Briggs is too hot to handle

Darley Dale 1sts 181 beat Morton Colliery 40 all out by 141 runs.

Darley Dale 1sts entertained fellow Division 4N strugglers Morton Colliery over the weekend with the home side desperately in need of a first victory of the 2011 league campaign.

In the end, the visitors proved no match for a devastating bowling display by Douglas Briggs.

Darley won the toss and elected to bat on a solid looking track.

Craig Elliott’s brave decision looked to have backfired as Darley were soon reduced to 64-5, the dismissed batsmen including the prize wicket of ex-Morton starlet Jamie Watts.

Darley looked on the ropes at this stage but the onlookers who had resigned themselves to the normal collapse of recent years had not taken account of Rob Lightfoot.

With support from Douglas Briggs (24) and fellow Elton star Matt Heath (5), he began to turn the screw for the home side.

Lightfoot’s breathtaking display of solid strokeplay and excellent shot selection saw him take Darley to 181, Lightfoot chalking up 66 in his finest Darley innings to date.

In reply, Morton looked to fend off Darley’s new opening partnership of Briggs and Adrian Kershaw.

Kershaw was the first to strike, repeating his happy knack of dismissing a batsman at the very start of his spell. However, what followed was nothing short of a spectacle.

From Briggs’s first over, you would not be forgiven for thinking the vice-captain would be easily dealt with.

But as the ball began to swing and Briggs found his rhythm, the wickets began to tumble as the Morton top order could not comprehend the swing.

Briggs brought up his five-for and his hat-trick in consecutive balls.

The vice-captain’s confidence looked well and truly returned with wickets tumbling ball after ball.

At eight wickets down, and with the Briggs show in full swing, Morton fell foul of his fielding skills too, as he promptly effected the ninth wicket with a run out, before wrapping up the match the very next over to claim his eighth wicket, bowling Morton out for just 40.

With Darley claiming their first victory of the year, the celebrations would continue well into the night with Briggs (8-16) and Lightfoot left to debate who merited the man of the match performance.