Dinton Cricket Club’s disappointing season ended in defeat to Buckingham despite a much-improved performance in their last HCPL match before returning to the Cherwell League next season.
Batting first, Dinton openers Sanders and Smith put on 40 for the first wicket before young Northants star Saif Zaib took the attack to the visitors bowlers, regularly finding the boundary with a wide array of strokeplay in his innings of 34.
From 78-1 Dinton collapsed to 131-8 and only some late hitting from Tim Brooker (41no) and Naham Rehman (35) saw them post a competitive score of 215 all out.
Buckingham opener Ashley Pearson anchored the reply with a steady 72 although a spell of 3-44 by Rehman plus Will Fisher’s 1-26 gave Dinton hope.
But John Wilkins steered Buckingham to victory by two wickets.
Captain Tim Brooker summed up the last few weeks: “The boys put in a really good effort today, especially when you take into account the difficulties of the last few weeks.
“We have some good young players who will be better for the experience of playing Premier League Cricket.
“All we can do is stick together, regroup and come back stronger next year. It is important to remember the club have had a period of unparalleled success.
“In the last six years we have played Premier League Cricket, the first time we have reached that level. We have also been to two National Village Cup semi finals, the furthest we have been in the competition.
“Although relegation back to the Cherwell League is a big disappointment, I believe if the players stick together there is no reason we cannot come back even stronger over the next few years.”