Captain Andy Viney insists Amersham CC will use their close shave with promotion as motivation to go one better next summer.

A remarkable campaign saw Amersham marooned at the bottom of Home Counties Premier League Division Two after losing their first four games, before a run of nine successive victories catapulted them into the promotion places.

But the run-in saw their early-season woes return, and three straight losses, including Saturday's defeat by one wicket to already relegated Cookham Dean, meant Viney's men missed out by 23 points and had to settle for third place.

Viney said: “It would have been some story if we'd gone up after the start we had, but winning nine on the trot was special and something we can take away from it. We just had a rubbish start and end to the season – the bits in between were fine!

“It's no coincidence that the start and end of the season were 50 over formats, and the rest 110 overs. Although we didn't bat very well, the bowling restrictions during the shorter formats cost us.

“It's still a season to be proud of though, in my first as skipper, and hopefully we can use the experiences from this year to go one better next season.”

Viney and Edward Bowcock were in fine form as Amersham rushed to 169 off 30 overs, which looked to be enough when Alex Lines took three wickets in four balls to reduce Cookham to 160-9, but their opponents held onto their last wicket for the 10 remaining runs they needed.

There was similar heartache for Amersham 2s, who started the day in the Thames Valley League Division 3b promotion places but were pushed down into third when, having bowled out leaders Hayes for 203, rain stopped play and they were leapfrogged by Bagshot.

But the 3s gained the four points they needed at Hayes 2s to be confirmed as Division 5s champions, Freddie Bowcock taking 3-36 and Alex Cole 2-16 as Hayes were restricted to 210, but the rain arrived Amersham at 86-4 and the game finely poised.