Leaders hold on at Darley

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Darley Dale 2nds 183 all out drew with Ashover 142-6

Darley’s Station Road ground was the setting for the Derbyshire County League Division 7N fixture between Darley Dale and top of the league Ashover on Saturday.

Ashover won the toss and asked Darley to bat first on a hard and pacy wicket.

Previously injured skipper Jonathan Shaw returned to lead his men and he put on 52 with Andy Topley (23) for the first wicket.

Phil Hurst (27) and Shaw (69) then put on 67 for the second wicket.

With Darley at 119-2, wickets began to fall regularly, heavily restricting the run rate.

It was down to the big hitting of Jonathan Heath (19) to get Darley up to a respectable total of 183 all out in the 45th over, handing Ashover another over to chase the home team’s total.

In reply, Ashover started strongly with M Wattret (41) and skipper Barton (18) batting cautiously. However, when Ward (1-21) removed Barton, Darley sensed a collapse, especially when Charlotte Horton (3-28), who bowled with great accuracy, had Wattret caught behind.

The introduction of Hartley (2-8) had the title hunters in trouble. However, the defensive lower order survived, allowing Ashover to end their innings on 142-6.

Darley now travel to Mugginton this weekend, who are only three points behind.