County Championship 2011-2012

Cadets Divisions

Premier Division

Sussex kept up their remarkable run in this event with another win as they once again beat old foes Middlesex by two points. Sussex won six and drew one to finish on thirteen points, two ahead of their rivals when the division finished at Weavers in Wellingborough.

The two counties faced each other in the last match of the weekend when they fought out a less-than-thrilling draw, but as Middlesex had surprisingly lost the previous day to Lincolnshire, it left Sussex only needing one set for the title (on superior sets average), which they duly took in the first game of the match.

Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire were relegated after the weekend’s action. Yorkshire could consider themselves unlucky to go down after finishing on the same number of points as Cleveland but with an inferior sets total.

Division 1A

Lancashire were the outstanding team in Division 1A as they took the title with ease and only dropped eight sets in a six team division. However, they were made to work hard when they met eventual runners-up Cheshire at Burton TTC.

It was a thrilling clash between the two, which went the way of Lancashire 6-4 to complete a well-deserved championship and promotion to the Premier Division next season.

Division 1B

Leicestershire were crowned champions of Division 1B and will now deservedly start next season in the Premier Division.

The East-Midlands county took the division winning five and drawing one of their six clashes, dropping their only point to runners-up Essex who took second spot from Northamptonshire.

Both sides finished on the same match points and sets and it took a games count-back before Essex emerged as runners-up.

Division 1C

The third county that will be playing in the Premier Division next season will be Kent who triumphed in Division 1C.

They shared top spot with Surrey but ended up on top by virtue of slightly superior sets advantage after both sides had won five and drawn once.

The clash between Kent and Surrey took place just before Christmas last year and although a 2-0 lead by Surrey was pulled back to 3-3, they still needed to win the last match to secure a draw.

There was very little to choose between the teams all season but slightly better performances against the other counties saw Kent take the division, and with it, a place in the top flight next season.

Junior Divisions

Premier Division

Sussex matched their county cadets team by taking the Junior Premier Division. They won six and lost one of their seven matches as they recovered from a shock loss to Warwickshire to take the title by two points from runners-up Kent who themselves drew two and lost one match in a thrilling junior division.

Cleveland and Berkshire are the two relegated counties who will have to drop down next season.

Division 1A

Lincolnshire are one of the two new teams who will be playing in next season’s Junior Premier Division as they took Division 1A by two points from runners-up Hertfordshire. Lincolnshire recorded six wins and one draw from their seven starts whilst the runners-up, Hertfordshire, recorded four wins and three draws from their seven matches in this competitive division.

Division 1B

It was a similar story in Division 1B as Glamorgan booked their place in next season’s Premier Division. They took the Division 1B title with six wins and one draw and in the process finished the season two points ahead of runners-up Devonshire.

The draw between the top two proved crucial, but what proved more important was Devonshire losing 6-4 to Surrey when the sides met, thus allowing Glamorgan breathing space to go on and complete their title success and gain Premier Division status next term.

Division 2A

South Yorkshire won a highly competitive Division 2A by one point from Lancashire’s first team, but did not have things all their own way as they won four, drew one and lost one match from their six played.

Apart from losing to South Yorkshire, Lancashire also lost 6-4 to Cheshire seconds in this topsy-turvey division. Lincolnshire seconds were the exception as they had a torrid season and were unable to score a point.

Division 2B

Devonshire thirds were clear winners of Division 2B, completing the season with five straight wins in this six team division to finish three points clear of runners-up, Cornwall first team.

Cornwall firsts and seconds had to battle it out for second spot, but in the end the first team were too strong for their opponents and ran out 10- nil winners to take the runners-up spot.

Division 2C

Shropshire were crowned champions of Division 2C with four wins and one draw to complete the season on nine points – one point clear of runners up Bedfordshire.

A surprise draw against next-to-bottom Suffolk was the only point that Shropshire dropped throughout the season. However, a hard fought 6-4 victory against Bedfordshire proved crucial as Shropshire took the title.

Division 2D

Middlesex seconds were the form team in Division 2D and were worthy champions, winning all six matches throughout the season and averaging nearly eight sets per match.

Surrey took the runners-up spot – ending three points adrift of Middlesex after they were held to a draw by Sussex thirds.

Barry Snowden

County Championship Press Officer