BEING good at a sport only offers an opportunity for success.
But being good and dedicated substantially increases the chances of doing something special.
In the Lancashire Cricket League there are few more dedicated to their sport than swing bowler David Ormerod.
And "Dibber" – as he known to most throughout the league because of his "dibbly dobbly" bowling style – will achieve something really special if he can lead Accrington to a third successive title next season.
It will not be a unique achievement for the Hyndburn club, who achieved the feat from 1914-16.
There are also many players throughout the year who have played in triple winning sides at Burnley (1906-8), Church (1939-41), Haslingden (1987-89) and Bacup (2000-2).
And Nelson’s mark of four titles on the bounce from 1934-7 has never been bettered.
But no one in the league’s rich history, stretching back more than a century, has played in two different triple-championship winning clubs. And that is what Ormerod will stand on the cusp of when the 2010 season gets under way.
A few months before the season starts the Accrington captain, who lives in Helmshore, will celebrate his 41st birthday.
But a winter of cycling and swimming then gym work at the turn of the year means that Ormerod usually starts the season carrying less fat than a butcher’s apron.
He explained: "I realised when I reached 30 that I was carrying a bit more weight than I wanted to I was really enjoying my cricket. I thought that if I carried on with drinking pints on a Friday night and then having a curry I was not going to enjoy it for much longer. I made a concerted effort not to drink too much and stopped going out on Friday nights. I still enjoyed a couple of pints with the lads and the opposition on Sunday but I thought that I needed to keep fitter."
The decision coincided with the arrival of Adam Dale – fresh from a World Cup win with Australia – as professional at Lanehead.
Ormerod could not have found a better ally at the right time as the Aussie set about whipping Bacup into shape to claim the first of three successive Lancashire League titles.
Dale’s sojurn was only one year but Ormerod's new dedication to the sport has never wavered.
And he would probably strip fitter than many of Accrington's younger players.
He said: "I used to love running but my knees play up now and I cannot run but I cycle and swim and will be in the gym in the New Year. I never ask the lads to do anything that I would not do myself and we are a lot fitter as a squad.
"We will be stronger next year with Will Driver as pro. He has been in Australia and will be stronger for that. I am more confident that I was last season but it will be tough. Haslingden will be strong and so will Ramsbottom but it really would be something to win the treble again."
Regardless of whether Ormerod lifts the championship trophy again, his name is already well woven into the history of the league.
His 66 league wickets this season leave him fifth on the all-time list with 1,098 victims.
A total of 877 of those were taken for Bacup and 221 have come since he helped to turn Accrington from a bottom of the table side to table toppers. Ormerod has taken five wickets or more 78 times and has best figures of 8-45 against East Lancs in 2002.
He has been leading wicket-taker in a league season eight times and on two of those occasions has even topped the pros.