ANDY GLEAVE is still finding it hard to believe the success Delph Cricket Club achieved in his first season as captain.
They landed the treble of Huddersfield League, premier division champions, and Sykes Cup and T20 competition.
“The treble has been won before and may be also again in the future, but I don’t know if any team will also go unbeaten through the whole season,” he explained.
Gleave said: “It was an amazing season and beyond our wildest dreams.
“We hadn’t won anything and been a sleeping giant for the last four years and I fancied us to win something.
“To win three and be unbeaten all season was crazy – it still has not sunk in.”
Gleave added Delph had a good team in previous seasons, but this year “everything clicked”.
He said: “This year we found ways of winning games that in other seasons we would have lost.
“We also had a great team spirit with everybody working hard for each other.”
Gleave, who had previously played for Flowery Field in the Saddleworth League and for Dukinfield, has just completed his third season at Delph.
He added having Lancashire’s Arron Lilley available for most of the season was a bonus as he played little for the county side.
Gleave explained: “We normally pencil in Arron to play 10 games, but he was available for the majority.
“His quality is such that he is like having two players. And such is his presence that some opponents are beaten before we go on to the pitch.”
Delph’s success has been a team effort – the top six batsmen have all scored hundreds while there are also seven bowlers in the side.
Chris Laker and Greg Buckley both amassed 1,000 runs for the season while Lilley hit 890 from 14 innings in the league and overseas player Shreevats Goswami totalled more than 600 runs.
Opening bowlers, professional Shakir Mohammad and Wasim Quaseem, took 110 wickets between them and they received good support from seamers Laker and Andy Cadd along with spinners Lilley, Buckley and Nathan Jones.
Wicketkeeper Grant Jones, 48, the middle of three generations of his family to play for Delph, added it was a once in a lifetime season. His son Nathan was also in the team.
He said: “I am pleased for people like president Peter Gledhill who lives for the club. He played a big part in Delph moving from the Saddleworth League to the Huddersfield League.
“His ambitions were to win trophies, and I have never seen a bigger smile as he has been proud of what we achieved.
“People don’t always appreciated the hard work the likes of Peter and groundsman Les Harrison do behind the scenes.
“Les is at the club six days a week and he deserves praise for the tireless work he does getting the ground ready for games.’
Gleave added Delph are already preparing for next season when they will be without two key players.
Buckley is moving to Australia and Laker is joining Northern who play in the Liverpool Competition, but it is hoped the remainder of the side will stay.