Matlock CC 2nds travelled to Belper Meadows on Saturday needing a win to kickstart their season.
Put into bat on what appeared to be a good batting track, the Matlock openers began well with the free scoring Paul Chadbourne notably taking advantage of the short boundaries.
Ably supported by Luke Pressland (50), who once again punished any sort of bad bowling, Chadbourne set a superb tempo to the Matlock innings, just falling short of a century, finishing on an exciting 95. David Lander also chipped in with an impressive 21 not out, leaving Belper needing 246 to win.
Tom Watkinson opened the bowling and continued his impressive form, bowling with immense pace and accuracy leaving the Belper openers struggling to score. Andy Ogden once again showed his class, picking up some crucial wickets and finishing on 2-39. By drinks, Matlock were well on top, and, with the required run rate creeping past eight an over, Matlock sensed a good opportunity for the maximum 27 points. The breakthrough came when Luke Pressland had Belper opener Mitchell Robinson bowled, putting Matlock closer to the finishing line. But it was the reintroduction of Watkinson and Ogden that cleared up the Belper tail, dismissed them for 90 and leaving Matlock with the 27 points they needed. Watkinson finished with 4 for 27. Matlock look to continue this form into the next match at Home to Duffield.
On Sunday, Matlock 2nds travelled to Codnor 1sts with a significantly depleted side for a Derbyshire Cup Round One game.
Matlock knew they would need something of a miracle to progress to the next stage of the cup. With only ten men, Matlock were asked to bat first with the in-form Paul Chadbourne and Steve Webster getting the innings off to a steady start.
But the loss of four wickets in quick succession instantly put Matlock on the back foot. Matthew Haywood and Mark Burton came in to stabilise the innings, both batting with a positive tempo and giving a master class on how to run between the wickets.
The partnership proved crucial with the pair forming a 120-run partnership before Haywood was bowled while seeking another boundary, while the captain Burton saw the innings through with an admirable 88 not out, both men helping the Matlock innings to a respectable 196-5.
However, with a lack of bowling options, Matlock were always fighting a losing battle. Notable mentions must go to Philip Braund, who kept wicket well, and also to Mick Lander, who rolled back the years, giving the younger players an education in line and length bowling.
David Lander chipped in with a good early wicket but unfortunately the lack of firepower meant Matlock were unable to prevent the inevitable, although came away from the eight-wicket defeat with their heads held high. Codnor closed their innings on 197-2.