Denton heartbroken in title shootout but console themselves with promotion – ESCL final day round-up Divs 7-13

THE closest title race in the East Sussex Cricket League was in DIVISION SEVEN, where Denton and Bells Yew Green 2nd XI were dead level on points at the top of the table on Saturday morning – and knowing they were going to play each other for the championship later in the day!

And it was our local side, Denton, who were left nursing broken hearts after going down away at the side based near Tunbridge Wells. Denton must have known the writing was on the wall when they only posted 123 in their innings when put in – and indeed BYG reached their target for the loss of only three wickets.

At least Denton can console themselves with runners up and the second promotion place. Iden were already assured of the third promotion place ahead of their loss at home to Plumpton 2nd XI.

At the bottom of the table Newhaven 2nd XI could have avoided relegation – and condemned their opponents Alfriston – had they won. But they came nowhere near to Alfriston’s 233-4 target in reaching 160-8 to draw. Glynde 3rd XI and St Peters 3rd XI were both already down.

HELLINGLY 3rd XI made sure of the DIVISION EIGHT title with victory at home over Wadhurst 2nd XI.

Either Battle 2nd XI and Rye 2nd XI could have overtaken them had they won their game against each other and Hellingly had slipped up. But Battle’s victory in that crunch game ultimately meant nothing as they stayed second – and all three teams were assured of going up anyway.

But at the bottom, Seaford 3rd XI are celebrating after avoiding the drop with victory away at Herstmonceux 2nd XI. As we reported in Friday’s Sussex Express, Barcombe 2nd XI would be looking on helplessly as they had completed their league programme the previous week – and despite Ceux’s defeat they still picked up enough points against Seaford to see them move above Barcombe, who dropped into the bottom three and a relegation place.

Wadhurst 2nd XI and Stanmer 2nd XI were already relegated.

LITTLE Common Ramblers 2nd XI won their massive crunch match with Polegate 2nd XI to secure the third and final promotion place in DIVISION NINE. Polegate decided to try and set a target on winning the toss – and declared on a modest-looking 104-8. They must have felt excited with their opponents six wickets down but Ramblers got through to their target in 36.1 overs.

Rottingdean 3rd XI, as expected, did go down following a home defeat to the already confirmed champions Burwash Weald, joining Rotherfield 2nd XI and Buxted Park 3rd XI in the drop. Bexhill 4th XI joined Burwash Weald and Little Common in going up.

IT was as you were in the battle for promotion in DIVISION TEN. Four teams were fighting to secure one of the three spots available and Hastings Priory 4th XI’s win away at fourth-placed Laughton 2nd XI meant all the top three team would remain in the top slots.

Mayfield 2nd XI’s win over Uckfield Anderida 2nd XI, and Linden Park 4th XI’s win at home to Maresfield 2nd XI, ensured all the morning’s positions remained unchanged, with Mayfield crowned champions.

At the bottom, Pevensey 2nd XI joined Glynde 4th XI and Lewes Priory 3rd XI in going down. The fact that Pevensey could only pick up 25 points instead of the full 30 following Priory’s concession of the match was academic as they finished seven points behind Maresfield.

IN DIVISION 11, Firle 2nd XI were long assured of the title but it was much closer just below them in the table, with no fewer than five teams chasing the two remaining promotion spots.

In the end it was Crowhurst Park 3rd XI and Pett 2nd XI who claimed the glory, winning at home to Sidley 3rd XI and at home to Newhaven 3rd XI respectively. Willingdon 3rd XI held one of the promotion slots going into the day but went down by three wickets at home to champions Firle, missing out on promotion by an agonising two points in the process.

Bottom sides Heathfield Park 3rd XI, Seaford 4th XI and Newhaven 3rd XI all knew their fate going into the last round of games.

BEXHILL 5th XI secured the DIVISION 12 title by beating Hailsham 3rd XI – ending Hailsham’s hopes of promotion in the process. Hailsham went into the day in one of the three promotion places but were overtaken by DPB (Eastbourne) 2nd XI, who beat Rye 3rd XI at home. Mayfield 3rd XI kept hold of second place after Wadhurst 3rd XI conceded their game.

At the bottom, Hellingly 4th XI, Wadhurst and St Peters 4th XI were all already relegated.

IN DIVISION 13, leaders Buxted Park 4th XI did indeed secure the eight points they needed to clinch the league, and more besides as they beat the league’s rock-bottom side Newick 4th XI by 10 wickets.

Rye 4th XI and Little Common Ramblers 3rd XI, as expected, sealed the other two promotion spots but traded places, with Ramblers leapfrogging their near neighbours to claim runners-up spot.

The whole things starts again next May. Good luck for then!