HEREFORDSHIRE’S chances of progressing from the group stages of the NCCA 50-over competition for a second successive year evaporated when they went down by three wickets to Northumberland at Brockhampton.

This was Herefordshire’s third defeat from three group games and, as with the previous two, was a tight affair with the visitors crossing the line with just eight balls remaining.

After losing the toss and being invited to bat, Herefordshire skipper Matt Pardoe wasted no time in getting the innings under way, stroking three boundaries in the first over.

Pardoe’s opening partner Ben Chapman Lilley was also soon into his stride and went on to dominate the county’s scorecard, cracking seven fours and four sixes as he progressed to 117 from 121 balls.

But although Nick Hammond (31) and Olly Cox (28) made useful scores, no-one was able to stay around for a prolonged period to assist Chapman Lilley and Herefordshire ended up being bowled out for 283 nine balls before the end of their allotted 50 overs.

Northumberland made a rapid start to their response.

Openers Alistair Appleby (31) and Jack Jessop (65) swiftly had 50 on the board.

John Oswell set the visitors up smashing five sixes and five fours as he raced to 66 from 39 balls.

Pardoe (4-47) dragged his side back into the game by taking three wickets in an over.

But Jessop held firm and set the platform for Ed Foreman (37) and Matthew Scott (41 not out) to hold off the Herefordshire attack and see the visitors home.