Sarisbury Athletic’s bid to become ECB Indoor National Club champion ended in gallant failure at Lord’s.

They finished runners-up, brushing aside Kent champions Betteshanger Colliery Welfare to win their semi-final by 18 runs, but then losing the final by two wickets to Port Talbot-based Margam.

Beaten semi-finalists in 2007, Sarisbury produced a composed semi-final performance, with Matt Journeaux (35 not out) and James Ingram (16) providing a 63-run platform, from which the Hampshire side were able to post 121-5, Peter Hammond weighing in with 25.

Although they reached 58 before losing their first wicket, Betteshanger were continually pegged back by Sarisbury’s tight bowling and lively fielding.

Needing 63 runs off the last five overs, the Deal side saw five batsmen perish to run-outs and, with two overs left were a beaten outfit at 76-5.

A late flurry took their final score to 103 – but Sarisbury wre always comfortable winners.

Margam’s appearance in the Lord’s finals raised a few eyebrows considering that, on Saturdays, they play in the third division of the South Wales League.

But, reinforced by several of the Port Talbot side which plays in the ECB South Wales Premier League, they beat the much fancied Blaydon, from County Durham, before striking two crucial early blows in the final.

Sarisbury were rocked as Journeaux and Hammond were dismissed in Neil Williams’ opening over, leaving Simon Orr (44) and Dave Banks (32 not out) with the task of rebuilding the total to 111-5.

Two wayward overs with the new ball effectively presented Margam with a 31-run start to their reply – and when Sarisbury were denied a potential run-out minutes later when the umpire changed his mind after initially having given the Welsh batsman out, they were always headed for defeat – with the Welsh side getting home with an over to spare.