Batsmen find the going tough in Darley loss

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Darley Dale 2nd XI lost to Cutthorpe 2nd XI by four wickets.

Darley 2nds were handed a sound beating in this middle of the table Division 7N clash.

With both teams safe from relegation yet unable to gain promotion the game had an end-of-season feel throughout.

After losing the toss, Darley were asked to bat on a track which was unpredictable.

After a solid-looking start, Johnny Shaw (8) was caught and this sparked a top order collapse as Darley found the conditions really tough.

Lee Marsden (22) provided some resistance but when he fell Darley found themselves on 36-4 off just 18 overs. While Stuart Taylor (11) tried to hold up an end, wickets continued to fall at the other.

At 51-7, Darley looked like they could be facing their lowest total of the season. Enter Johnny Heath.

His big hitting which included six maximums and six other boundaries was relentless as he powered his way to 66.

He dispatched the ball into surrounding car parks and football pitches in this electric knock. When Taylor’s 18-over Boycott-esque vigil ended, Heath quickly followed however and with two other quick wickets falling, Darley were all out for 125 off just 36 overs.

In reply, Darley grabbed an early wicket with Taylor catching opener Thompson off the bowling of Matt Tong (3-20).

With runs being freely scored however the Cutthorpe batsmen piled the pressure on the Darley attack and at 30-1 they seemed to be cruising.

The bowling side responded though with skipper Shaw orchestrating a flurry of wickets with some intelligent and wily bowling. With Cutthorpe sitting on 51-6, the game appeared to be in the balance but Peter Callaghan and captain Simon Barlow would not be moved.

They batted sensibly and hit the bad ball, enjoying a stand of 75 and taking Cutthorpe to their target with some 22 overs of the game spare.

Darley will want to move on and quickly forget this game as they head into the final weekend’s double header fixtures against Alfreton and Marehay.