Kent send Royals down

Kent's seam attack came up with the goods to preserve the Spitfires' National League First Division status with a last-day victory over Worcestershire.

Kent's seam attack came up with the goods to preserve the Spitfires' National League First Division status with a last-day victory over Worcestershire.

Three wickets for Martin Saggers, two each for David Masters, Mark Ealham and Martin McCague and one for the Kent captain, Matthew Fleming, proved enough to dismantle the Worcestershire batting and condemn the Royals to the drop along with Lancashire and Sussex.

Only Vikram Solanki, with 28, made any sort of a score in a total of 98 all out in 36 overs for the hosts at New Road, where relegation will be an especially bitter blow because Worcestershire were riding high at the top of the table until mid-season.

Yet another defeat in a disastrous last month of the campaign finished the Royals off for good, with Kent sauntering to their target in just 26.5 overs thanks to 38 from their player-coach, Steve Marsh, and an unbeaten 36 from the youngster James Hockley.

A six-wicket victory for Lancashire against Sussex spelled doom and gloom all round at rainy Old Trafford, meanwhile, because it meant both teams were going down.

A half-century from Michael Atherton put Lancashire on course for victory, after five wickets from the Yorkshire-born, left-arm orthodox Gary Keedy had scuppered the Sharks, who reached 195 for 9 with 52 from Michael Bevan, 44 from Richard Montgomerie and 45 not out from Tony Cottey.

The Lightning had to adjust their chase after a rain interruption but had little trouble in passing a revised target of 153 with three overs to spare.

Leicestershire's 77-run win over Somerset at Grace Road left the Sabres sweating on events up in Manchester before they were sure of beating the drop. The opener Iain Sutcliffe top-scored with 53 among seven Foxes batsmen who reached double figures in a total of 220 for 8.

That was to prove way out of Somerset's reach, and the visitors' reply eventually folded on 143 all out, with Keith Parsons on 38 the top-scorer and Billy Stelling picking up three wickets.

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