WE ARE the champions... again! And I must admit it felt much better second time around.

It was good to lift the title last year, but in all honesty by running away with it and doing it so early it was a bit of an anti-climax.

It’s been tougher this year and I think we’ve all enjoyed the challenge.


Last year we had a core team that had largely been together for three to five years, but after the season finished we lost quite a few players and new people came in.

Amidst it all there was a change at the helm, with Dan MacKriel — or Budzie as he is known at the club — taking over from Jared Owen.

It was a tough ask to go on and achieve things in his first season in charge, but Budzie has done a great job and got everyone to buy into what he wanted to do.

He’s an experienced guy who knows the game inside out and he got the players doing the right things, and signed some quality players as well.

He has his own style of play and ways that he wants to go about things.

He’s not someone who shouts and screams if things don’t go to plan, he is a good man-manager, and he has got the best out of us.

Sunday was a case in point of that.

It turns out we didn’t need the win in the end, with second-placed Whitley Warriors losing at Billingham Stars. But we wanted to take care of our own business and maintain momentum for the play-offs.

I thought we played really well, but I expected a bit more from Solway. They’ve had some good results recently so to blow them away 7-0 was credit to all the lads.

The clean sheet was an added bonus. It’s something we’ve made a conscious effort to try to get better at.

After losing Rjay Berra to Edinburgh Capitals in February our goalscoring took a little bit of a knock and people questioned whether we could go on and achieve things. But we’ve proved to everyone that we could.

And we were cheered on by a terrific crowd.

Among them was youngster Theo Power, who suffers from neuroblastoma. We had a collection that raised £427 to put towards funds for his treatment.

He presented the MVP awards after the game and got to come into the changing room and meet the players.

It was great to see him, and a nice way to end the night.