There was a fine success but no fairytale finish for Eaton Socon on the final day of the Cambs & Hunts Premier League season.
Jonny Carpenter’s side went into their closing fixture with faint hopes of winning a first Whiting & Partners Division One title and qualifying for a promotion play-off.
And while they did all they could do by banking the maximum 30 points for a 17-run triumph against second-placed Sawston & Babraham, they were powerless to prevent a result elsewhere determining the destination of the silverware.
Saffron Walden, who began the final day in third spot, triumphed at leaders Foxton to clinch the title in dramatic style. Foxton dropped to second with Eaton Socon climbing above Sawston & Babraham into third.
Eaton Socon found themselves in deep trouble after being reduced to 102-7 but the big-hitting of South African ace Wade Lezar dragged them to what proved to be a match-winning total.
Lezar clubbed a boundary-laden 81 – featuring five fours and six sixes – off just 89 balls while club president Terry Day added a valuable 16no as the hosts reached 216.
That score looked to be vulnerable with Sawston & Babraham ticking along nicely in their reply until they lost five wickets for the addition of just 10 runs, slumping from 133-4 to 143-9 in a sudden collapse.
Youngster Ollie Jefferies claimed three of those scalps to finish with figures of 3-35 after Joe Dawborn had bagged 3-28 by removing the visitors’ top three batsmen.
Captain Carpenter also swooped for 3-41 before Lezar bagged the final wicket as Eaton Socon’s best-ever season came to a winning climax.
Elsewhere Godmanchester Town ended the campaign on a high with an emphatic local derby success against Ramsey.
Two players hit their first centuries for their clubs in a feast of runs at The Parks with Godmanchester opener Chris Seton-Rogers and Ramsey all-rounder Charlie Morrison both blasting into three figures.
Seton-Rogers, a member of the Army representative side, hit 112 in only his third Godmanchester appearance after recently being stationed to RAF Wyton.
He also featured in a fine 212-run opening stand with Nick Willmer, whose innings of 90 was a personal best at this level of cricket.
The efforts of those two men set Town on the way to a hefty 312-8 before they removed Ramsey for 191 in reply.
More than half of the visitors’ runs came from all-rounder Charlie Morrison, who cracked an unbeaten 116 from 94 balls, but only one other Ramsey man (Ollie Stevens, 21) made it into double-figures.
Adam Cousins (4-17) and Amit Gupta (3-19) impressed with the ball for Godmanchester with Tom Hodgson and Michael Cafferkey having earlier claimed three wickets apiece for Ramsey.
Waresley were skittled for just 78 when falling to a 126-run loss at March.
Chetan Chauhan took 3-24 for the second-bottom locals as the hosts made 204-8.
Nick Taylor (23) was the only Waresley batsman to have any joy as a difficult season ended in defeat, but any fears of relegation were ended when rock-bottom Kimbolton conceded their final fixture at Wisbech.
Huntingdon & District claimed final-day derby success against St Ives on the final day of the Whiting & Partners Division Two season.
Navid Ahmed’s men prevailed by 46 runs in a low-scoring clash at St Peters Road, successfully defending their posting of 155 to climb into fourth place. St Ives finished third.
Waqas Mahmud (31) was the biggest contributor to that Huntingdon & District effort, but their real star was overseas ace Graham Hudson.
The South African ended his second season with the club by taking a five-wicket haul as he ripped through the St Ives top order on his way to 5-24.
Former Huntingdon & District man Nick Kumpukkal (52) provided the only resistance of note with a half-century but he fell to Ahmed (2-10) as St Ives came up short.
CAMBS & HUNTS PREMIER LEAGUE
Whiting & Partners Division One
EATON SOCON beat SAWSTON & BABRAHAM by 17 runs
Eaton Socon 216 (W. Lezar 81).
Sawston & Babraham 199 (J. Dawborn 33-28, O. Jefferies 3-35, J. Carpenter 3-41).
GODMANCHESTER TOWN beat RAMSEY by 123 runs
Godmanchester Tn 314-8 (C. Seton-Rogers 112, N. Willmer 90, A. Cousins 32, T. Hodgson 3-50, M. Cafferkey 3-72).
Ramsey 191 (C. Morrison 116no, A. Cousins 4-17, A. Gupta 3-19).
MARCH TOWN beat WARESLEY by 126 runs
March Tn 204-8 (C. Chauhan 3-24).
WISBECH vs KIMBOLTON – Kimbolton conceded
Whiting & Partners Division Two
HUNTINGDON & DISTRICT beat ST IVES by 46 runs
Huntingdon & District 155 (W. Mahmud 31).
St Ives 109 (N. Kumpukkal 52, G. Hudson 5-24).