He admits it's been a tough summer – but Dan Hampton intends to stay on as skipper and lead Gerrards Cross CC back into the Home Counties Premier Cricket League.

Hampton took over as captain from Matt Watson for this season, but was unable to prevent a Cross side which had finished third in Division Two last season ending up second-bottom.

All of which means relegation to the Thames Valley League , and the end of an unbroken 14-year stay in the Home Counties Premier for the Dukes Lane side.

Hampton said: “It's been a tough year, but when I look back I have enjoyed it as well. I learnt a lot about trying to lead a team and learnt a lot about myself as a player too.

“I intend to stay on, but I will discuss next season with the club at a later date. The aim is now to bounce back, I'm sure the sole target is to get us back up.

“I always felt a couple more wins would be enough to keep us up, but as hard as we tried, we just couldn't get them.

“There was a lack of match winning performances throughout the team, whereas last year we had individual efforts which woud win us games.”

Frustrating as the Cross' final-day Duckworth-Method defeat by a single run to Shipton-under-Wychwood was on Saturday, they had already been relegated the previous week.

But Hampton can at least take comfort from his Bucks CCC team-mates, Jason and Matt Rance, who have just led Chesham CC back into the Home Counties Premier at the first attempt by winning the Thames Valley League title.

He added: “I know Matt and Jason quite well, and what they have done with Chesham will serve as an inspiration for us next season.”