UTTOXETER heartrendingly missed out on promotion by a single point from Division Six South of the Derbyshire County League in the end of season shake-up.
The Town were beaten over the line by Derby Congs 2nds after a disappointing 52-run defeat to Mickleover 2nds on Saturday.
Congs - who began the weekend in fifth spot - pulled off the unlikely and finished second behind Abbots Bromley after getting maximum points off Rosehill Meths on Saturday before beating Stanton Elks on Sunday.
At the start of play on the final day of the season, Uttoxeter, 17 points clear of the chasing pack but out of action having completed their fixtures, could only watch in agony as their promotion hopes were shattered.
But the day before their hopes were in their own hands before a batting collapse saw them gather just seven points against Mickelover’s second string.
The Derby outfit won the toss and batted first on a decent wicket.
Uttoxeter bowled well to restrict the visitors to 177-9 off 46 overs, with the highlights again medium pacer Adam Johnson (4-30) and spinner Jan Kasperowicz (3-35) In reply, the batsman never showed enough fight and desire to succeed.
Too many gave their wickets away to cheap shots and with the prospect of securing promotion it was particularly disheartening for skipper Jon Walmsley.
There was some late fight from Adam Cottier and Mike Skelham but it was too little too late.
It was a disappointing end to a frustrating season in which both the weather and some lapses in concentration have cost Uttoxeter promotion.
Despite the disappointment some positives will be taken, with the emergence of young Kieran Stone the main one.
The club is now planning on bringing in a coach to ensure that 2013 ends with promotion to Division Five.
UTTOXETER 2nds’ Division Nine South also ended in heartbreak at the weekend as Dave Whitehead’s side were defeated in their final two games.
They started the weekend in second spot with a 15-point cushion on Lullington Park 4ths.
But two defeats - against Trentside 4ths and Burton 2nds - meant they finished third, 26 points behind Rosehill Meths 2nds.
Uttoxeter had only lost two all season before the final weekend and were left ruing what might have been if they could have won one and drawn the other game.
Against Trentside, they were in trouble at 109-8 batting first on a bouncy wicket.
Tom Wheeldon (71) had held things together before a late rally led by Rory Maxwell (44) took Uttoxeter to 163.
Trentside’s twins Joe and Sam Bassett then won the day, the former carrying his bat for 73 as the hosts reached their target for the loss of four wickets.
A haul of just five points meant the Town dropped to fourth and needed to beat undefeated league leaders Burton 2nds to stand a chance of going up.
Skipper Dave Whitehead was missing through illness and there were others unavailable.
Despite this, Uttoxeter restricted Burton to 204 all out, with Wheeldon bowling superbly without reward while Jim Malkin (5-38) and Dave Hunt (4-51) got the wickets.
Town fell to 77-6 in reply before Gav Hall (46) got stuck in. It was not enough, though, as they were 145 all out.
CHECKLEY finished off their North Staffs & South Cheshire Premier Division A season with a defeat.
Gavin Carr’s men sank to Stone on Saturday but survived comfortably in the top flight after a cracking start to 2012.