ROTTINGDEAN clinched the East Sussex Cricket League title win a 10-wicket win at home to Ditchling.
It was a stylish way to seal the DIVISION ONE championship but a win was vital as chasing club Heathfield Park also won, although not by such a convincing margin, at home to Ringmer, by four wickets.
Willingdon and Barcombe were already relegated before the final day and both teams took on each other, with Barcombe winning by five wickets at Willingdon.
NEWICK held off nearest challengers to seal the DIVISION TWO title with a win at home to Chiddingly.
Rye also won, away at Battle, but it wasn’t enough, although both teams were assured of the two promotion places before the start of the day.
Hailsham’s hopes of avoiding the drop ended despite a comfortable 69-run home win over Fletching as, although they crept off the bottom of the table they still ended an agonising three runs behind third-bottom Robertsbridge, who lost at home to Bells Yew Green. Chiddingly were the other relegated side.
In DIVISION THREE Mayfield were already champions before their defeat on the last day, to Uckfield Anderida. And Lewes St Michaels clinched second place and a promotion spot with a win away at Dicker.
At the bottom of the table it was Ditchling who were the team celebrating out of them, Polegate and Herstmonceux. Only one of those three sides could stay up and it was Ditchling 2nd XI, as Ceux lost at home to Tunbridge Wells Borderers – and Polegate went down at home to Pevensey.
Although by Sunday lunchtime, neither Ditchling 2nd XI or opponents Newhaven had posted the result of their game with Newhaven (meaning the league table could not be wholly updated) on the Ditchling Cricket Club Twitter feed it read: “So 2012 league season nearly over. 3’s champions, 2’s stayed up, 1’s mid-table. Not to (sic) shabby considering the weather...”
In DIVISION FOUR, Firle pulled off their bid for a promotion place when they beat already crowned champions and overtook Forest Row, who lost at home to Rottingdean 2nd XI.
The teams who entered the day in the three relegation places – Ringmer 2nd XI, Heathfield Park 2nd XI and Isfield – stayed there. Ringmer’s draw with Heathfield Park didn’t help either side’s cause, while Little Common Ramblers won anyway (away to Wadhurst) to ensure any full-point win would have been academic.
DPB (Eastbourne) leapfrogged Newick 2nd XI on the last day to clinch the DIVISION FIVE championship. DPB won away at Maresield while Newick slipped up in defeat at Hastings. But they both go up, as do Maresfield, who secured third place despite that Dental Practice Board defeat.
Hastings still went down despite beating Newick, as did Fletching 2nd XI who lost their crunch winner-takes-all clash at home to Pett. Willingdon 2nd XI were already down.
THERE was drama and surely no little despair in DIVISION SIX as Brighton side St Peters somehow contrived to slip out of the top three promotion zone despite going into the day top of the table. As we reported in Friday’s Sussex Express, there was everything to play for in this division, but Saints will still be distraught to miss out on a promotion place by just three points after losing at home to Bexhill 3rd XI – who went on to win the division as a result.
Blackboys ensured themselves of second place with a win at home to Robertsbridge 2nd XI. While Hailsham crept into the third promotion spot at the 11th hour with a win away to Selmeston.
All three relegation places were sealed before the start of the day, with Selmeston, Robertsbridge and Chiddingly all down.