DORCHESTER captain James Dunham admitted the club is “over the moon” after securing a momentous hat-trick of Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League titles.

Dunham’s men were made to sweat as Poole, who needed 12 points from a possible 20, played Bere Regis while Dorchester sat out a bye weekend.

But Bere did their neighbours the biggest favour imaginable by claiming a three-wicket win and helping Dorchy add to their title-winning campaigns of 2019 and 2020.

Speaking to Echosport, Dunham felt the latest victory had a distinct feel to it.

“It does feel different this year,” he admitted.

“If you look back at the whole year I think we were top of the table from gameweek (five).

“We were top for kind of 85 per cent of the year. It does feel different that we didn’t play and then won it.

“Actually, Bere Regis are a very good side. We knew with Poole’s end fixtures for the year it wasn’t going to be easy for them.

READ MORE: How Dorchester won their third successive title

“We’re absolutely over the moon and to win it three times in a row is a great achievement.”

When put to him three back-to-back titles qualifies as an era of domination, Dunham said: “It does feel like that a little bit.

“When I started playing, quite a few years ago, Parley were quite dominant. They won it for a couple of years in a row. It was tricky facing them each year.

“It’s great to have that one-off year and win it. To win it twice is great but three times is even better.

“It does show that consistency at the club is really important. We’re all invested in what we do from the first team all the way down.

“It does show on the pitch. Consistency has been key.”

The title victory is a fitting end to the reign of one of Dorchester’s most successful and respected captains, with Dunham stepping away from the role in 2022.

He added: “I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to it. Now it’s ready for the next person to take over, it’s in a very good place.

“I’ll look forward to contributing with the ball. I’m very happy.”

Dorchester may have won a third title, but Dunham recognises the fact that the standard in Dorset’s top tier has skyrocketed this season.

“It’s completely, noticeably different and a lot better,” he said.

“The last few years you’d go from playing teams like Poole to weeks after playing teams that are struggling for numbers.

“This year we’ve faced a challenge genuinely every week and that makes it a bit nicer to win the league.

“We deserved to lose the games we lost.

“That’s full credit to the likes of Martinstown, Bere Regis, Sherborne – those teams.

“We were tested every week, we had no easy games and we were pushed.

“It’s only benefitting Dorset cricket, so it’s great. It’s also great to see Puddletown in Division One doing what they’ve done. And, this side of the county is thriving.”