Hometown hero Marc Shackley is still basking in the “fantastic feeling” after captaining Whitehaven to their first league title for 14 years.

Haven needed just a single league point to be crowned champions of League 1 at Rugby on Saturday, but Shackley put in a captain’s performance and ran in one of his side’s 13 tries as they demolished Coventry Bears 72-0 on the final day of the regular season.

The 30-year-old, who rejoined Haven from Workington Town at the end of 2016 and showed his commitment to the club by signing a five-year deal a year later, is still coming to terms with what his side have achieved.

“It is massive, especially being captain,” he said.

“It was a fantastic feeling lifting that trophy at the end.

“I was chuffed but I have to give credit to the whole squad and staff for what they have done.

“It was a lot of hard work but we never thought about doing it; we took it one game at a time and built on that.

“We were only beaten three times, which is a great achievement for everyone.

“Everyone was fantastic and I think we’d have beaten anyone in the league on that final day.”

The Recreation Ground side went into the campaign as underdogs who were hardly fancied for a run at the title, with a new head coach in Gary Charlton coming in after last year’s sixth-placed finish and missing out on the play-offs. But Haven set the pace in the division virtually from the first kick of a ball and by the end of the season it looked like nothing could stop them as they recorded win after win and repeatedly showed the team spirit and togetherness which saw them crash over the line.

“I think it was a good thing to go under the radar,” the former Egremont amateur added.

“We were hardly mentioned before the season and I think we were seventh favourites or something like that.

“Gary helped us to gel together as a team and a close unit who fought for each other.”