Darley firsts hit the summit but seconds are well beaten

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Darley Dale moved to the top of Division Four North with a comfortable win away at Ilkeston on Saturday.

Winning the toss, Ilkeston took the bizarre decision to bat first despite their poor batting performances this season, and Paul Carson (1-6) and Dougie Briggs (4-24) ripped through the top order and Simon Cotterill (4-15) wrapped up the tail.

Only Richard Kelleher showed any sort of resistance with a patient 53 not out, without which Ilkeston would have failed to make the fixture any contest at all.

Ilkeston were bowled out for 89 in the 41st over when Jack Stone took the bails off for his 15th stumping of the season.

In reply, Stone (64 not out) made short work of Ilkeston’s meagre total, with good support from James Marsden (20 not out) as Darley took 27 points.

Darley second XI were given a batting master class by visiting Shipley Hall, aided by some poor fielding by the home side.

Batting first, Shipley started nervously with Stuart Taylor (1 for 59) having three catches put down in his opening two overs.

The away side’s confidence grew, both A Bowley (54) and K Farnsworth (53) achieving half centuries despite each offering up further catches which were dropped by Darley.

The introduction of Horace Hartley (3 for 45) partially penned back Shipley’s free scoring yet G Farnsworth’s 42 not out helped them to a massive total of 236 for 5.

In reply, Darley started brightly with Richard Taylor (34) playing some eye catching shots. At the other end wickets fell at regular intervals with only Tony Sadler (16) and Jon Cooper (18) offering any resistance.

Stuart Taylor (35) and debutant George Middleton (29) gave Darley some hope but when both fell in quick succession they were left teetering on 152 for 9.

Youngster Matt Wright (13) did his best to bat out the remaining overs but his vigil came to an end in the penultimate over via G Farnsworth’s (4 for 37) bowling, Darley all out 67 runs short.

Meanwhile, Darley Dale CC are celebrating their 150th anniversary with a week-long festival of cricket from Sunday, July 21.

A trip to watch Derbyshire Falcons v Durham Dynamos in a T20 fixture on Sunday will be followed by a two-day fixture with Cheshire Gardeners Gentlemen CC.

Live music and an opening party will take place after the game, with Bobby’s Comedy Club providing entertainment.

A Derbyshire Legends Representative side will take on DDCC’s young guns in a 20-over match at 6.30pm on the Wednesday, with the bar open and a barbecue available, and on Thursday DDCC entertain their old touring partners from Wales, Northop Hall, in a 40-over contest beginning at 2pm.

Thursday evening will see the 150th anniversary party with live music from 8.30pm, curry from the Shalimar Restaurant, lots of real ales and a pyrotechnics display.

The week is then rounded off with more T20 cricket at the County Ground as Derby Falcons entertain Leicestershire Foxes.

Everyone is welcome to all events. For more details see www.darleydalecc.co.uk.