HIGH-SCORING Halebank have clinched their first Premier Division title for 29 years in the Warrington & District League.
And manager John Anderton, who has landed the championship in only his second season in charge, is over-joyed at seeing the club's youth policy come to fruition.
He said: 'When I took over two years ago, we started an Under 18s team straight away.
'The first team we'd had was coming to an end, with quite a few players heading for retirement.
'We knew we needed an influx of youth and, at the start of last season, we were forced to throw in a lot of 17 and 18-year-old lads to make the team up. That's why we struggled last year.
'But this season they have all come of age. They are all quality players and the youth policy had paid off.'
Collectively the league's most prolific marksmen, Halebank beat Moore United 3-0 to finish two points clear of nearest rivals Penlake.
'Penlake have been top all season and we have just chipped away at their lead,' added Anderton, a former Halebank player.
'It has been a good achievement and the celebrations which followed were pretty good, too, as you can imagine.'
A point would have been enough for Halebank to have lifted the championship on goal difference.
But they wanted to do it in style and did so with something to spare against tired opponents.
Less than 48 hours earlier, Moore had beaten Halton Borough to land silverware of their own in the James Drinkwater Trophy final.
Elsewhere, Division Two's Mill Brow spoiled second-placed Culcheth's endof-season run-in with a 4-3 comeback win thanks to Dale Picton, Ryan Giles, Graham Shone and Lee Faulkner.