Sawley & LE Park (7pts) 165-7 drew with Matlock (18pts) 230-6
This was always going to be an ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ affair following the excitement and drama of the Bank Holiday Monday Marston’s Trophy Final against Swarkestone but Matlock approached the game with a determination to reclaim fourth place in the Derbyshire County League Division One table.
Put into bat, Matlock continued with the new and successful pairing of Chris Fletcher and Edward Lowe, each reaching 16 runs until a “misunderstanding” resulted in Fletcher being run out.
Burton de Wett joined Lowe to continue the momentum through to the 26-over drinks total of 107-1.
Sawley’s introduction of slow bowlers had been frustrating the batsmen and, in an effort to push on after the break, Lowe cracked an airborne drive into the hands of cover point just two runs short of his 50.
Aspinall (14) joined the run chase until appearing to be given caught behind off his thigh pad, only to be closely followed by De Wett (64), caught making an extravagant reverse sweep having just passed 800 runs for the season.
The Sawley slower bowlers resumed their stranglehold, dismissing Minesh Keshwala and Peter Camm to make the score a less healthy 177-6.
Kevin Leatherday (returning to form with 53 not out) and Steve Pell (11 not out) took a grip of the situation, accelerating the 50-over total to a competitive 230-6.
Sawley’s reply looked threatening, neither Neil Fawcett or Marcus Conway-Jones looking troubled by the Matlock pace attack on a grassy slow track lacking bounce.
At 57-0, Peter Camm changed tactics and first introduced the leg spin and googlies of de Wett and shortly after that the off spin of Nick Rosling.
Success was not immediate but seven overs later, with the score at 66, Conway-Jones (38) looked bewildered to be bowled by Nick Rosling, a first mistake in what was to be the highest score of the innings.
The breakthrough was completed when de Wett gave impressive fellow opener Fawcett (36) similar treatment at 93-2. Roberts (19), who had been an able support, became de Wett’s second victim.
The brakes were now on what had been a threatening run rate
When Rhodes was stumped by the fast hands of Harvey Hosein off Rosling and de Wett bowled Eckersley at 114-5, a Matlock win was on the cards.
However the spin twins’ allocation of 15 overs each was running out.
Rosling (3-46) finished his allocation by bowling M.Rhodes (19) at 136-6 but the light was rapidly fading under the increasing black clouds, so prohibiting the return the pace under the threat of match abandonment.
The last five overs of left-arm spin were bowled by Minesh Keshwala (1-7) and Fletcher to a seven-man cordon of close catchers but at 165-7 it all ended for Matlock in a winning draw, 18 points and fifth place in the league.
Three matches remain in the season, the next being a needle home match with Marehay, to be played on Sunday.
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