Bedfordshire and Herefordshire secured the two promotion in the new National Counties Championship with comfortable victories over Northumberland and Wales NC in the penultimate round of matches.

Bedfordshire completed their season with an innings and 50 runs win over Northumberland at Jesmond. Their unassailable lead at the top of Eastern Division Two was confirmed while they were heading home down the A1 when Buckinghamshire were beaten by 158 runs by Cumbria at Furness.

Slow left-armer Tom Brett was Bedfordshire’s match winner at Jesmond where he took six second innings wickets to finish with match figures of 11 for 70.

It was the third time that Brett had taken ten wickets in a Championship match and he helped send Northumberland from 118 for four to 180 all out.

Sean Tindale, with 44 from 39 balls, fired a few shots in defiance before Northumberland went down.

Only 40 overs were bowled at Jesmond on the opening day. Bedfordshire made brisk progress to reach 175 for two against Northumberland when the rain cleared at Jesmond.

James Kettleborough and George Thurstance both made unbeaten half centuries in an unbroken third wicket partnership of 101.

Then on day two former Northamptonshire and Glamorgan batsman Kettleborough scored his second century in as many Championship innings to put Bedfordshire firmly in control.

George Darlow again contributed useful lower order runs – 46 not out from 47 balls – to take Bedfordshire to 378 all out before Northumberland collapsed either side of fourth wicket partnership of 107 between Jack Burnham and Tom Cant.

Durham batsman Burnham made 54 in his first innings for Northumberland in four years and Cant 53 but Alasdair Appleby was the only other batsman to make double figures as slow left-armer Tom Brett tied them in knots, taking five for 18 in ten overs.

Northumberland fared better when they followed on 230 in arrears with John Oswell making 47 before he was caught behind, one of three more victims for Brett.

But the final day saw Brett on fire to help Bedfordshire secure the win.

That result left Buckinghamshire needing to beat Cumbria to keep the promotion race going but they were already behind in the match.

Cumbria captain Gary Pratt completed a half century before he declared and left his bowlers with more than two sessions to dismiss Buckinghamshire.

Despite pockets of resistance down the order, including 43 from Cameron Parsons, Buckinghamshire were bowled out on the stroke of tea.