TRIANGLE ended the season with a nail-biting one-wicket home defeat at the hands of already promoted Martinstown.
Put into bat on a damp wicket, the islanders found life difficult against an accurate seam attack, of which Matt Camp (5-42) was the star.
From a shaky 45-4, Simon Proffitt and Ollie Whisker added 43 in 12 overs of sensible batting.
However, when they both fell to the accurate Liam Banfield (3-27) it was left to the experienced pair of Jan Davey and skipper Simon Barrett to restore some respectability.
After an initial period of cautious batting to ensure no further wickets were lost, the partnership blossomed with both Davey (30) and Barrett (36) finding the boundary – they added 35 runs in just four overs before both were dismissed by the impressive Camp.
Eventually, Portland were dismissed in the final over for 177 which, although was perhaps 10 or 20 short of what they would have liked, represented a decent effort given the early wickets lost.
When the visitors batted, they found run scoring difficult against the accurate home seamers.
Indeed, when drinks were taken at 22 overs, Martinstown had scored only 55-3.
The game changed when Danny Dancer (56) came to the crease as he played with a confidence not previously shown by his team-mates.
When Dancer was dismissed by Proffitt (3-45), 38 runs were needed off seven overs with five wickets in hand.
The pressure on the new batsmen was evident with a run out and two quick wickets to the impressive leg-spinner Scott Males (3-47) leaving Martinstown with 21 to win off the last four overs.
In the end, some scrambled singles and a lucky inside edged boundary meant Portland had to concede defeat with one wicket to fall and just one ball remaining.
Captain Barrett said: “We did well to recover from the loss of so many early wickets but I still think we should have scored maybe 185.
“However, we put in a really good effort with the ball and as has been the case for the past three or four weeks, Scott Males’ bowling was a crucial factor.
“He could have had more than just the three wickets, and no batsman looked comfortable against him.
Of the 2011 season overall Barrett added: “To finish fifth in the league this year represents an improvement on 2010 and the team can be particularly proud of the way they responded after being bowled out for just 79 at Cerne at the beginning of July.
“Since that game, we have won four games, tied one and lost two (to the teams that finished in first and second place in the division, taking 109 points from a possible 140.
“That says a lot about the character of the players and the team spirit – if we are able to continue in this vein next season, I am confident we will be a match for any of our opponents.
“I would also like to thank Richard Stewkesbury for his scoring, the tea ladies and gentleman, the groundsmen Matt Randell and George Munro, the George Inn and Dave Adkins who has organised the team and transport for away games.”