KEIGHLEY skipper Paul Quinlan was ecstatic as his side nicked the Bradford Premier League Championship Two title from Wakefield St Michael's by a single point.

He praised the whole side, but reserved special mention for the evergreen Richard Gould, whose unbeaten 46 in Saturday's 10-wicket win at Northowram Fields was just the tip of the iceberg.

Quinlan enthused: "Richard's 42 now but he's awesome and still our best player. It's not just his cricketing ability and experience, but he helps people out at the crease too.

"We have a very young squad and he makes it easier for them because he's a steady head at the other end. If we have two 18-year-olds together, they're more likely to just try and smash it.

"We hope he's got another season in him because he's scored about 16,000 runs in the Bradford League and he's only about 200 behind second place."

The youngsters that Gould and Quinlan have guided are flourishing and the captain was keen to give them their dues.

He said: "Louis Horsfield was our 20/20 captain this season and he helped us to win that. He's a steady bat too and is one for the future.

"Nathan Storton is only 18 and he is our third leading run-scorer this season, yet he's been batting at seven or eight. James Rogers has been very economical opening the bowling too.

"Even those who maybe haven't got the figures they want this season have still turned up and shone in the big games."

Quinlan admitted that the title win was unexpected, as Wakefield St Michael's began the day with a sizeable lead at the top. They slipped to a 22-run defeat against Hopton Mills though, while Keighley romped to maximum points.

The captain said: "It was unbelievable because we knew things were against us. We won and then we were just waiting on their result, knowing it was about 90 per cent certain we'd finish second.

"We were back at the club waiting and when we got the good news, everybody went mental."

Quinlan was was full of praise for their challengers, who have achieved their second successive promotion, saying: "It's been a good fight all season. I spoke with Wakefield's groundsman and he told me they were just looking to avoid relegation.

"They're really unlucky because we've got exactly the same record in the league but we've won it with that extra bonus point. It just shows you that every point counts."

The skipper is optimistic about next season too, saying: "I think with this season's squad we might have been fighting relegation in Championship One.

"We're looking to recruit though and we've already got a couple of names in mind, so I think we can consolidate. We at least want to be competitive.

"Ultimately the club is ambitious and we're pushing to play in the Premier Division long term. The young lads we have will only improve and there's a couple of players who I think are already at that top level."