“AT 2-1, I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.”

It is fair to say Dave McNabb rode a rollercoaster of emotions this afternoon as his Warrington Rylands side tried to secure yet another promotion under his charge.

Elation when Kane Drummond put his side ahead, desolation when visitors Bootle turned it around, anxiety as his side waited on the favour they needed from elsewhere and finally, ecstasy when it arrived.

A 2-2 draw at Gorsey Lane left players, staff and supporters faced an uneasy few minutes as they waited to see if relegated Market Drayton Town could hold on for a draw against second-placed Workington.

A goal for the Cumbrians would have snatched the title from Blues’ grasp. It never came.

Warrington Guardian:

The Warrington Rylands players and staff celebrate winning the NPL West title

“I can’t even explain the emotions we went through. What a group of lads and what a club,” a relieved and jubilant McNabb said.

“I think we got a little bit of misinformation at times. The away dugout were telling us it was 2-1 to Workington at one point.

“We celebrated a couple of times when we thought their game was over when it wasn’t, then we were right the third time but we were panicking that we were wrong again!

“You think about the effort we’d put into it and you got that sinking feeling.

“I’d said before that we didn’t feel like we deserved to be in the race before, but the feeling is ridiculous.

“We came into this league and our ambition was to finish in the top half and maybe try and sneak into the play-offs.

“As the season has gone on, we’ve got a little bit stronger and we’ve put a ridiculous run together since the turn of the year.

“It’s the biggest achievement of my career. It’s something special.”

Drummond’s goal set Rylands on their way to securing the victory they knew would secure the title, but Tom Peterson’s equaliser knocked them off course and when Ben Hodkinson fired the visitors in front, the nervous energy started to build.

Andy Scarisbrick equalised for Blues, but they could not find a winner.

It proved immaterial in the end but once the well-earned celebrations die down and the dust settles, McNabb stressed lessons must be learned.

“We’ll have to analyse it because it’s the professional thing to do. We’ll have to learn from it,” he said.

“It’s not about the result per say, it’s more around the second half performance because I don’t think we got out of third gear.

“In the first half, we looked very comfortable.

“Bootle changed shape and they started to cause some more problems, but part of it was down to us.”

So as their rapid rise through the league continues, could Rylands compete at the top end of the Northern Premier League’s top-flight next season?

They are making a step into a division which currently contains the likes of South Shields, FC United of Manchester and – potentially, depending on their play-off campaign – neighbours Warrington Town.

Off the field, the club will aim to keep pace with its on-field exploits but McNabb says there must be some “realism” attached to the challenge they face.

“Next year is a fundamental step,” he said.

“We don’t just have to work on the players on the pitch, but as a club we have to grow in terms of infrastructure.

“If you look at the clubs that are in that league now – the likes of South Shields, Buxton, FC United – they are massive, massive clubs.

“We’re going to go in trying to win every game as we always do, but there has to be some realism there.

“We have to make sure the club is sustainable at that level.”