Matlock (7pts) 153 all out lost to Stainsby Hall (27pts) 161 all out (D Smyth 59, E Lowe 5-27) by 8 runs
The day started with changes to the Matlock team due to injuries to Kevin Leatherday (replaced by cousin Martin) and wicketkeeper Andy Rogers, which gave an opportunity to 15-year-old Harvey Hosein, fresh from the 25th Bunbury Festival, where he was the recipient of the wicketkeeping award and interviewed on Sky Television as part of their feature on the festival during the recent Test Match lunch interval.
Stainsby won the toss and caused a surprise when deciding to bat first on an ominously green and damp Causeway Lane wicket.
Surviving two missed chances, Stainsby made steady progress against opening bowlers Peter Camm and Eddy Lander until the score reached 47-0.
Ed Lowe was then brought into the attack, taking a wicket with his second ball when Lynch (23) skied a catch to Keshwala and followed up by bowling Zaman without further score.
Meanwhile, left arm bowler Chris Fletcher had joined the attack and trapped Tom Wood (27) lbw to put Matlock in the ascendency at 53-3.
The new batsmen were finding runs difficult resulting in Worth mis-hitting Lowe to be caught halfway to the boundary by Steve Pell, making the score 56-4 at the 25-over drinks interval, during which Matlock were warned of the consequences of relaxing the pressure on a wicket where chasing 180 could be a difficult task.
The pressure was increased when Lowe had Oppenheim caught behind the wicket by Hosein and took a fifth wicket when bowling Hardwick.
Stainsby were 67-6 and the prospect of dismissal below 100 looked likely until along came David Smyth.
Determined to hit Stainsby out of trouble, he caused Lowe (5-25) and Fletcher (1-24) to be taken out of the attack.
Bowling changes were not immediately successful, the breakthrough being made by leg spinner de Wett trapping Wood lbw. The eighth wicket fell to Camm when Pell took his second catch of the day to dismiss Bignell (8).
Smith was the ninth wicket to fall but only after top scoring with 59, caught Keshwala bowled Lander (1-37). Camm (2-45) then completed the job, dismissing Gregson in the 47th over to give an all out total of 161
The wicket was given the roller treatment in the tea interval to hopefully iron out the occasional irregular bounce.
Even so, Matlock’s attack on the set target started disastrously against opening bowlers David Smyth and Junead Zaman with three wickets down for 18 runs.
The presence of Burton de Wett – the leading run scorer in Division One – lifted the confidence of the team but with only 44 runs on the board a mistimed drive saw him caught at cover for 24.
A partnership of 38 between Steve Pell and Peter Camm improved the situation until Pell (18) looked perplexed when bowled by Smyth.
The momentum was maintained by Nick Rosling, adding 50 more runs before he too took a hard look at the wicket when bowled by Zaman.
Camm remained defiant but lacked support as the last four wickets fell for 18 runs leaving him 62 not out, stranded and nine runs short of a winning total, walking disconsolately back to the changing rooms and wondering why seven batsmen only managed 13 runs in total and why seven were bowled.
“Cracking game” shouted an elderly spectator and indeed it was, but it has certainly put a dampener on Matlock’s ambition with only seven points from the game.
This week, Matlock visit Swarkestone in a dress rehearsal for the following weekend’s Marston’s Smooth Trophy final.
For more club details, go to www.matlockcricketclub.com.