AN AMAZING finale to an amazing escape act saw Kendal avoid relegation with a stunning derby victory at neighbours Netherfield on Saturday.

And delighted Auld Greys skipper Chris Miller said the 87 run triumph, which clinched his side’s Northern League survival in the final minutes of a long season, was undoubtedly one of the greatest moments of his career.

“We have won trophies in the past but that game was up there with the highlights of my playing career,” said Miller.

“We believed we had a chance going into the game and the lads were just superb on the day.”

With just three games to go, Kendal were 26 points adrift of relegation rivals Penrith, and with tough looking home games against in form Chorley and high flying Garstang followed by a final day trip across town to Parkside Road to come, all seemed lost.

But dramatic wins in both those home games left the Shap Road men just three points adrift of safety going into Saturday’s derby.

However, even those superb wins meant victory at Netherfield may not have been enough with Penrith knowing a win against already relegated visitors Barrow would guarantee their safety.

Yet Kendal had the belief in survival, which grew as a nailbiting afternoon unfolded in bright September sunshine.

When Josh Dixon, skippering Netherfield in the absence of the unavailable Ben Barrow, won the toss and inserted Kendal, they knew at that point they would have to bowl the home team out to secure that desperately needed win.

But first they needed to post a challenging score, and they set about their task with relish, led by a stylish knock from substitute professional Harry Brook.

The 20-year-old former Sedbergh School pupil, a member of Yorkshire’s first team squad, crafted a fine half-century, as did Ben Phillips as Kendal produced a determined display far removed from their recent poor form with the bat to finish on an imposing 179/8.

But at tea there was little hint then of the carnage to come as, led by a brilliant spell from Kuldeep Singh, they reduced Netherfield to a catastrophic 28-9.

As news filtered through that Barrow had beaten Penrith, the visitors knew their fate was now in their own hands, but for what seemed an age, Netherfield's last pair Marc Hadwin and Sam Medhurst looked set to deny Kendal the win.

Then appropriately enough, Singh wrapped it up by shattering Hadwin’s stumps and the celebration could begin.

“Kuldeep was just terrific and he has done so well since getting a run in the team and getting into his rhythm,” said Miller.

“I think it’s 2015 since we last beat Netherfield in the league and all the lads played their part in a great win.

“We knew Barrow needed to do us a favour and they did that but it was just reward for a great performance by the lads and by sub pro Harry Brook who showed his quality.”

And icing on the cake came with Kendal Seconds completing a derby double by routing Netherfield Seconds by 136 runs at Shap Road.

David Batty’s undefeated 90 saw Kendal close on 194 with James Morgan taking 4/36, then Andrew Dugdale’s 5/10 helped shoot Netherfield out for just 28.

Kendal Seconds end their season with a trip to Garstang on Saturday while Netherfield host Fleetwood.