The weekend saw Matlock’s first double header as they took on Ilkeston & Rutland on Saturday and Sandiacre 2’s in the cup over the hottest weekend so far.
Saturday’s wicket looked like one for batting and Kevin Leatherday won the toss once more and elected to bat, much to the relief of the bowlers who are not acclimatised to the sun in England.
Ilkeston soon rattled the top order as, unusually for him, Ed Lowe was bowled, Kevin Leatherday got a thick edge through to the keeper and Vasili Orros forgot he wasn’t in South Africa and got gated by a ball that jagged back.
This left the responsibility on Ashley Draynor and Steve Pell, which they took on comfortably. In a consolidating fashion the pair stabilised the innings as Pell ran the ball around for 52 and Draynor reached a hard earned 71, showing his potential as an opening batsman. This left Matlock with 183, maybe slightly below parr but never-the-less something to for the bowlers to have a go at.
Matlock’s openers bowled tight lines and put Ilkeston’s openers under pressure. Pemberton (2-65) struck first as he removed opener Michael Chambers. Ed Lander (2-46) bowled with little luck but eventually bowled Daniel Shelton before having David Smit caught behind with another catch from Pell. Matlock showed some very promising signs but let themselves down as they failed to bring the performance together as whole, things are looking up though as another competitve game proves how much the up and coming side have to give.
On Sunday, Matlock travelled to Sandiacre for the Marston’s Smooth Trophy, a ground renowned for good wickets, and were not let down with more than 500 runs scored on the day.
Matlock batted first and Draynor continued his impressive weekend taking the sting out of the attack. It allowed the captain to make amends for the previous day with a well paced 140 and Orros smashed his way to 67 off the last 10 overs. Matlock had stepped up as they attempted prove themselves against a team in the division below.
The big score however perhaps left Matlock a little complacent as they let Sandiacre get off to a flyer. It wasn’t until Lander had Kevin Newbold caught at gulley and Mullaney forced an error from Tom Priestley that Matlock felt slightly more comfortable.
Sandiacre batted well though and kept up momentum despite losing wickets steadly. As the light began to fade things looked tense as Sandiacre crept up to 252.
Matlock edged their way into the next round where they will take on Ilkeston.