An emphatic nine-wicket victory wasn’t enough for Basingstoke and North Hants Cricket Club to snatch the Division One title in their final league match of the season on Saturday.
The Bountymen dominated the match against local rivals Hook and Newnham Basics to take a commanding win.
They were relying on Calmore Sports losing to Portsmouth to have any hope of finishing top of the pile, but Calmore won by seven wickets to end in first place.
But after finishing second in the table, Basingstoke could still yet gain promotion to the Southern Cricket League Premier Division if it is ruled Calmore don’t meet the criteria to go up.
David Griffiths was the star man for Basingstoke in Saturday’s match, taking five wickets in a devastating early spell as Hook were all out for just 89.
Ben Thane, Liam Doran, Nicholas Willcock, Alex Brown and Matt Love were all dismissed in quick succession as Hook crumbled from 14-0 to 14-5.
Rhodes Franklin (43, not out) and Richard Willcock (15) steadied the ship somewhat, while Rupert Armstrong was also able to add 13.
But the final two batsmen of Aniket Divecha and Kevin Poulter became the fifth and sixth of the afternoon to leave the field having scored no runs and end Hook’s miserable innings.
And it didn’t take the Bountymen long to overhaul Hook’s total.
Max Harsham was the only casualty as he was caught by Armstrong for 10, but Daniel Belcher and Mitch Stokes hit 38 and 39 respectively to take Basingstoke past Hook’s total in less than 15 overs.
Hartley Wintney secure promotion despite defeat
Elsewhere, Hartley Wintney secured promotion from Division Two despite narrowly losing to league winners Old Tauntonians and Romsey in their final-day clash.
Wintney came up one run short as they chased down Old Tauntonians’ tally of 217, despite Scott Baldwin’s 85 and Henry Collier’s 58.
However their efforts were good enough to pick up nine losing bonus points, which meant they retained second place in the table.