With South Yorkshire and Berkshire already relegated from the Veterans’ Premier Division, the battle is on for who will replace them in next season’s top division.

With Division 1B still to be competed, one of the newly promoted teams will be Warwickshire who took Division 1A with a one-point win over Lancashire.

In the final round of fixtures at Draycott, both Warwickshire and Lancashire entered the final two rounds of fixtures on maximum points and with both to face each other in a final-match showdown all was set for a thrilling climax.

But in the penultimate round of matches, whilst Warwickshire kept up the pace with a 7-3 win over Lincolnshire, Lancashire were held to a draw by neighbours Cheshire, leaving the Midlanders requiring a point and Lancashire needing the win from the final match between the top two sides.

Warwickshire got the first set when Adrian Pilgrim beat Steve Scowcroft 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-2) but then Lancashire took control of the match by chalking off the next four sets. Firstly Dave Griffiths beat Mike Brown 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-9), followed by a 3-0 win from Lancashire No 1 Keith Williams over Mark Jackson (11-9, 11-9, 11-4).

The first mixed doubles was the next set as Williams and Denise McEvoy came from behind to beat Jackson and Dawn Sagoo 3-2 (8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-5), and when Scowcroft beat Brown in four (11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6), it was Lancashire who had established a commanding 4-1 lead.

Warwickshire hit back by taking the next two sets as firstly Sagoo beat McEvoy 3-1 (16-14, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5) and when Pilgrim & Brown took the men’s doubles with a five-game win over Scowcroft & Williams (11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 14-16, 11-8) as Lancashire’s lead had now been cut to one set at 4-3.

Griffiths restored a two-set cushion for Lancashire with a 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5) win over Jackson and in the match up of the two No 1s it was Pilgrim who recorded a surprise win for Warwickshire as he came from behind to beat Williams 3-1 (5-11, 14-12, 12-10, 11-4) to bring the sides to within a set.

Having established momentum, it was Warwickshire who took the final mixed doubles as Pilgrim & Sagoo beat Griffiths & McEvoy to earn a draw for their county and with it the title and a place in next season’s Premier Division.