Darley Dale seconds keep the pressure on at the top with victory

Darley Dale’s second XI moved to within 15 points of the Division Seven North summit with a comfortable win over bottom side Clay Cross on Saturday.

Skipper Smith called incorrectly at the toss for the first time this season and Clay Cross offered to bat first.

The opening pair of Ward and Lane got plenty of bounce and swing but failed to get the early breakthrough as the home side looked to take the game to Darley.

However, after 13 overs Ward bowled Evans for 11 and the run rate dropped.

The introduction of Allsopp (2-14) brought two quick wickets aided by some excellent glovework by Marsden and left Clay Cross on 52-3 off 25 overs.

Wickets were hard to come by, but only Jelley 64* troubled the scorers as Shaw 2-13, Taylor and Cramp bowled tight to restrict the total to 108 off 46 overs.

After the break and with some wet weather threatening, Darley took the game to Clay Cross as Shaw and Smith set about winning the in game in quick time.

Shaw went for 11, bowled by a beautiful slower ball from Evans, but Hartley (22) and Smith (52*) moved the score on in double quick time.

Hartley went to a great catch, but Ward (14*) and Smith saw Darley Dale home with 25 overs to spare.

The win gave Darley Dale 27 well-deserved points and Cutthorpe’s slip up sees Darley consolidate second place, 15 points behind Cutthorpe in top spot with a 30 point gap between second and third-placed Swanwick, who Darley visit next weekend.