An extraordinary finale to the season denied Langley Mill United the Derbyshire County League, Second Division title by a whisker.
The Millers went into their last match at home to Ockbrook and Borrowash 2nd level on points at the top with Ilkeston Rutland and knowing that they would be crowned champions if they bettered their rivals’ result.
They did everything they could, beating Ockbrook by 84 runs to take a maximum quota of 27 points. But news filtered through that Rutland had also won and also bagged the maximum, and so they nicked first place.
Langley Mill’s consolation prize is promotion after a wonderful campaign in which they finished fully 100 points clear of third place.
After winning the toss, they totalled 241-6, declaring two overs early to give themselves 48 overs to remove the opposition, which they managed inside 41 thanks to some devastating bowling by Simon Lacey, who returned his best figures of the season (6-47 from 14 overs).
South African all-rounder Lance Humphrey (2-35 in 13 overs) picked up two of the other wickets to fall to cap a terrific campaign for him.
Earlier the Millers’ chief run-makers had been opener Josh Lacey with 58 (one six and nine fours) before he was harshly given out caught behind, middle-order duo Jamie Salmons (42, two sixes and six fours) and Andrew Bailey (36, one six and three fours) and skipper Jack Scott with an unbeaten 25, topped by a six off the last ball.