Darley bounce back in emphatic style

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Darley Dale 1sts entertained top-of-the-table Riddings 1sts at Station Road on Saturday in a Derbyshire County League Division 4N game sponsored by Longcliffe Quarries.

Craig Elliott’s team were looking to bounce back from an emphatic defeat the previous Saturday.

Having won the toss and elected to field, all memories of Darley’s haunting performance at West Hallam were exorcised when the new look opening attack of Paul Carson and Dougie Briggs stole the early initiative, Carson bagging the dangerous Graham Hibbert thanks to smart catching from James Marsden.

The introduction of wily Simon Cotterill swung the match in Darley’s favour even further as he chalked up a career best bowling return at Station Road of 6-20. Cotterill was assisted by smart catching and fielding work.

A fantastic bowling and fielding display saw Riddings reach just 101, a score the home side would normally be confident of chasing down with ease. However, in the light of last week’s dismal total of 40, the game was still very much in the balance.

Stone and Elliott’s opening stand was resilient and set the tone initially, both showing stubborn resistance and applying themselves in difficult conditions.

The wicket of Stone (13) brought about a mini collapse, Jake Hartley, Jamie Watts and John Bittles falling in quick succession.

Elliott, meanwhile, calmly carried on, notching up 42 before being dismissed.

The Elton duo of Marsden (8 not out) and Carson (7 not out) saw the home side to victory with five wickets in hand.

An improved performance will please skipper Elliott, who now sees his team in third place in the league.

Darley continue this weekend at Ambergate.