Goring Cricket Club stormed to the Sussex League Division 4 title on Saturday - despite a home defeat at the hands of Steyning.
Goring went into the match knowing four points would be enough for promotion and 24 would clinch the league crown. Alex Maynard's side failed to chase down 152 as they were bowled out for just 95 and suffered only their second defeat of the season.
They picked up ten points to seal promotion and second-placed Slinfold suffered a shock defeat at Hastings & St Leonards Priory, which handed Goring the title.
Goring skipper Maynard admitted it was not an ideal way to be crowned champions but dedicated the success to former chairman Jeff Scarfield, who died earlier in the summer.
Maynard said: "With everything that has happened this year, I couldn't be prouder of the way both the players and the club have gone about their business this season.
"We did this for Jeff and I know he'd have been happier than any of us that we sealed the deal for him. It was obviously a great day for all of us involved with the club.
"To secure the title with three games to go is nice but we still want to finish the season well.
"It wasn't an ideal day on the field for us, I felt some complacency came in. It was enough in the end and it's a great moment for all involved with Goring."
Only opener Christopher Barnett (40) and Johnny Burfiend (13) in Steyning’s top five managed to reach double figures as they struggled after choosing to bat.
Skipper David Kennett struck 40, then Harvey King hit a quickfire 18 but Goring had their opponents all out for 152.
Goring’s opening bowlers Kellon Carmichael (3-37) and Ross Baumann (3-22) led the way to put them in a strong position.
The home side’s reply started well with openers Alex Maynard (13) and Ben Cartwright (29) both making starts before falling.
Things fell apart once the duo departed and no other batsman reached double figures as they collapsed to 95 all out.
It mattered little, though, as Goring were still crowned champions, while Steyning remain in the promotion hunt with the win.
Goring go to Three Bridges' 2nd XI in the league on Saturday.
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