by Derrick Taylor
Matlock’s relegation remains unconfirmed despite a 165-run defeat at Ockbrook & Borrowash on Saturday.
Ockbrook were put into bat and Peter Camm’s express pace provided early success as Jake Needham (12) and Alistair Dixon (7) were both caught out behind the wicket by Chris Fletcher and Matt Haywood respectively.
Steve Chapman trapped Jack Radcliffe lbw then bowled Matt Cassar (30) and Ockbrook were struggling at 67-4. The economical Ed Lander (1-32) then had Gareth Young caught by Drage Thompson and Ockbrook had lost half their wickets for 96.
A 59-run partnership between Trevor Smith and Ben Trembling put the brakes on Matlock’s ambition until Chapman again intervened to bowl Trembling (29), then added Corrie Keable at 170 -7.
However, the Ockbrook tail wagged vigorously and although Chapman bowled Tom Smith for 83 to finish with a best return of the season of 5-62, the final total reached 227-8.
Matlock’s reply got off to a disastrous start, Trevor Smith bowling Matlock’s key player and namesake James Smith with only three runs on the board. Kev Leatherday, now joined by recent hero Chris Fletcher, dug in for ten overs until Fletcher become Kevin Dean’s first victim.
Tom Smith (2-22) took a second wicket at 29-3 and Kevin Dean’s left arm variable pace swing bowling was to deceive Matlock’s captain Camm at 30-4 , Drew Mullaney (52-5) , Matt Cluer (52-6) and then Leatherday, Matlock 53-7 with still 22 overs to survive..
Chapman threatened some late aggression and Mark Burton endured 35 balls surrounded by close-in fielders but both they and Matt Haywood became Dean’s final victims in a continuous 15 over spell of 8-25. Matlock were all out for 62, Ockbrook winning by 165 runs.
Mathematically, Matlock could still escape the drop but have just three matches remaining to achieve that miracle, the first on Saturday at home to Spondon, then a double header the following weekend, Ticknall away and finally Alvaston & Boulton at home, the latter fellow candidates for relegation.