WITHAM'S Cricket Club captain Jake Wakelin was proud to see his team write a significant chapter in their club's history books by becoming Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one champions for the first time.

Wakelin's team have been the top-flight's dominant force this year and just two defeats throughout the 22-game campaign managed to keep them clear at the summit despite some fierce pressure applied by Wivenhoe, who finished second, and third-placed Hadleigh.

In the end, the vital push to get Witham over the line on the final day came courtesy of them being gifted 20 points after already-relegated Lakenheath conceded their scheduled game against the champions.

It meant, whatever Wivenhoe did in their game against Maldon, that Witham were untouchable at the summit.

Although he would have preferred to have got the points with a 15th straight win, Wakelin was hugely proud of his team's historic achievement.

He said: "With the concession, it was not the way that we wanted to win the league, but there was nothing we could do about that and you just have to reflect on what a season it has been.

"I could not be prouder of the boys - to have lost just two out of 22 games in a season is pretty impressive.

"We were disappointed when we lost those games in May, but we have had 14 or 15 convincing wins since them and I think the losses we did have only kick-started our season.

"That's mightily impressive.

"We've had 15 or 16 players involved and from one to 16 they have been absolutely magic. "I really can't stress how proud I am of them all.

"We were one of the favourites for the title at the start of the year and we have delivered on that. "We didn't stutter under pressure as some teams do.

"I've always said that pressure is for tyres and we didn't slip up.

"The boys kept playing great cricket and we've been winning comfortably."

Elsewhere, Wivenhoe made sure Witham's advantage at the top was kept tight as they finished with a nine-run win against Maldon, while Hadleigh wrapped up their season with a seven-wicket win at Mistley.

Following the final day of the Two Counties season, Wakelin's team were in action on Sunday when they were bidding to cap their title-winning achievement by securing promotion to the the next level of local cricket - the East Anglian Premier League.

Witham headed to Sawston & Babraham for a play-off semi-final against the Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Premier League winners, but it ended in a 139-run defeat for the Essex side.

The loss means Witham will be in the Two Counties Championship to defend their title in 2020 and Wakelin was pragmatic about the loss against a very strong Sawston side that had not been beaten on its own ground for three years.

"We went there with confidence and backing ourselves but it just wasn't to be on the day," added the Witham skipper.

"Home advantage can be such a big thing in games like this and that's the way it proved.

"We know we have the best spinners in our league but we were at a team who don't really have any spinners and their wicket suits them.

"They have four or five Cambridgeshire Minor Counties players in their line-up and we knew it would be tough, but it just wasn't our day. "It was also a bad toss to lose, but we just didn't perform as we know we can.

"It's not the end of the world as we know there will be next year when we'll be going for the title again.

"It was disappointing but there is a bigger picture and we have to remember that we are Two Counties champions."