Dorset were in dreamland at Bournemouth Sports after lifting their first Minor Counties championship title - after 99 years of trying.

They finally found the winning formula after losing out in both the previous two championship play-offs to gain some sweet revenge on Cumberland, their conquerors at Netherfield last season, with a famous five wicket win.

A sparkling 63 off 55 balls from Man-of-the-Match Darren Cowley was the key to Dorset successfully chasing 193 to win. His third-wicket partnership of 80 in 16.4 overs with Neil Thurgood (62) turned the challenge into a cakewalk, with Dorset clinching victory before tea on the final day in front of another healthy Church Gate crowd.

Cowley, the 23-year-old son of ex-Hampshire star Nigel and a South African Under 19 one-day international, hit seven fours and three sixes, and raced to his half-century as anchor man Thurgood scored just nine at the other end. Dorset polished off the final Cumberland wicket in 21 balls at the start of the day, and though they lost Matt Swarbrick for just four, Glyn Treagus and Thurgood added a watchful 67 in 40 overs to lay a solid platform.

The departure of Treagus for 27 brought Cowley to the wicket, and the beefy left-hander quickly launched a powerful assault on the Cumberland bowlers. His 57-minute stay at the crease dramatically raised the tempo. When he lost his leg stump to David Pennett, having made 63 off only 55 balls, Dorset were 151 for three and victory was in sight.

The Cumberland attack gained little assistance from the pitch and Tim Lamb provided a fitting conclusion to a memorable Dorset season by wrapping up the win by hoisting leg spinner Simon Kippax for a straight six.

Dorset skipper Stuart Rintoul said: "We have played some great cricket this season and it's a wonderful feeling to lift the title.

"It seems it's been a long time coming after getting to the final three years on the trot but I think we deserved to win it the way we have performed.

"We lost last year's final at Netherfield in one bad session and we probably won this year's by having a good afternoon on the second day. We took wickets and pegged Cumberland back. Darren Cowley then turned things in our favour with a great innings.

"A lot of this team has come through our colts side and they are still very young. The future for Dorset cricket looks very rosy."