05:00PM, Thursday 12 September 2019
Cookham Dean’s yo-yo existence continued in agonising fashion as the club suffered relegation from the Home Counties Division 2 on the season’s final day.
Ben Millar’s side went into Saturday’s clash with Oxford Downs knowing they had to better second- from-bottom Amersham’s result, who travelled to champions Thame Town.
But Dean relinquished their fate from their own hands as they lost by four wickets at Whyteladyes Lane.
Millar won the toss and opted to bat but runs were at a pre-mium for the hosts.
The skipper fell for 13 with fellow opener Tom Fray (6) also failing to reach double figures.
Wickets followed at regular intervals, with number three batsman Yash Rastogi attempting to hold the innings together. But when he was caught and bowled off Lawrence Block (6-28) for 42, any hopes of Dean posting a formidable total evaporated.
The hosts made a real fist of their defence and had Sahan Nanayakkara (3-10) to thank for taking key scalps and bowling four maidens in his 10-over spell.
But visiting skipper Freddie Smith proved the elusive wicket as he made an unbeaten 54 to help Oxford reach 141-6 off 46.3 overs.
That defeat left Dean relying on a favour from crowned league winners Thame Town who hosted Amersham for their final outing of the season.
But that was not forthcoming as the hosts were bowled out for 172 in their chase of 202 runs to win.
Amersham’s elation meant despair for Dean who suffered their second relegation to the Thames Valley Cricket League Division 1 in the last five seasons.
Burnham rounded off their Division 2 campaign with a narrow one-wicket defeat away at Wokingham.
In Division 1, Datchet finished the season with a comprehensive eight-wicket defeat at Henley but still managed to finish a respectable third.
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