POTTERNE chairman Fred Kurley applauded the efforts of the club’s first team players, after they wrapped up the Premier One title at the weekend despite losing to Bath.

A win wasn’t necessary for the Wiltshire club as Neil Clark’s troops secured the seven bonus points required to extend the gap between themselves and second placed Bath to earn title glory with a week to spare.

Kurley, who has been chairman at Potterne for seven years, was also quick to extend his thanks to the army of volunteers within the club that made Saturday’s top tier success possible.

The hard work and dedication offered by parents, team managers, juniors and members of the club’s coaching staff was evident in the aftermath of the first team’s title celebrations, as over 900 residents turned out for the club’s annual beer festival on Sunday.

And for Kurley, it was the second day of celebrations that made him proud to be club chairman.

He said: “Potterne is a great club to be part of, we have a great following and a fantastic group of volunteers – everybody mucks in.

“I’m very proud to be chairman of such a great club, winning Premier One is the icing on the cake.

“It’s a very difficult league to play in with some very strong teams. For a small club like our to do what we have done is amazing, I don’t think it has sunk in yet.

“We had our beer festival on Sunday, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. We celebrated with 900 people, and that event was made possible due to our excellent volunteers.

“Of course, I’m going to say all of this, because I’m chairman. But I’m sure I’d still say it if I wasn’t.

“The committee is fantastic, and I think winning Premier One is deserved.

“Bath, Bristol and Bridgewater and top sides, and makes our achievement even greater – I couldn’t be prouder.”

After being put into bat by Bath, Potterne had the Premier One title wrapped up before the game’s break for lunch.

Opener David Bromley (61) might have been the only batsmen to knock a half-century, but Jack Bramwell (45) and Tahir Afridi (39) also chipped in with respectable returns as Potterne reached 261-8.

In reply, Bath were helped by Harry Rouse and Murray Reid’s 100-run partnership as they reached their target with more than six overs to spare.

But after securing the title, chairman Kurley reflected on the club’s ever-improving youth programme.

He added: “Ten years ago, myself and Ian Wheeler (treasurer) started an under 13s team to try and get some youngsters interested.

“Now, we have 130 juniors, plus at least 30 All Stars players aged under eight.”

Potterne conclude their Premier One campaign this weekend when making the trip to face Bedminster.