THE chairman of a Wiltshire village cricket club says they can “hold their head high” despite failing in their bid to reach the final of the English Cricket Board’s club championship final at Lord’s in London.

Potterne CC lost to Kent club Bexley CC by 65 runs in Saturday’s ECB club championship semi-final.

Home side Bexley scored 242-8 off 40 overs, while Potterne could only score 177 all out off 35.5 overs.

Club chairman Fred Kerley, 66, said: “They were the better side on the day and deserved their win.

“We are proud of what we have achieved, and certainly people are more aware that Potterne CC are now one of the top four club sides in the country, and we are proud of that.

“We were playing a very good side with one of their team members playing county cricket for Kent, and they used their home conditions to their advantage.

“They bowled well and we came up short on the day but we have had fantastic support throughout the competition, including many messages of support from the village.

“We can hold our heads high. To reach the last four of that competition and be one of the best club sides is a tremendous achievement.”

In a message on its website, Potterne CC said: “Unfortunately, Bexley CC defeated us by 65 runs.

"Thank you to the 180 odd supporters that travelled and to Bexley for being perfect hosts. Congratulations and good luck to them in the final in a few weeks.”

For Potterne, Kieran Bull took three Bexley wickets for 52 runs, while the club’s top-scoring batsman was Neil Clark with 58 runs off 52 balls before being caught and bowled by Bexley's Freddie Foster.

In the northern semi-final, Nantwich CC beat Wallasey CC by eight wickets to go through to the final on September 17 at Lord’s.

The ECB National Club Championship competition has been running since 1969 and is sponsored by Royal London. 

Potterne CC are second only to Bath in the West of England Premier League Premier One as their big rivals are unbeaten so far this season.