Darley Dale continue their winning streak

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Darley Dale cruised to their fourth consecutive win with a convincing ten-wicket victory over Clay Cross at Station Road on Saturday.

Darley skipper Dougie Briggs won the toss and elected to bowl, and despite some resistance for the first wicket Darley soon had their breakthrough thanks to Paul Carson.

Elton colleague Sam Lightfoot chipped in at the other end and Carson struck again before the visitors had even brought up 50.

Simon Cotterill’s introduction brought about the wickets of Harry Wilmot, who starred with the bat in the reverse fixture earlier in the year, and Abdul Rehman who offered the only source of any optimism for the away side, plundering a quickfire 34.

Nathan Fearn repeated his happy knack of getting a wicket in his first over, whilst Jack Stevenson, making his first team debut, faced the unenviable of task of bowling at the death of the Clay Cross innings.

Stevenson managed to notch up two wickets for just 20 runs and together with Briggs (1-13) restricted the away side to 152-9 off there allotted 46 overs.

In reply, Andy Paulett and Jack Stone started their run chase in ultra-positive fashion and soon had cruised past the 50 mark, Paulett particularly dismissive of any short-pitched bowling.

The introduction of Wilmot and Murtaza Husain pegged Darley’s opening duo back and stemmed the run rate.

The home side made it to drinks at 65-0, but Clay Cross were still optimistic when their spinning duo amassed three consecutive maidens after the restart.

The Darley batsman managed to negotiate this tricky period and were soon hitting their straps.

Stone passed the 50 mark first and just a few balls later the opening stand had reached 100.

By the time Paulett brought up a classy half century the game was in the bag and Darley cruised passed the 152 target with an array of lusty strokes to the boundary to secure the 22 point haul.

Darley will look for a fifth consecutive victory away at Chesterfield Barbarians this weekend.