AMESBURY's bid to secure automatic promotion from County Division 4 West was thwarted at the final hurdle.

Despite registering a straightforward nine-wicket victory away at Ellingham, the 21 points gained were not enough as Dinton had claimed maximum points at Burley to snatch second place by just two points.

Amesbury skipper Jayme Underwood remained upbeat about the third place finish.

He said: "Despite the obvious disappointment in missing out on automatic promotion, Amesbury can be extremely proud of their efforts in recording 12 wins from 15 fixtures and claiming third place in the league table.

"Every member of the squad played a part throughout the season."

Amesbury's ever-reliable opening bowling combination of Gareth Dobson and Jayden Atkinson got to work and immediately caused problems for Ellingham's openers - Lee Slater and James Terry.

The score moved to 23 when, in the 11th over, Dobson claimed the wicket of Slater, caught comfortably by Sumith Surendran at backward point to depart for six.

Dobson continued to exert his capabilities by consistently beating the outside edge and duly finished his spell with outstanding figures of 1/10, which included a highly-impressive six maidens.

Jayden Atkinson, meanwhile, provided excellent support from the opposite end and was unfortunate not to claim a wicket for his efforts. He was replaced by Jordan Derbyshire, as Ellingham limped to 63/1 at completion of the 20th over. The introduction of Andy Renshaw paid dividends, dismissing Terry.

Ellingham's middle order of Pete Doust and Andy Donaghue batted serenely and hugely frustrated Amesbury as the scored moved to 108/2 in the 30th over. Macauley Atkinson was brought into the attack and his efforts were rewarded with the wickets of Donaghue, caught superbly by Andy White and then trapping Jones LBW for a quickfire 22.

With Amesbury needing to add further wickets to claim additional bowling points, Atkinson claimed the wicket of Doust, bowling him through the gate for an obdurate 59 and closed Ellingham's innings on 199/5.

In reply, Amesbury's openers Adi Berry and Renshaw began brightly, by punishing any loose deliveries served up by Ellingham's bowlers.

The scored advanced to 60 in the ninth over, when Renshaw offered a simple opportunity off the bowling of Donaghue to depart for 23. Jordan Derbyshire entered and, in combination with Berry, accelerated through the gears to bring Amesbury home in only the 29th over. Both played a number of sumptuous drives, pulls and cuts to pass their respective 50s and seal an unbroken second wicket partnership of 140.