Langley Mill’s first team beat relegation-threatened Lullington Park by 219 runs at Station Road on Saturday to go into the final day with a chance of pipping Ockbrook & Borrowash to the Division Three title.
With their main promotion rivals losing, the Millers secured a spot in Division Two for the 2012 season.
On a showery day, Lullington won the toss and asked the Millers to bat first on a green track which looked likely to favour the bowler.
Openers Jamie Salmons and Paul Bailey weren’t troubled by the track, or the intermittent showers, and put on 191 before Salmons was spectacularly caught by Adam Johnson, off Will Smith’s bowling, for an excellent 102, which included 20 fours.
Sajendra Thimal didn’t last long, bowled by Smith for 8, and with the score on 224, Jeff Wharton (7) was unlucky to glove a Johnson beamer straight to keeper Steve Rothwell.
With overs running out, the Millers batsmen stepped on the gas and lost Jay Holmes, bowled by Rob Hodson-Walker for 6. Bailey was fifth out with the score on 250, caught by Hodson-Walker, off Smith, for 107, his 124 ball knock containing 14 fours and four sixes.
The final wicket to fall was that of Dave Farnsworth, caught by Rothwell for 2 to give Hodson-Walker his second. The Millers final score of 257 for 6 looked enough in the blustery conditions.
For the visitors, Smith returned figures of 3 for 71 and Hodson-Walker 2 for 13.
In reply, Lullington were completely outclassed after a shower during tea had freshened up the surface.
Only Bill Arnold with 14 not out reached double figures as the visitors slumped to a depressing 38 all out.
Farnsworth grabbed four wickets at a cost of 22, while Wharton was almost unplayable, returning figures of 6 for 13 as the Millers wrapped up the game in the 15th over.
Langley Mill finished their season at Spondon on Sunday - a season full of ups and downs, but with the target of promotion achieved.
The Millers batted first with openers Jamie Salmons and Paul Bailey setting off briskly. Salmons went with the score on 67, caught and bowled by Matthew Hind. Bailey followed on 79, caught by keeper Adam Finlay, off Dean Vickers, for 19.
Jay Holmes didn’t trouble the scorers, stumped off Vickers with the score on 81, but Sajendra Thimal and Andrew Sibley then put on a 130-run fourth wicket partnership to take the score to 211.
At this point, the Millers lost five wickets for the addition of only eight runs. Thimal was caught by Nick Rigg, off Kashif Hussain for 57, followed by Jeff Wharton, caught by James Rigg off Vickers for a golden duck.
Sibley went with the score on 213 for a club personal best 81 which included 11 fours. He was caught by Rob Mountney to give Vickers his fourth. Hussain then picked up two more, removing Dave Farnsworth for two and Jack Scott without scoring, both caught behind.
Andrew Bailey (9 not out) and Grant Ball (2 not out) took the visitors to 232 for 8 at the close with Vickers returning figures of 4 for 61 and Hussain 3 for 58.
In reply, Spondon looked likely to overturn the Millers total despite losing Finlay, caught by Paul Bailey off Farnsworth for 24. Nick and Graham Rigg then took the score to 124 before Graham was bowled by Andrew Bailey, three short of his fifty.
The hosts then lost Rob Mountney, run out for 9, and Mandeep Singh Saini, leg before also to Bailey, for a duck. Hussain then joined Nick Rigg and the pair took the hosts within sight of victory before Hussain was caught by Paul Bailey off Wharton for 24 with the score on 196. Wharton struck again on 219 to remove Vickers, bowled for 17.
With only 12 needed for victory and three overs left, Wharton caught Nick Rigg off Jamie Salmons bowling for a patient 73 and then bowled James Rigg for a single and Alan Hibbert for a duck. The Millers were unable to grab the final wicket for victory and had to be content with the winning draw as Spondon closed on 226 for 9.
Wharton was pick of the bowlers with 4 for 55 and Bailey returned 2 for 37. Farnsworth and Salmons were the other wicket takers.
With leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash winning, Langley Mill finished in second place in the league, 11 points behind the champions, and will take their place in Division Two for the 2012 season.