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Defeat sends Sports down

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:52 06 July 2010

KIRKLEY Sports made the daunting trip to champions elect Hardingham on Saturday knowing victory would have kept them in in Norfolk League Division One for next season.

KIRKLEY Sports made the daunting trip to champions elect Hardingham on Saturday knowing victory would have kept them in in Norfolk League Division One for next season.

However, it was not to be and they face life in Division Two in 2010.

Winning the toss, Sports' elected to bat and made a solid start with Halstein and McAlone adding an untroubled 50 partnership in 20 overs.

McAlone (20) was first to fall and Halstein (33) went soon after caught by Duckham as Sports' tried to increase the rate. Laws and Tuttle did inject some speed as, with wickets in hand for once, Sports were able to attack.

Tuttle (32) was caught behind off the returning Duckham and Holmes (12) hit three boundaries in succession before skying Duckham to Watts in the covers.

Top scorer Laws (37) was caught in the deep and Parker, Knights and Muirhead all came and went in quick succession trying to keep the rate up.

Cross finished not out 10 and Read not out 1 as Sports posted 181-8 in their 45 overs.

Hardingham buoyed by news from elsewhere that they had picked up sufficient bowling points that now just a win would seal the title set off like they wanted an early finish with Howes and Fowle playing some exuberant shots all around the wicket.

Finally, after they raced past 100 in the 21st over, Caplin made the breakthrough clean bowling Fowle for 35.

With just pride to aim for Sports brought on Read to bowl and he breathed new hope as he quickly grabbed three wickets, Duckham (13) clean bowled, Goodrum (1) caught by Cross and Howes caught behind for an excellent 83 to leave Hardingham wobbling at 147-4.

Some lusty hitting by Harris and Hearne however got Hardingham out of trouble and despite Holmes coming back to remove Harris (18) they got home with seven overs to spare to become worthy champions.

Sports' can be pleased with their efforts this season and should now look to push on into 2010 with a positive belief that they can successfully compete in the top division.

Kirkley Sports wish to thank their main sponsors Glen and Ritchi High at the Ole Frank PH, Andy Flatt Decorators and Village Rise Pharmacy for their continued and much appreciated support.

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