POTTERNE are five points away from becoming the first Wiltshire team ever to be crowned champions of WEPL Premier One.

Barring a disaster of monumental proportions, Neil Clark’s side will likely pick up the required points against Bath when the two teams meet at The Grove on Saturday.

Since the league’s inception in 1999, only four times has the team lifting the title not hailed from Somerset, while Bath haven’t finished outside of the top three since 2009.

Potterne’s achievement is all the more impressive when it is considered that 2019 was just their fourth season at the top level of regional club cricket.

But Clark is unlikely to come to terms with the magnitude of his team’s achievement until after the final ball is bowled on Saturday.

He said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, and I don’t think it will until it happens at the weekend.

“When I took over as captain, I knew the team was good enough, but because I took over with the team on two wins from four, I thought it was going to be a really tough ask to compete because I think you need to start the season really strongly.

“I thought that if we could finish in the top four, that would be nice after the start we made, but then after I took over the captaincy, the atmosphere within the team completely changed.

“The environment seemed to change quite drastically, and everyone seemed to start performing, and not just the same people, it was different people each week.”

Potterne began the 2019 season with Ashur Morrison fulfilling the role of captain, but after a breach of discipline saw him removed not only from that role but also from the club, Clark took over a team in limbo.

Having lost two of their opening four fixtures, Potterne pulled together and instigated what seemed like a highly unlikely title chase.

But with five wins from his first five games at the helm, the skipper felt like a shot at the title was not the impossibility it once seemed thanks to a rejuvenated dressing room.

Clark said: “After about seven or eight games, I said to the guys: ‘We’ve got a real chance here’.

“I think it’s amazing what the right atmosphere in a team can do.

“When there is a couple of things that aren’t quite right, it can really have a massive impact on people’s performances.

“But when you create an atmosphere that people can thrive in, then you get the best out of the players.

“I think we’ve had that in the time since I took over. We’re really chuffed, and I don’t think some people can believe it.

“There’s a lot of buzz around the club because it’s a really fantastic achievement, especially for a Wiltshire club.

“Wiltshire club’s don’t get a lot of help from the first-class counties like other clubs do.

“It’s really pleasing for us to have almost got there, I just can’t wait for it to happen now.”