Champions! W&M take Division Three crown

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Wirksworth & Middleton are champions of Division Three after beating Lullington Park on Sunday.

They finished just four points clear of third-placed Morton and two ahead of fellow promotedside Walton-on-Trent, Saturday’s win proving crucial.

It was achieved without two key players- Sinethemba Mjekula and Max Marshall - against a side who had inflicted W&M’s heaviest defeat of the season earlier in the summer.

The visitors, put in to bat, scored at four an over before Stephen Lowe made the first breakthrough at 34 while Jack Ritchie got the next.

At 92-2 after 23 overs, however, Lullington looked set for a formidable total.

After drinks W&M pulled it back magnificently. Ant Woolley took two crucial wickets in an over – including the dangerous John Goodwin for 55.

Ritchie bowled his full 14 overs finishing with 3-46, one of them a very good catch by Michael Jefferiss – one of three for the keeper.

At the end the firsts claimed five wickets for just 26 more runs as Lowe took 3-33 and Woolley 2-27 along with two run-outs.

After tea Stuart Poplar and Jordan Duffy began sensibly adding 26 for the first wicket before the latter was out.

Aafan Janjua then batted beautifully scoring 31 in a stand of 51 before mistiming an off-drive.

A third wicket fell at 89 after which Woolley and Poplar took the score to 158 with few alarms.

Just 21 were needed from five overs with two most experienced players in control and seven wickets in hand.

But that was when things started to get jittery. Woolley was caught for 35: Jack Allen, who had earlier bowled six overs of off-spin, took the aggressive approach and was clean bowled.

Ashley Spendlove thumped a couple of decent blows before being caught in the deep and when Liam Murphy was bowled W&M had lost four wickets for 12 runs.

It was left to Ritchie and Poplar to steady the ship.

Ritchie faced five balls, hitting a three and two boundaries to secure the win – and promotion.

Poplar meanwhile, in his most important innings of the season, remained unbeaten with a highly impressive 66 as the win sealed the title glory.