Skipper Matt Hockley provided Bideford with the perfect celebration present as the Robins took delivery of the Southern League Division One South and West trophy after their final home match at the Sports Ground on Saturday.
The midfielder’s 75th minute penalty ensured that the Robins completed their outstanding season with an unbeaten home record, giving them a 1-0 win over promotion-chasing Hungerford Town.
Visiting Hungerford were denied the first scoring opportunity in the opening half by a good block from keeper Paul Hider.
It was the Robins who then created the chances, with striker Kevin Squire shooting just wide and Ray Spear also coming close after a Jack Furzer free kick could only be parried by the visiting keeper.
But it remained goalless until joint top scorer Sean Downing was brought down and skipper Hockley stepped up to convert from the spot.
Tribute was paid to Bideford’s former assistant manager Rob Francis, who retired last season due to injury, when he was given a run-out for the last 10 minutes of the match.
Fittingly, it was Hockley who stepped up after the match to receive the league trophy in front of a jubilant crowd.
Saturday’s win leaves the runaway champions 14 points clear of their nearest rivals with one match left to play – away to second-placed Poole Town on Saturday.