Ian Kirk came so close to a century as he made a fitting farewell innings for Barkby United at County League title contenders Kibworth on Saturday.
Playing in his final match for the club he joined as a junior, Kirk hit 91 and looked to be steering Barkby to a famous win at the reigning Premier Division champions.
But the visitors picked up eight points in a losing draw and dropped to third as Kibworth leapfrogged them.
Barkby won the toss and invited the home side to bat first, but openers S. Patel and Craven put on 205 for the first wicket before Kirk bowled Craven for 99 in the 40th over.
Van Biljon and Patel took the score to 266 before Morris had Van Biljon caught by Bourke for 30, and Patel finally fell for 135, caught by Carmichael off the bowling of Sharp.
Morris bowled a lively spell and picked up two further wickets as the Kibworth innings closed on 297-5.
Kirk, playing his final innings before a move to Scotland, and Stapleford-Jones gave Barkby’s reply a sound start with a first-wicket partnership of 89 before Stapleford-Jones was caught behind for 23.
Barkby then lost their second wicket when Silver was out for 10 with the score on 113, but Steve Flowers and Kirk then raised Barkby’s hopes of victory with a partnership of 62.
But when Kirk went with the score on 175, Barkby’s chances diminished, soon followed by Funnell (8) and Morris (5) as the away side slipped to 200-5.
Just 12 runs later Paige-Morris bowled Flowers for 47, and also bowled Carmichael for nine to leave Barkby 217-7.
But Rob Townsend and Eamon Bourke played out the final six overs to deny Kibworth a win, Barkby finishing on 244-7.
Bowling: I. Kirk 7-0-66-1; H. Funnell 7-0-27-0; A. Morris 9-1-47-3; R. Townsend 10-0-64-1; E. Bourke 7-0-48-0.
Barkby: I. Kirk 91, A. Stapleford-Jones 23, B. Silver 10, S. Flowers 47, H. Funnell 8, A. Morris 5, M. Carmichael 9, R. Townsend 20*, E. Bourke 10*, Extras 21. Total: 244-7.