THREE local men have helped Lancashire become national over-60s county cricket champions.

John Sharples, Mike Davies and Glen Bullock played a big part in the Red Rose side's first win the competition.

Lancashire won 13 out of 14 games, culminating in a 26-run victory over Hertfordshire in the final.

Sharples, who started the team around five years ago, is the manager, while Bullock captains the side and opened the batting in the final alongside Davies.

Lancashire won nine of their 10 group games in the northern section to qualify for the knockout stages in which they beat Norfolk and Yorkshire before overcoming Surrey in the semi-final.

In the final at Aston Rowant Cricket Club in Oxfordshire, they won the toss and, on a difficult wicket, posted 177-6 off their 45 overs.

Davies scored 30 – his side's second highest score – with fellow opener Bullock hitting 14.

In reply, Hertfordshire – who had won every game on their way to the final – were going well at 82-2 before the wickets started to tumble.

None of their last seven batsmen got into double figures and they were all out for 151 in the 44th over.

Davies is a stalwart of Edgworth Cricket Club for whom he played for many years in the now-defunct Bolton and District Cricket Association as well as working as the club's groundsman.

Bullock plays for Bolton League club Westhoughton, and Sharples also played in the Bolton Association, captaining Barton Hall in the 1980s.

When they folded he moved to fellow Association club Clifton and played for them between 1989 and 1992.

Of Lancashire's Over-60s national triumph, he said: "This season has been by far our most successful.

"I started the Lancs 60s team about five years ago and, after a difficult first year, we have improved the side every year.

"Last year we reached the quarter-finals, losing to Kent at Westhoughton.

"In the current side we have two former Central Lancashire League captains, namely John Punchard and Chris Dearden, alongside Steve Tickle who used to be a rugby league professional with St Helens and Barrow and now plays his cricket at Orrell in the Liverpool Competition.

"He unfortunately missed the final due to holidays.

"We will not rest on our laurels and we are always looking to improve the team.

"If there are any Bolton-based players who wish to join us they will be most welcome and can contact me at"