Ilkeston Rutland’s 1st XI wrote themselves into the Premier League record books at the weekend as the side to have gained least points during a season.
They added just nine to their tally on the final weekend of the campaign as first A&B then Spondon helped themselves to a cushy 27 points each.
How Sandiacre, four points short of a title, must be kicking themselves for choosing to take 22 rather than 27 at Rutland earlier in the season.
A&B, who boast a strong batting line up, were put in by captain Rob Green on Saturday and immediately began to take advantage of the flat pitch and short boundaries.
Openers Chris McIlroy and Steve Stubbings hit nine fours and a six as they raced to 61 before James Lockhart produced a beauty to have McIlroy caught behind for 32.
Stubbings looked particularly dangerous but in the very next over he dragged a ball from Green onto his stumps.
Lockhart then got lucky with an LBW and suddenly A&B looked vulnerable at 70 for 3.
Their mainstay now was ex-Derbyshire batsman Hassan Adnan, second in the Premier League’s batting stats with over 1,200 runs.
He had made just 16 when an attempted cut to David Smit’s first ball looped to point only to be put down. It was the game’s defining moment.
After that, Adnan and Aussie Andy Gray (50) advanced the score steadily to 184. They took particular care against Ian Banks who put in a fine 15 over stint ending with 4 for 78, his figures spoilt only by some late hitting.
Adnan was put down again off the luckless Smit as he accelerated past his century and was finally out to for 124. A&B finished on 299 for 8.
Any hope of a competitive game disappeared once Smit was given out LBW for 11 and Rutland quickly began to fold.
At 46 for 4 from 14 overs, Rutland entered survival mode. James Lockhart (31) showed admirable determination as he featured in two time-consuming partnerships with first Danny Shelton (15) and then Ross Slater (9).
A losing draw looked achievable with five wickets left and 14 overs to go but Rutland then collapsed losing four quick wickets and finally being bowled out for 143 with six overs still to survive.
l Their final game of the season was at the Rec on Sunday against a Spondon side looking for their best Premier League finish since they won the title in 2007.
The visitors chose to bat in a game reduced to 41 overs per side and Rutland decided to experiment - opening the bowling with wicket-keeper Alex Park and Ian Banks.
Incredibly, it heralded one of the best starts to a game this year as Spondon faltered to 17 for 3 with Park belatedly revealing himself as rather an effective bowler.
Spondon were saved by a 119-run stand between 14-year-old Charlie Fearne-Wright who made 45 and Joe Ashdown whose 74 from 69 balls was the innings of the day.
Park returned attack to remove Ashdown caught and bowled and end with 3 for 41 as Spondon closed on 197 for 7.
Rutland re-jigged their batting order, opening with their usual new ball bowlers - Green and Lockhart.
Green hit two sixes but both soon perished leaving the score at 23 for 2. That soon became 31 for 4 as Danny Bobeszko and Joe Bird came and went.
The biggest partnership of Rutland’s weekend (48) was between Smit, who came in at six and 15-year-old Adam Slater, playing only his second game at this level.
Smit was purring along when he was LBW for the 11th time this season on 29. Slater continued to play sensibly surviving an hour and 20 minutes for his 26 before he was also given LBW and became the seventh wicket to fall.
Of the rest, only Park made double figures and earned himself a first red-inker of the season.
And so the season ended with a 19th defeat, this time by 70 runs, and a lot of repair work needed if they are to be force in Division One next year.
The 2nd XI ended the season in ninth spot in Division Four North after both their final games were abandoned following heavy rain after tea.
Darley Dale posted 203 for 8 at the Rec on Saturday with Matt Wakefield the pick of Rutland’s bowlers with 4 for 59.
With the exception of Martin Brandrick (32), Rutland collapsed spectacularly and were staring defeat in the face at 64 for 7.
Alan Chambers and George Brandrick had begun to put up the barricades when the weather did them a favour and effectively ended Darley’s chances.
Rutland closed on 101 for 7 from 31 overs with Brandrick unbeaten on 25.
The same pattern of weather then robbed Rutland of a possible win at Morton Colliery on Sunday.
Chasing 249 for victory, openers Martin Brandrick (47) and Matt Sisson (37) had raced to 98 without loss in 18 overs when the game was washed out.
Earlier, the Truemans had been the best of Rutland’s bowlers. Chris Jnr was luckless in bowling 10 overs for just 29 runs while Chris Snr cashed in taking 4 for 72.
Rutland’s 3rd XI needed two big wins to survive in Division 8 North but instead recorded two heavy defeats.
Grant Robertson (52) held the innings together against Riddings but 142 for 9 proved to be too few.
The home side chased it down in just 22 overs losing six wickets in the process.
On Sunday, promotion chasing Wingerworth batted like a whirlwinds and declared on 241 for 5 after just 32 overs.
Of the bowlers, only Alex Watson with 2 for 21 from his five overs can look at the scorebook with anything other than pain.
Rutland made a valiant attempt to survive for 60 overs but finally folded in the 45th for 106.