BECOMING the first team to land back-to-back South Wales Premier Cricket League titles will be “high on the agenda” for Newport after they secured their second championship in three years.

No side has managed to defend the top tier crown since the competition was restructured in 2010 – Newport went close last summer but just missed out to Cardiff.

Coach and club stalwart Mike Knight saw the Spytty Park outfit confirmed as champions on Saturday when rain hit the Division One programme, and he would love them to make history next season.

“We’ve got a reputation for excellence and it’s nice to be able to live up to that reputation,” he said.

“We always try to produce the best quality cricketers and play the best cricket, so to win the league is the icing on the cake.”

He added: “It would be nice to win back-to-back titles. I don’t think anyone has done that before so it’s a nice target for us.

“When you win the league you bask in the glory for a short period of time before setting your goals for the following year.

“And winning the league again is going to be high on our agenda, but we need to make sure there is no complacency.”

Only 11 overs were possible in Newport’s match at Bridgend on the weekend, but with no action possible in Neath – Newport’s nearest challengers – as well, they knew the title was theirs.

And it was against Neath’s opponents Pontarddulais earlier this month that Knight believes Michael Clayden played one of the campaign’s key innings.

Chasing 189 to win, Newport were indebted to Clayden’s 126-ball knock of 76 that held his side’s reply together and paved the way for a crucial victory.

“If we’d lost that game we would have allowed it to open up for Neath,” said Knight.

“But Michael dug in with wickets falling around him and although it probably wasn’t the most flamboyant of innings, it was one of the most important.

“We were coming into a hard run of matches and if we hadn’t won, it would have put more pressure on us.

“Winning that one probably allowed us to lose one more and still win the league.”

Commenting further on regaining the league trophy, which will be handed to captain Matt Norris after Saturday’s season finale at Mumbles, Knight said: “It was a bit surreal at Bridgend.

“The rain meant we weren’t able to clinch it on the field, which we would have liked to do.

“The last time we won it pretty much went down to the last ball on the last weekend and was really nerve-jangling. It was a bit easier this time and much less stressful.”

Meanwhile, there was also title success for Newport’s third XI on Saturday as they wrapped up South East Wales Cricket League Division Four with a commanding 172-run win at second-placed Mountain Ash.