PURTON face a nervous wait to find out if they will retain their WEPL Wiltshire status next season, after a final day victory over Calne meant they finished their 2019 campaign one place above bottom club Hinton Charterhouse.

Tom Whittaker’s side expect to find out their fate next week while the league’s board ponder over the option to promote either one or two teams from Division One of the Wiltshire Cricket League.

Great Bedwyn are due promotion from the Wiltshire Cricket League’s top tier, but the club has been denied the opportunity because of a lack of provision at youth level.

As a result, Corsham 2s will join WEPL Wiltshire next season – and it’s possible that Avebury could join them in the county’s top tier.

If that happens, Purton will drop back down to Division One of the Wiltshire Cricket League. But should the board opt to promote Corsham 2s only, Purton will retain their WEPL Wiltshire status.

Understandably, Whittaker is keen for his youthful Purton side to play at the highest level possible.

He said: “We went into the game without any pressure on ourselves, we never knew if we would be safe after the game because of how the league works.

“We only managed to win two of our last four games, when really we needed to win three.

“It’s now up to WEPL Cricket – we’ll see how things work out.

“Obviously we want to play at the highest level possible, but it has been such a tough season.

“I’ve always said throughout that when we have had a full-strength side, we have been competitive.

“That’s backed up by the fact we recorded five wins over the season. Our downfall was that we haven’t had a consistent XI – we’ve never once put out the same XI players.

“It’s no one’s fault but our own. People had other weekend commitments, and in the games we lost we lost heavily and struggled to pick up bonus points.”

Purton’s trying season in WEPL Wiltshire was dealt a huge blow before a ball had been bowled when three of the club’s best players ended their stay with the club.

Consequently, Whittaker was forced into regularly fielding the youngest team out of all 10 clubs in the division – with several U17s players handed regular spots.

Consistency in Purton’s starting XI subsequently faltered, with Whittaker ending the year having never fielded the same XI in back-to-back fixtures.

Regardless of the board’s decision to either relegate or retain Purton’s WEPL Wiltshire status, the skipper said he was extremely proud of his young side’s efforts throughout the season.

He added: “We lost our three most talented cricketers at the start of the season.

“We always knew it was going to be tough, and from the start we said that we wanted to stay up.

“Things didn’t go to plan. But I am proud of the way our younger players performed.

“We have introduced a lot of young cricketers to WEPL cricket – and that will only help their development.

“We played several under 17s players over a period of games, hopefully we can be competitive in the league moving forward.

“We have the youngest side in the league, and did well to be in contention of survival for the last round of games.”

Elsewhere in WEPL Wiltshire, champions Marshfield suffered a spectacular loss at home to Devizes when losing by a single run.

Requiring 121 to win, Marshfield collapsed from 108-5 to 120 all out.

In other results, Royal Wootton Bassett ended the year seventh after they defeated Hinton Charterhouse.

Swindon secured second spot when beating Westbury while Warminster won away to Potterne 2s.