West Herts have lived to fight another season in the Herts League top-flight after securing a nail-biting victory over Flitwick in the Premiership play-off on Saturday.

Having finished second bottom of the table at the end of the season, the Stags took on their Bedfordshire opponents who had been runners up in the Championship after losing only one of their 18 league fixtures.

However, the visitors held their nerve to win by nine runs to complete a satisfactory end to the season for the club in which their Seconds, Fourths and Sixths all secured promotion.

The Stags won the toss and elected to bat on the hottest day of the year, but they soon had reason to regret this decision as their recent poor form continued and they were reduced to 76-6.

However, Arjun Patel (58) and Lee Tyrell (61) dug deep and put on 93 for the seventh wicket to help their side to a total of 197 all out, which was about par on a tired wicket that had been already used before this season.

Flitwick started the chase with their prolific Bedfordshire star George Thurstance opening the batting and although his partner was dismissed early, the home side looked in control when the total had reached 88-1 at about the half way stage.

However, with the introduction of the spin of Ian Gurney (3-28) and Steven Clarke (2-28) the runs began to dry up and wickets began to fall. Suddenly Flitwick’s batters looked nervous and seemed to lack any game plan to reach their target.

When Duncan Nel took an amazing catch over his head - juggling the ball five times before clinging on - the home side were 141-8 and looked to be beaten.

The ninth wicket put on 40 and kept the prospect of a Flitwick win alive, but at the start of the final over they were nine wickets down with 16 runs required.

The first ball of the last over was hit for six and suddenly the travelling Stags fans were very nervous. Fortunately for the visitors, the next delivery only produced a scrambled single before, with three balls remaining, the number 11 succumbed leg before wicket and the relieved visitors were able to celebrate.