by Derrick Taylor
Matlock took seven crucial points from a losing draw at Denby on Saturday as they continue their battle against relegation.
With an under-strength squad that included four second XI players, Matlock bowled first and Peter Camm soon bowled Eyre (4-1) and then had Bancroft(21) caught by Chris Fletcher, who as Camm’s opening partner for the day then had Mitchell (14) caught by James Smith (48-3)
Fletcher went on to catch Peter Burgoyne off the bowling of Smith but not until the latter had scored 55 in an 88-run partnership with Denby captain Joe Greenhalgh, who then went on to participate in a 42-run partnership with Daniel Burgoyne until becoming Camm’s third victim having scored 52).
With five wickets down for 178 the game started to slip away from Matlock, even though Steve Chapman’s nagging accuracy accounted for Dan Burgoyne (23) and Simms (34). Camm ended with 4-52.
Robert Peat (25*) completed the task and set a winning target of 254.
Matlock made a similar start to that of their opponents, losing early wickets.
Facing the spin of Peter Burgoyne and the pace of Peat, openers Kevin Leatherday and Steve Fletcher were back in the pavilion with 11 runs scored, each bowler taking a wicket.
Australian Smith brought confidence to the wicket and partnerships with Matt Haywood, Camm and Steve Chapman were useful before he was caught on the boundary having just made 50.
With only 86 runs scored and six wickets down, even a losing draw looked unlikely but Steve Pell and Rob Lowe stood firm in a seventh wicket stand of 16, and Pell would continue to give remarkable resistance alongside Paul Chadbourne, David Lander and, for the last ten or so overs, Ed Blackburn, to salvage the losing draw and further valuable points.
The noisy in-fielders surrounded the bat but Blackburn resisted 27 balls in scoring two runs, mainly by leaving the ball alone.
Pell, meanwhile, did the opposite hitting 41 more runs whilst protecting his junior partner to finish with 71 not out, having survived 103 balls, scoring ten fours and one six.