W&M are joint leaders after their latest success

Wirksworth opener Arfan Janjua pulls the ball for runs as Wirksworth and Middleton take on Walton on Trent.
Wirksworth opener Arfan Janjua pulls the ball for runs as Wirksworth and Middleton take on Walton on Trent.

Wirksworth and Middleton 1st XI 173-9 beat Walton on Trent 1st XI 119 all out by 54 runs

W&M 1sts’ third successive win, after the two abandoned games, moves them to equal top of Division Three of the Derbyshire County League.

There is, on the evidence so far, a convincing balance to this team with everyone having contributed significantly at some point.

Given this – and the accompanying success – it is clear that, in a game sponsored by Peter Bell, there was no need to ring the changes.

Alex Park made 42 and Aafan Janjua, stylish as ever but yet to display his true class this season, hit 31. After a good start (70-0) W & M might have felt disappointed with the eventual score but, on yet another grey, chilly day, no-one can really be sure what constitutes a decent total. Daryl Williams (22), Jack Allen (18) and James Brierley with 16 made useful additions to the score.

In the event, it was more than adequate as the two medium pacers exploited the conditions to perfection. Jimmy Redfern, following wickets in last week’s cup match, took 4-28 (4-3 in his first three overs), while Stephen Lowe, who has made significant contributions in all three league matches, had 4-36. Paul Hindmarsh and Brierley were the other wicket takers as the visitors, at one point 51-7, were dismissed in 34 overs.

Wingerworth 203-6 lost to W & M 2nd XI 204-5 by 5 wickets.

This exciting game, an excellent advert for cricket in Division 7N, was settled with just four balls to spare. It showed, after last week’s somewhat uncertain approach, that the 2nds are capable of chasing a 200-plus score.

Eddie Grant (over 800 runs last season) hit 44 not out for Wingerworth. This included two sixes off the last two balls of the innings bowled by Neil Doxey, one of seven bowlers used, but who still returned an impressive 3-40. Max Marshal deserved better than 1-37 and Jack Currell bowled well, with 1-14 from seven overs.

In reply, Michael Jefferiss again looked very assured in reaching 17 but when both openers were out with 28 scored, the seconds needed to consolidate.

Peter Ashurst joined Neil Taylor in a thoroughly sensible stand of accumulation. They added 92 before three further wickets put the game in the balance again.

Both played well constructed innings, but now still 60 or 70 were needed with fewer than ten overs remaining. Marshall and Currell came together and with batsmen experienced at shutting out a game still to come, these two had more licence to play their shots. They did so to good effect as Currell made 32 not out and Marshall 30 not out.

Wingerworth, with some canny cricketers, won promotion just behind W & M last season but were one of the only two teams to beat them, the return fixture being a draw.

W & M 3rd XI 91-0 beat West Hallam 3rd XI 89 all out by 10 wickets

Lewis Heap and Jack Griffiths, two of the 3rds’ younger players, took three cheap wickets each to restrict the visitors to their modest total in Division 9N, with Paddy Turner 2-20 and Keith Williams 1-29 the other bowlers.

In reply, two of the more senior players, Williams (43 not out) and Andrew Redfern (31 not out) knocked off the runs in fewer than 23 overs without fuss.

W & M 3rd XI 204-6 drew with Duffield 3rd XI 150-6

The following day saw the 3rds entertain high-flying Duffield. Buoyed by the previous day’s performance, W & M produced their best batting of the season with two substantial partnerships.

After slipping to 34-3, Jacob Bradbury then made 57 with Michael Wilson’s 44 to take the score to 138. Later on, captain Colin Julian made 20 not out with Jack Griffiths 29 not out adding 52 to take the 3rds to maximum batting points.

Duffield’s openers made steady progress before Joe Bradbury made the initial breakthrough at 55. Either side of drinks, Neil Doxey struck three times, two of them magnificent catches off his own bowling which would have been impressive from a man half his age.

He is, in his own words, an evergreen cricketer capable of producing unplayable balls. His full 14-over spell yielded just 33 runs for those three wickets.

If Duffield hadn’t quite given up the run chase by then, a wicket for Jack Griffiths, and a run out effected by Jacob Bradbury to dismiss the top scorer Will Clare for 41, made it 120-6 with just eight overs remaining. The experienced Keith Blake with 35 not out saw Duffield to the draw as well as a third batting point.

n The club flag flew at half mast this weekend in honour of Gerald Wanford who sadly died on Thursday. He was a local farmer’s son who (like his brother Brian) played cricket for Wirksworth for many years.

A club spokesman described him as a true gentleman, excellent slow left arm bowler and powerful straight driving batsman. He held the record of 81 wickets in a season until 2010 and will be very sadly missed.