WALKDEN are targeting regional success next season after completing the Bolton League’s cup and league double on Saturday.

Jonathan Fowler’s side, Hamer Cup winners last month, won at relegated Adlington by eight wickets chasing only 62 to secure back-to-back Premiership titles.

League success next year would see Fowler emulate Mike Bennison, who led Walkden to three titles on the bounce in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“That has already been mentioned to me,” chuckled team manager Abid Riaz, shortly after Walkden’s 12th win from 18 games was secured.

“We’d love to do that, but we also want to win the Lancashire Knockout.

“In the last few seasons, we’ve not done so well in that due to players missing early on in the season. Next year, we’re hoping that will be different.”

Walkden finished five points ahead of second-placed Farnworth, who won a low-scoring derby against Social Circle to ensure they were ready to pounce had the eventual champions slipped up for the second weekend running.

It was not to be for Farnworth as Walkden’s win was set up by 5-10 from six overs of left-arm spin from sub professional Suleman Khan (Lightcliffe – Bradford League).

He also chipped in with an unbeaten 19 in a 19-over chase.

Riaz said: “We would have liked to have won it last week against Kearsley, but I’ve always said they’re a good side. So it had to go down to the last game.

“The lads have been fantastic all season. Everyone at the club is buzzing.

“It’s a fantastic achievement to win it two years running as well as the cup this year. It shows we’ve improved.

“The lads have all gelled. Whenever we’ve needed them, they’ve delivered.

“Last year, we had a few more batters. We lost Alex (Roberts) and Nick Stobart, the overseas amateur. Between them, they scored over 1,200 runs.

“This year, we’ve depended a lot on our bowling. A lot of the runs have come via the pro and Aman Arora and Tayler Heyes up front.

“The rest have all chipped in when needed, and we’ve been strong down the order.

“We’ve definitely had to work a lot harder this year because other teams have improved as well.

“Kearsley and Lostock as well as Farnworth and Horwich.”

Horwich were the early pacesetters until they slipped with a couple of defeats in late June to mid July.

“Horwich have got a lot of youngsters in their side, and we knew if they lost a game or two it might be difficult to sustain it,” said Riaz.

“Experience counts for a lot, and we have a lot of it in league and first-class cricket.”

Riaz confirmed the return for next season of professional Akbar ur Rehman and overseas amateur Muhammad Rameez, their leading runs-scorer and leading wicket-taker with 567 runs and 33 wickets.

He also said: “We’re going to try and keep the lads who we’ve got now. We believe they’re good enough, so there won’t be much winter recruitment.

“We’re hoping there will be some ground renovations which will be starting very soon as well. It’s not been signed off yet, so we don’t know whether they will be ready for next season.

“The future is definitely looking bright for Walkden.”