Old rivals Finedon ended Peterborough Town’s Northants Premier Division title challenge last weekend, but the real damage was done by lesser sides according to frustrated skipper David Clarke.
Town lost a crucial toss at Finedon on Saturday (September 9) before slipping to just a third defeat of the campaign.
That result and Old Northamptonians’ rapid nine-wicket demolition of Oundle means the best Town can achieve is a third straight second-placed finish.
“We didn’t lose the league on Saturday,” Clarke insisted. “The defeats earlier in the season against Brixworth and Rushden ultimately proved decisive. We beat and drew with Old Northamptonians, we played well against (second-placed) Rushton and we beat Finedon at our place.
“Those results gave us a great chance to win the league, but maybe second place is the best we deserve so will try and get there again.”
Town were dismissed for just 107 at Finedon. The home side eased to a six-wicket win .
“It was a really bad toss to lose,” Clarke added. “Conditions were perfect for bowling, but to be fair they also bowled extremely well. Everyone struggled to get any momentum with the bat. It was hard work for us after we lost our in-form players quite early.
“We did take two early wickets and we should have had a third which would have made it 20-3, but it was nowhere near enough runs.”
Town finish their Premier Division season at home to Geddington on Saturday (September 16, 11.30am) before re-building for the 2018 summer can start.
Professional all-rounder Paul McMahon, a huge success in his six seasons at the club, will have limited availability at best next season because of work commitments.
Old Northamptonians dismissed Oundle for 67. They need a point from their final game at Rushton to retain their top-flight title.