NETHERFIELD CC have clinched the Northern Premier League title for the first time in nine years and beat local rivals Kendal to wrap up a thoroughly-deserved championship.

The Parkside Road team have been in unrelenting form in their charge for the title, and have still lost only one league match as they secured top spot with three games to spare.

In stark contrast, Kendal now find themselves in deeper trouble at the foot of the table. They sit second from bottom and need urgent points to pull themselves away from the relegation places.

In Saturday's derby, Mark Clarkson’s first innings knock of 39 off 45 balls proved crucial as Netherfield were posted 136 off 44.5 overs, with Saeed Bariwala returning figures of 4-43.

However, Tom Williamson’s second innings return of 4-23 and Daniel Inghams 3-8 saw Netherfield clinch the title as Kendal were bowled out for just 74.

Netherfield made a steady start with captain Ben Barrow and Brad Earl putting on a first-wicket stand of 23. But Kendal were soon in control when Toby Tyson dismissed the pair of them. Barrow was the first to go when he was caught by Chris Miller, before Earl was bowled by the opening bowler as Netherfield fell onto 27-2.

John Huck and Josh Dixon battled on as Netherfield moved onto 56. Kendal though regained the initiative when Miller trapped Dixon LBW, before Bariwala picked up the wicket of Lewis Edge who was caught by Jason Dawes, while Netherfield slumped onto 65-4.

Kendal appeared to have the upper hand as three more wickets fell cheaply. An inspired Bariwala spell saw Huck, Lewis Richardson and Williamson all sent walking, with Netherfield struggling at 82-7.

But Clarkson and Ingham pushed Netherfield towards a defendable total, with Clarkson in particular in imperious form with the willow, hitting a four and three sixes.

Before Netherfield could run away, Dawes cleared up the tail by taking the wickets of Ingham, Marc Hadwin and Nathan Chambers. With Clarkson still unbeaten, Netherfield were all out for 136.

With Kendal in need of runs and points, they quickly found themselves on the back foot as two quick wickets fell following the changeover. Zachary McCaskie feathered a Chambers ball into the hands of Edge behind the stumps, while Finlay Richardson became Ingham's first victim when he was trapped LBW.

Netherfield continued to overpower the Kendal attack as Ingham removed Oliver Tyson before picking up the wicket of Ryan Shepherd with Kendal struggling at 30-4.

The Field continued to press home their advantage when Williamson dismissed Shane Hyland who was stumped by Edge, before Joseph Dodds was run out as Kendal slumped onto 58-6.

Williamson edged Netherfield closer to victory when he found the pads of both Ben Phillips and Dawes with Kendal on 68-8.

Netherfield finished the game off when Hadwin dismissed Miller before Williamson took the title-clinching wicket of Bariwala who was caught on the boundary by Clarkson.