BROADSTONE 201 (9pts) lost to PUDDLETOWN 233 (20pts) by 32 runs

DEVASTATED Puddletown suffered relegation by a single point on the final day of the Dorset Premier League season – despite taking the maximum 20 points at Broadstone.

Adam Barrett’s men came into the game bottom of the table trailing Christchurch by nine points, while Cattistock & Symene needed eight points against Wimborne to guarantee their safety.

After Christchurch thumped Martinstown by 141 runs, Cattistock duly scrambled eight points in their defeat by Wimborne to send Puddletown down in the cruellest of ways.

Puddletown, embarking on their debut Premier League season after flying up through the divisions, had upheld their end of the bargain at Delph Woods.

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James Mitchell (57) and skipper Adam Barrett (39), the latter battling a finger injury, put on 80 together.

Jamie Edwards and Ryan Norman (both 19) helped Puddletown to 233 all out after Troyanzo Maye (5-52) checked the visitors’ progress.

Puddletown took wickets regularly in defence of their target as Adam Weir (3-41) and Ryan Norman (4-53) helped reduce Broadstone to 74-5.

However, home skipper Dan Cook (79no) threatened to single-handedly take his side to victory before Rob Snow (2-68) and James Morris (1-36) worked through the tail.

And it was left to Norman to claim the final two wickets to leave Cook stranded and give Puddletown the full points they craved until receiving the bad news from Cattistock.

Reflecting on an agonising loss, Barrett said: “It’s gutting to win the last two games and be relegated.

“It’s incredibly frustrating but the league table doesn’t lie.

“It’s just difficult for us to swallow because we’ve won five games this year and teams that finished above us have won three and four.

“Harsh lessons to learn but we didn’t disgrace ourselves and to win five games is a really good achievement. We’ve just got to pick ourselves up and go again next season.”

Puddletown openly chased points rather than wins while availability was poor early in the season.

Questioned on the tactics, Barrett said: “It’s the consistency I think. We’ve lost games and not just lost, we’ve taken some pastings.

“That’s resulted in low points tallies being accumulated. If you’re not picking up points, when we did win it’s not given us that daylight over the sides we’d hoped for.

“That’s something to reflect on over the winter and we’ve got to come back stronger.”

He added: “Hindsight’s brilliant, isn’t it? We’ve done what we thought was the right thing to do.

“I just want to say well done to Cattistock as well because they picked up points against Wimborne, which has kept them in the division.

“For them to get eight points is credit to them and fair play.”

Analysing the club’s maiden season in Dorset’s top tier, Barrett said: “We're proud of our achievements.

“All the lads have done brilliantly and now we’ve had a taste of the Premier there are lads keen to try and get back.

“That will be the plan next season, to perform as well as we can do. We’ll try and keep hold of our best players but we’re a tight-knit bunch.

“Everyone will be up for the challenge next season and hopefully we’ll come back stronger.”

Puddletown Seconds finished ninth in County Division Five after losing to rivals Poole Town Fourths by five wickets, who earned the same amount of points and sneak above them on their head-to-head record.