SHIPLEY captain David Black is full of pride after his club became Bradford Union Scratch League champions for the first time in their history.

Having only missed out on the final day of last season under previous skipper Baxter Ireland, the Beckfoot club did just enough to claim their first Division One title since records began in 1962.

A thrilling finale, which summed up the highly-competitive race for the crown, saw Shipley pip Bingley St Ives by one point with Baildon a further point behind in third place.

Black's team were held to a 4-4 draw at Bradford but that proved enough to lift them above Bingley, who were beaten 6-2 at defending champions Cleckheaton while Baildon came close to stealing the prize with a 6-2 win at home to South Bradford.

Black said: “I am immensely proud to have captained a great and talented squad this year and I would like to say a huge 'thank you' to every one of them, namely Danny Rowley, Calum Hey, Chris Howe, Will Whiteoak, James Ireland, Matthew Morrison, Michael 'Chippy' Chapman and Jamie Mountain.

"The close finish on the last night only went to prove what a difficult league it is to win and how closely it was contested this year.

"Bingley and Baildon pushed us all the way, so commiserations to those two teams in particular for a great battle throughout."

Rowley led the way for Shipley, remaining unbeaten throughout the season, while Whiteoak - who has been selected for England in next week's home internationals at Moortown - earned the key victory over Bradford's Jack Laybourne, which made the difference on the final night.

It has been a landmark season for Shipley, who have also claimed a district double in individual competitions. Hey won the Bradford Open while Mountain, who stepped in to remain unbeaten during the team's last four games, lifted the Bradford Amateur crown.

But the club will face a tough task to defend their title next season, with Hey and Whiteoak set to join the professional ranks.

Hey will undertake a PGA qualification while Whiteoak is aiming to make it through European Tour Qualifying School next month. However, the club hope to have some new additions, including Ben Gill.

Black, who wished his vice-captain Nick Baker all the best for next season, paid tribute to the support from Shipley's members, saying: "I'm really grateful to all those who came out and supported the team throughout the season, often in some very bad weather."

The captain added: "On a personal note I would like to thank my employers (Investec Wealth & Investment) for sponsoring us by providing this season's team shirts."