HARWICH and Dovercourt Cricket Club entertained Suffolk rivals Stowupland in their final match of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship season.

They still had an outside chance of securing the title but, on a frustrating day, this was not to be.

Having already won promotion to division four, the Ships were looking to finish on a high and were invited to bowl first by Stowupland.

New-ball duo Steve Bushell and Tom Day were unable to make an early breakthrough and extras were too frequent, perhaps a symptom of a three-week lay-off.

An early double bowling change saw young Owen Brand make the breakthrough by removing Dan Marsh for ten, who was caught behind by Richie Bushell at the second attempt.

Aaron Rudkin soon took his first wicket, removing Scott Gregory for ten, caught at first slip by Steve Bushell.

Grant Wearing, next to the crease, became Brand's second victim when his was pinned leg before for 14.

Trevor Scarlett, batting at five, attempted to push the run rate on but was well caught at mid-off by Brandon Carter, attempting to hit Rudkin over the top.

At 78 for four, Harwich were on top but Tom Wray, along with Nick Borrett, provided strong resistance with a partnership of 76.

Wray, in particular, was in fine form.

Wray went on to score 67 before being caught at slip by Steve Bushell off Carter, with Borrett contributing 25 before becoming Carter's second victim when he was caught by Mark Barwood.

Stowupland finished on 200 for seven, with Adeel Abbas taking the last wicket and extras contributing 35 of the total.

Despite a below-par performance with the ball, Harwich felt the total was achievable.

However, the fall of regular wickets was to prove fatal.

Steve Bushell went early, caught behind for six off the bowling of Scott Gregory.

Barwood fell to the same fate after three quick boundaries.

Abbas and Brand both fell cheaply and only Carter and Richie Bushell showed some resistance, scoring 41 and 23 respectively.

Harvey Bennett, Gary Moors, Luke Hammett and Rudkin fell to the off-spin of Kieran Gregory and Harwich fell short of their target by a margin of 53 runs, having been bowled out for 147.

In a season of many more highs than lows, this was one of the few poor performances.

However, this does not take the gloss off what has been a fantastic season, with the Ships achieving promotion for the first time in 16 season.

The club would like to thank the players, their families and all social members and supporters for their commitment and support throughout the season.

They look forward to welcoming everyone back for the 2020 season.