Malmesbury chairman Stephen Jepson says the club’s promotion back into the West of England Premier League is a vindication of the club’s decision to commit to producing their own players.
Jepson and the committee at the Worthys decided to stop paying for overseas players and concentrate their energy on promoting the club’s youth around seven years ago.
This summer, the policy has paid dividends with youth products James Gillespie, George Royle, Josh Langley and captain Jack Ward all starring as they won the Wiltshire League Division One title.
On Saturday it was Ward who hit the winning runs with a six as Malmesbury comfortably beat Swindon Civil Service by eight wickets at the Worthys. Civil Service were skittled out for 105, which the hosts chased down in just over 20 overs.
Jepson was playing for the second XI but joined the celebrations later.
The chairman said: “The club is definitely back on the up. All of the lads are under 25, with a just a couple of older blokes, and they’ll just get better. We scored more batting points than any other side in the division and our number 10 and 11 didn’t need to bat all year.
“They’re a good maturing set of boys. We might lose a couple to university and we’ll have to add some depth next season. The ethos will stay the same though, we’ll do it with the guys we’ve got and the guys we bring through.”
Wootton Bassett’s slim hopes of pipping Malmesbury’s to the Division One crown were crushed as they lost by 24 runs to Urchfont.
Cosmo Cupid’s 117 did the damage as Urchfont racked up 275-7. For Bassett, Jack Dymoke hit 86 and Charan Chahal finished on 62 not out but they could not keep up the run rate.
Lacock ended their season with a fourth straight victory as they hammered Keevil by seven wickets.
Jamie Walker (4-39) and Miles Copeland (3-52) helped skittled the home side for 162 early in the 44th over before Steve Copeland spearheaded the run chase with a knock of 70.
Phil Stearns (43 not out) and Chay Forrester (31) also weighed in as Lacock reached 163-3 in little more than 40 overs.
John Beal took five wickets as Spye Park beat Swindon United Churches at home, with the visitors still posting 143-9 thanks to the efforts of Danny Hunt (49) and Jimmy Mann (32).
But David Beal starred with an unbeaten 53 whilst Simon Ellis’ 31 helped Park get to 144-8 in 43 overs.
Champions Avebury won by 72 runs at Biddestone 3, with Dominic Fry hitting 108 whilst Harry Roberts took 6-46 as the visitors were all out for 183 midway through their final over.
But Avebury roared back to dismiss their hosts for just 111 early in the 37th over.
Second-placed Heytesbury & Sutton Veny brought the curtain down on their season by hammering Corsham 3 by ten wickets.
After ruthlessly dismissing their opponents for 106 after less than 32 overs, Justin Wagstaff (71 not out) and Ed Read (31 not out) guided the hosts to 112 without loss in just 18 overs.
White Horse got their hands on the Division Five title as they leapfrogged Goatacre 3 on the final day of the season.
Tom Lentschner took 5-12 to help skittle Spye Park 2 for 77 before the Broad Hinton-based men raced to 78-2 in little more than 13 overs, with Jon Candy hitting an unbeaten 69.
Horse finished ten points ahead of Goatacre, who fluffed their lines as they slipped to a heavy 102-run loss at the hands of Chippenham 3.
Visitors Chippenham posted 221-7 before skittling their hosts for just 119 early in the 32nd over.