Alfreton CC failed in their bid to win promotion to the Premier League as two losses over the final weekend of games ended their challenge.
On Saturday, Alfreton batted first against Duffield and, despite the early loss of Christian Pratt for just one, they got off to a good start due to a Graham Bush (28) and Alex Mace (28) 35 run partnership before the former was bowled by Dan Challinor.
Richard Jordan (3-43) then removed the middle order of Andy Gwatkin, Bilawal Bhatti and the set batsman of Mace to leave Alfreton teetering on 84-5.
However, solid knocks from Jake Simpson (28), Jonathon Clarke (32) and Ben Slater (20*) saw Alfreton up to a decent total of 183-9.
It was a tale of missed opportunity with Alfreton’s batsman guilty of not capitalising on good starts.
In reply, a first over hat-trick from Bhatti saw Duffield amazed and Alfreton gain the early wickets they needed to have a chance at defending their total.
However, a 150 run stand between Jack Clark and Peter Jenkins saw Duffield suffered no more slip ups on their way towards their target.
Even though Clark fell to Gwatkin for 73 and Bhatti claimed two more wickets for figures of 5-55, Jenkins remained unbeaten on 59 as Duffield cruised to a five-wicket win.
On Sunday, Alfreton faced title-chasing Eckington looking to get a late win on the board.
That never materialised as a number of Alfreton batsmen got starts and didn’t kick on with regular wickets stopping any forward momentum.
Alfreton struggled up to 187-9 off their 50 overs which never looked enough as an unbeaten 66 from Anton Van Dam to add to his 2-62 earlier guided Eckington home and to the Division One title, despite 2-54 from Gwatkin.
Next weekend sees the Martyn Lineker memorial match played on Sunday 16th September with the game seeing a number of Derbyshire players involved.