FOR head coach Martyn Ellis, it was clear from the very first game of the year that Latchford Albion were onto something special.

And so it proved, with his side being crowned Division One champions in the North West Men’s League on Friday evening – their first league title since 1974.

In front of a big Victoria Park crowd, Albion brushed aside Chorley Panthers 38-12 to confirm their first-place finish.

With the title being decided on a points percentage basis, Latchford’s total of 83.33% was significantly higher than their rivals.

Albion also had the best attack and defence in the division and managed to complete the highest amount of fixtures ¬– a true reflection of their successful season.

With all of that in mind, Ellis was keen to pay tribute to his players’ achievements.

“To finish top after such a difficult season is credit to the squad of players we have assembled at the club,” he said.

“The commitment has been amazing with consistently high numbers at training starting with pre-season, which allowed us to start the season well.

Our first game was a tough test travelling to a strong Haydock side.

“We put in a massive performance where we scored over 40 points, setting the tone for the season.

“Performances since have been consistently strong. We have defeated every single team in the division, so I feel we have completely justified our champions title.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to all the club officials, from my coaching staff to the committee members, who have all played their part in making this season such a success.”

Friday’s game was over as a contest by half time, such was Albion’s dominance.

Charlie McCurrie, Alex Davies, Matthew Nash and Matty Rudd all crossed, with Rudd adding three conversions, as Ellis’ men led 22-0 at the break.

The visitors briefly threatened a comeback with two quick tries after the interval, but McCurrie went on to complete his hat-trick before Jack Phillips rounded off the scoring.