Thriller sees resolute Matlock fall to defeat

Matlock batsman James Smith adds runs to the board on his way to a half century at Sandiacre on Saturday.

Matlock batsman James Smith adds runs to the board on his way to a half century at Sandiacre on Saturday.

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by Derrick Taylor

Matlock were unlucky not to take something from their clash at Sandiacre on Saturday after enjoying a positive start.

Matlock were without the services of Matt Cluer, Steve Chapman and recent hero Steve Pell, and the returning Drage Thompson was still unable to keep wicket - a role taken on superbly by Matt Heywood.

Sandiacre won the toss putting Matlock in to bat, and 22 overs later Matlock reached 100 without loss until James Chapman trapped James Smith, immediately after completion of a fifth half-century of the season, then added Chris Fletcher two overs later (113-2)

Thompson joined Kevin Leatherday (54*) and they added 71 more runs before Leatherday was caught off Jono Clare after battling 147 minutes for 79 precious runs, an anchorman in a total of 181-3.

Thompson hit a run-a-ball 47 lifting the score to 197-4, while Peter Camm (11) and Drew Mullaney (22*) contributed to a competitive final total of 231-6.

Sandiacre commenced their reply in confident style before Ben Ruhrmund (10) edged Fletcher into the safe hands of Smith at slip (21-1).

A change to spin provided a quick victim for Drew Mullaney, a catch in the deep for Drage Thompson and the departure of Chapman for 28 in a total of 52-2.

When Ed Lander bowled Swann (25) just before the 25 over drinks break it left Sandiacre needing 151 runs at a run a ball, but a 97 partnership between Oliver Uffindall and Bill Anderson dented Matlock’s winning prospects, although the prospect of a draw remained.

Camm got Anderson (61) to give a second catch to Drage Thompson and then bowled Dan Wheeldon (13) , leaving 39 runs still required and only six overs remaining.

The sixth wicket fell just nine runs short of victory, but the task was achieved by Jono Clare (8*) and the unbeaten Uffindall (65*) to secure the four wicket win, though both sides were given a superb reception on leaving the pitch.

Matlock host both Chesterfield and Denby this weekend, needing 110 points from eight games to avoid relegation.