A REMARKABLE turnaround over the past 12 months has seen Peak Sports Derbyshire & Cheshire League side Dinting 1st XI transformed from relegation candidates to worthy championship winners.
The Simmondley Lane side secured, at a canter, its first DCCL Division One championship since becoming a member of the league in 2000 - and since winning the old Glossop & District League in 1985.
Losing only one game along the way, Dinting has led from the front all season - a far cry from 2010 when the team survived relegation to Division Two by the skin of their teeth.
First XI captain Adam Wilson said: “There is a real sense of euphoria at the club. I am immensely proud of all the players, it has been an amazing journey.
“We have done really well, considering when I joined in January we were hoping to finish third or fourth, especially after the previous season’s performance.”
Wilson, 37, who previously skippered Glossop for five-and-a-half years, was one of two players to switch their allegiance from the Lancashire County League club to Dinting at the start of the year, the other being 42-year-old Greg Harwick, while the return of Jon Coleman and Jared Massey, the latter joining from Hayfield, also helped give the squad a fresh feel.
“We have had a really good year and a really strong squad,” Wilson summed up. “I think every player, from number one to number 11, has contributed and is capable of winning a game for us.
“We can bat right down to number 11, and we have seven or eight good bowlers who are capable of taking wickets.
“We let ourselves down in the cup (Bissenden Cup), and I think that was a bit of naivety on our part quite early on in the season.
“Not wanting to take anything away from Whaley Bridge, they played well to beat us and we played average, so we will be looking to have a decent cup run next year.”
And looking ahead to 2012, he added: “If we can keep the same side, bring through some of the younger players and bring in a few new names, then I think we will be ok.”
It has been a successful year for Dinting as a club overall, as the 2nd XI won the Hawke Trophy, a match played in front of a bumper crowd of around 400 supporters, and finished second in Division Three, narrowly missing out on the championship to rivals Woodley by one point.