Berkshire’s remarkable domination of Minor Counties cricket has continued by being crowned champions for the third year in a row.

The Western Division title holders completed a hat-trick of wins over Lincolnshire, and have now gone 27 championship games without defeat, winning a total of eight titles in all three formats of the game in three seasons.

“We are undoubtedly the best minor county side in the country and it’s all down to the hard work put in by a lot of people,” said proud skipper James Morris.

Unlike their two previous final encounters, Berkshire dominated this week’s final played at Banbury CC from start to finish, winning by an innings and 32 runs with more than a day and a half to spare.

Having won the vital toss on Sunday, Berkshire had no hesitation in bowling first on a green wicket and, after taking the first four wickets for just 35, they bowled out Lincs for 198 with paceman Mungo Russell claiming 5-57 from 17 overs. Tom Nugent took 2-32 and Henley teammate Euan Woods 2-11.

In the two previous finals, Woods and Jack Davies had earned the respective man-of-the-match awards with centuries, and the teenagers played another vital role this week.

Woods hit 98 – having scored 142 and 97 in the previous two finals – and Davies 73, the pair putting on 139 for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation for their side’s first innings.

There were also useful contributions from the Morris brothers, James (46) and Richard (37), as well as Andy Rishton (25) before Stewart Davison (23) and Tom Nugent (25), smashed 50 in 16 minutes off the last five overs of the innings, enabling their side to close on 405-7 from 90 overs.

Lincs didn’t help their own cause by conceding 45 extras including 25 byes, and it would have been more but for some flying stops by keeper Carl Wilson.

With a hefty deficit of 207, Lincs reached 61 without loss, but then Rishton was brought into the Berkshire attack, which was missing leading wicket-taker Chris Peploe due to illness, and it all changed in unexpected fashion.

The Henley seamer had conceded 31 runs in five overs on Sunday and bowled five no-balls. But a day later, with the breezy conditions more in his favour, he found his accuracy and took the first four wickets at a personal cost of 24 runs from seven overs.

By the close of play on day two, which had seen 17 overs lost at the start due to drizzle, the Imp County had moved on to 124-4.

Within 55 minutes of Tuesday’s play it was 157-7 with Nugent taking three wickets, two lbws and a catch behind by Davison.

Rishton claimed his fifth wicket to finish with 5-33 off 16 overs before Peploe took two wickets in his first 10 balls to complete a famous victory, which means they have now gone four complete seasons without losing a championship match, 27 games.

Mungo Russell was named the man of the match.

Berks’ performance manager Tom Lambert has now collected a remarkable 13 trophies for the county as a player and coach.