Pilsley 1st XI 203-9 (18 points) drew with Wirksworth & Middleton 1st XI 165-8 (10 points)
This was a disappointing result for Wirksworth and Middleton 1sts in Division 3 of the Derbyshire County League.
True, they have extended their unbeaten run to seven games but, while it hasn’t damaged their position in the table, neither has it advanced it.
Against the team bottom of the division at the start of play, they would have been hoping for more.
Three home batsmen passed 30, Cooper, Roberts and the prolific Bin Nasir, but none reached 40. The latter was out to a wonderful return catch by James Brierley during a spell of 3-47.
This is good news for W & M as the spinner, unable to bowl for much of the season with a damaged shoulder, has been a loss to the attack.
In reply, W & M lost both openers for just four runs, after which Luke Boden and David Greatorex shared a century stand for the third wicket. Boden made a classy 68 and Greatorex a more measured 34.
At this point, the 1sts were well placed to avenge their earlier defeat to Pilsley but a calamitous over (for W & M) saw A. Iqbal take three wickets in one over (on his way to 6-42), after which the visitors had little option but to bat out for the draw.
Brierley, completing a good all-round effort, was 17 not out at the end.
W & M 2nd XI 159-4 (22 points) beat Morton Colliery 2nd XI 155 all out (5 points) by 6 wickets
In the end, the 2nds were happy enough to secure the win in Division 8N against a side with only two defeats before this game.
On paper, it looks like a fairly routine victory but the visitors, with several under 15s players in their team, made W & M scrap all the way.
It went well enough at first. Max Marshall, in his best opening seven-over spell of the season, took 3-8 including the dangerous Darren Caunt. After this, Martin Dance, promoted from the 3rd XI, also took three wickets as the visitors slumped to 83-6.
Late order resistance, however, saw Dave Vardy hit a belligerent 30 and highly promising youngster Chris Butt 30 not out.
As well as a run out, it fell to Andrew Redfern’s beguiling ‘come-and-get-me’ deliveries to finish the innings off with 3-15. In a match sponsored by Solar Press, the response of one of Redfern’s victims on reaching the pavilion was decidedly unprintable.
After tea, Redfern and Neil Taylor made 45 without undue alarm. Both are in fine form with over 500 runs each and two century opening partnerships in the last three games.
They looked capable of another but when Redfern misjudged the line, two further wickets fell quickly and some remedial work was necessary.
Captain David Hopkinson and Taylor made 72. It was not always scintillatingbut highly effective all the same. When Taylor fell for 59, Tom Boylan hit a couple of crisp boundaries as Hopkinson finished on 34 not out.
Kirk Langley 2nd XI 212-3 (8 points) lost to W & M 3rd XI 214-7 (22 points) by three wickets
For the second week running, the 3rds had to dig deep to win this one and preserve their unbeaten record.
For the home team, Steve Middleton top scored with 61, Whitehurst made 53 and Paul Jennison 38 not out as W & M’s bowlers performed well below par. Keith Williams and young Tim Shepherd were the only wicket takers.
In reply, another fine innings of 62 by Dale White, made in good time, saw the 3rds rattling along at seven an over.
A couple of wickets slowed the pace but at halfway they were well placed at 145-3.
A clatter of wickets after drinks, however, (including Williams for 26) reduced them to a dangerous 162-7. Lewis Heap, one of last week’s heroes, then joined captain Colin Julian and, had plenty of time to build a partnership. Both batsmen passed 30 in an unbroken stand of 52 to record an excellent win.
The captain will be pleased with the resolve (and the result) but he will want, and expect, far more from his bowlers in the matches to come.
Replying to Firbeck’s 149-9 (Jack Allen 4-22) W & M had made 143-7 when the rain swept in preventing any further play. It gave W & M 12 points to the visitors 11 and it is believed one more win from the three remaining games should secure the division title and promotion.
Former stalwart Mark Woodward, now retired from the county league cricket, scored 29 not out and took a wicket as well.