnoldswick and someone has come along, occupied the crease, forged a partnership and we have won the game.

"That is when title winners show their mettle due to a team ethos, a winning mentality, winning matches against the grain and everyone chipping in and performing when needed."

Davidson also highlighted the importance of the no-nonsense leadership and tactical nous of his son Tom, who has been away on rugby union duties in Latvia recently, and his replacement Tom Strickland as important factors.

The chairman added: "Both got the players performing. They were given the freedom to express themselves, played positive cricket and followed the plans set by the captain(s)."

Finally Davidson was keen to emphasise the team off the field.

He said: "I would like to thank the scorers, grounds-team and sponsors, whose input can never be underestimated.

"Playing on a good ground which is well looked after with local sponsors' support and supported by young, keen scorers who never make an error is a big part of the psychological feel-good factor and plays a big part in performance."