Matlock move up to third as the runs flow

Matlock bowler Ed Lander bowls to Gary Birley in their match against Sawley and LE Park at Causeway Lane.
Matlock bowler Ed Lander bowls to Gary Birley in their match against Sawley and LE Park at Causeway Lane.
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Matlock 1sts 269-6 beat Sawley and LE Park 266-7 by four wickets

SOUTH African star Devon Conway made it two centuries from three visits to the crease this season as Matlock beat visitors Sawley & Long Eaton Park on Saturday in Division One of the Derbyshire County League.

On an unbelievably perfect day for cricket, skipper for the day Peter Camm won the toss and put Sawley in to bat.

This was not seen initially as a good decision as Sawley openers Fawcett and Birley put on 81 in quick time on a flat wicket.

Drinks were taken early 79-0 on this very hot day, during which skipper Camm gave the team an equally hot opinion of what he thought of the performance so far.

This was to good effect as the experienced John Aspinall had Fawcett (46) caught by Conway and the Matlock attack began to bite, restricting Sawley to consecutive partnerships of 17, 19, 32 and seven, making the score 156-6.

Burley was then joined by Brunton hitting 73 before being bowled by Peter Camm, but only after a partnership of 104.

Camm (4-66) went on to take his fourth wicket, a present for son Isaac on this fourth birthday.

No further wickets were to fall, giving a 50-over total of 260, of which three batsmen scored 194.

Kev Leatherday and Matt Cluer, having scored 272 runs between them in the last two games, approached the task with confidence until the demise of Cluer, who had been stiking the ball well, at 11-1.

This brought the prolific South African Devon Conway to the wicket but 59 runs later Leatherday (22) was bowled round his legs.

Runs were still coming a bit too steadily and, following the departure of Mark Burton, John Aspinall and Peter Camm, the score was 156-4 with only 16 overs to go.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man with Chris Fletcher limping to the wicket having damaged one leg in crashing into the static nets while fielding, to join Conway, who was threatening to finish the job on his own, perhaps inspired by the Abba music being played in Hall Leys Park.

The rest is history. Conway was audaciously scoring to every part of the ground with the fielders on the boundary rope to prevent the fours as the required total could not be reached in the remaining overs by singles.

Meanwhile, Fletcher had joined the fray hopping the singles and getting more like Conway each time he found the boundary.

Even so, disaster struck as Conway was bowled for 114 while charging down the wicket to bowler Conway-Jones.

Fletcher then took on the mantle, scoring 72 not out to reach the required total with four wickets to spare and seven balls remaining.Fletcher’s return to the changing rooms was ecstatic.

This was one of the best ever games seen at Causeway Lane, a fact endorsed by the umpire when he said it was the best game he had umpired. Matlock’s 22 points have lifted them to third and displays like this must keep the faith in promotion to the Premier League.

This weekend, the 1sts play host to local rivals Alfreton.