BURNLEY captain Dan Pickup admitted it was a ‘dream come true’ after guiding his boyhood club to the Lancashire League title.

The Turf Moor club were crowned champions for the 16th time after beating Todmorden by four wickets in the final game of the season while Lowerhouse - the only side that could have caught them - were beaten by Ramsbottom.

It was the third time Pickup had been part of a title-winning Burnley side but it was his first as captain which made it all the more special.

“To captain the team to the title is something I will always remember,” said the 33-year-old .“It may sound a little bit cheesy but it was something I have dreamt of since I was a kid.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“I have been at the club all my life, my dad played here and I have played in all the age groups and have been in and around the first team since I was 16 or 17. I’ve been lucky enough to have won the title three times now but this is the best of the lot as I captained the team.”

In what was one of the closest title races in years, five teams had a chance of being crowned champions.

But while Lowerhouse, Ramsbottom, Norden and defending champions Walsden, all faltered, Burnley’s five-game winning run saw them over the line.

Pickup hailed the team spirit within the camp as the decisive factor in clinching the title.

“We are all mates and stick together especially when we have lost matches,” he said. “We have never got too high or too low and that has been the key. The team spirit has been brilliant throughout the season.”

“This has been one of the closest seasons in many years, it has been really tough so to win it in these circumstances with so many teams in with a shout was superb.”

Burnley had the worse possible start to the season when they lost their professional Shadley Van Schalkwyk before a ball was bowled and had to rely on sub pros for the entire campaign.

“I thought was had blown it even before we started,” admitted Pickup. “But the subs all played their part and everyone stuck to the task.”

Pickup hailed the ‘spin twins’ Chris Holt and Bharat Tripathi who took more than 70 wickets between them.

“I think our success has been built on our bowling and the spin twins certainly played their part,” added Pickup, who was proud of the way his side finished the campaign.

Burnley needed just three points from the final game against Todmorden to be guaranteed the title while Lowerhouse needed a maximum points victory over Ramsbottom to stand any chance of winning.

“At one stage it was a bit nervy,” said Pickup. “We were struggling against Tod and Lowerhouse were in charge against Rammy but, in the end, we went on to win and Lowerhouse slipped up.

“I thought we finished the season very strongly. It was a case of holding our nerve and picking up the wins and that is exactly what we did.”