Promoted Egerton Park CC miss out on County League title

Egerton Park opener Kamal Panchal is bowled for a duck EMN-190917-171655002
Egerton Park opener Kamal Panchal is bowled for a duck EMN-190917-171655002
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Egerton Park CC Second XI were unable to add a County League title to their promotion as they were well beaten in a final day top-of-the-table showdown.

Park had led Division Seven East for the final weeks of the season and went into Saturday with a 12-point buffer over their hosts Billesdon.

Park in post-match fancy dress EMN-190917-171706002

Park in post-match fancy dress EMN-190917-171706002

Batting first, Billesdon posted a challenging 215 all out, with the biggest contributions from Cross (55) and Wigginton (69).

In-form Park knew a seventh-straight victory would give them the crown, but they crumbled to 67 all out in reply to finish just eight points adrift of their opponents in the final standings.

* Park’s First XI also had a poor day with the bat after a season of promise ended on a flat note.

Hosting Billesdon’s First XI, Park were in party mood with their traditional fancy dress finale to the season.

Having won the toss, Park batted first, but having mixed up the batting order the hosts found themselves 6-4.

The wickets continued to tumble as Ricky Boyce (4 for 31) and Sam Blackwell (4 for 28) reduced Park to 37-9, Tom Glover top-scoring with 11.

Charlie Madden, batting at 10, hit 30, but the hosts were all out for 75 to the first ball of the 26th over.

Madden removed opener Tim Harrison for a duck in reply, but that was as good as it got as James Nourish (16 not out) and Sam Woods (22 not out) eased Billesdon to an eight-wicket win inside 15 overs.

Having been in the promotion frame for a good chunk of the season, a run of five defeats and one win in their final seven matches saw Park end their campaign in eighth.

* Having wrapped up the Division Three crown with two games to spare, Melton Mowbray CC First XI ended the season with successive defeats after a final day thriller at the All England Ground.

Batting first, Gary Potter (69) and Simon Claricoats (60) helped the hosts to a competitive 226-7 from their 45 overs.

But needing a win to clinch second spot and promotion, visitors Barwell proved up to the task.

Baker played a captain’s innings as his unbeaten 102, backed up by Smith’s 50, took the visitors to victory – and promotion – with the final ball of the match.

* In the Premier Division, Syston Town avoided joining already-relegated Barkby in Division One with a tense final day win.

Syston started the day just one place and three points above second-bottom Lutterworth, and things didn’t look good as they slumped to 109-9 chasing 155 at Kegworth.

But a nerveless 45-run last-wicket stand from Zahir Taher (26 not out) and Bilal Pardesi (21 not out) rescued them, clinching a one-wicket win with just three balls to spare.