BASINGSTOKE and North Hants CC’s hopes of promotion to the top tier of the Southern League were dashed on two fronts on Saturday.
Firstly, leaders Sarisbury won their final game, and then the Bountymen could only tie at New Milton.
Having been put into bat, Basingstoke were bowled out for 118, with captain Chris Froud the top scorer with an unbeaten 37.
The home side looked to be heading for an easy win when they reached 89-3, but then wickets started to fall and when Ryan Connor grabbed his second wicket of the game, New Milton were 111-9.
They ended up needing eight off the final over, bowled by chief wicket-taker Rakitha Perera (3-35), and two off the last ball, but the home side only got one run as Basing-stoke just missed a run out.
So they finished on 118-9 from their full 50 overs, making the game a tie.
Froud said: “It was the worst pitch we have played on all season, which made it a bowler’s day.”
The newly-promoted Bountymen had a good first campaign in Division One, never being out of the top three all season.
Froud said: “We had a good year and we let a couple of games slip away when we were in winning positions.
“This proved be the difference between winning and not winning the league in the end.”
Next season, the Bountymen will face a new team as Totton and Eling were relegated after a 10-wicket defeat to Hampshire Academy last Saturday, a game that saw Basingstoke’s Matt King take 3-47.
Basingstoke’s second team signed off their campaign in Division Three with a 38-run defeat to Fair Oak in a high-scoring game at May’s Bounty.
The visitors scored 309-5 thanks to an excellent 136 from opener Ed Kemp.
The home side reached 271-9 from their 50 overs as Andrew Fulton (69), Mo Rizwan (52), Lee Nurse (29), Andy Giles (28) and Keith Harsham (21) all scored runs.
The loss saw the Bountymen have to settle for seventh in the table, after being the early leaders.