2012 All News
Lancashire take title honours in ICC Premier B promotion chase
The red rose of Lancashire was in full bloom at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford last weekend as the county squad secured promotion back to the top flight of the Inter County Championships, in association with official shuttle partners, Carlton.
Lancashire, who suffered relegation from Premier A in 2010, overcame a 1 point deficit going into the final weekend to edge past Hampshire and top Premier B, going unbeaten throughout a glorious season.
A hat trick of 6-4 wins over Hampshire, Derbyshire and Surrey 2 saw Lancashire claim the champions crown.
Hampshire went into final weekend in top spot but that early loss to Lancashire, tied to a draw with Surrey 2 and a surprise 7-3 defeat to promotion chasers Yorkshire 2 put their promotion in some doubt as they fell 5 points short of top spot.
However, the squad from the south coast were still able to celebrate joining the top flight for next season after pipping Yorkshire 2 to the second promotion spot by the slimmest of margins. A single point was enough to promote Hampshire.
Sitting in 3rd position but just outside the promotion spots, Yorkshire 2 will rue missed opportunities in the first 2 ICC Premier B weekends after winning all 3 of their final weekend.
At the other end of the table, only fine margins separated 4 counties going into the final weekend with Lanarkshire and Norfolk in the relegation slots with Derbyshire and Leicestershire looking cautiously over their shoulder.
With no wins to record in the first 2 weekends, Norfolk faced an uphill struggle to avoid falling through the relegation trapdoor and so it proved, despite a rallying 6-4 win over Leicestershire.
Heavy defeats to Buckinghamshire and Leinster ended their slim survival chances and will they wil return to Division One of the Regional Championships for next season.
There was hope, however, for Lanarkshire who pulled off early 6-4 wins over Derbyshire and Leinster in an attempt to close the 4 point gap to Derbyshire and Leicestershire. However, a 6-4 loss to champions Lancashire confirmed their relegation to Division for next season.
It is a fall from grace for Lanarkshire, who have now endured back-to-back relegations since slipping out of Premier A last season.
Attentions will now turn to the regional play offs to see who will join the Premier Division ranks for the 2012/13 season.