Matlock (17pts) 259-6 [50 overs] drew with Marehay (10pts) 213-7 [50 overs]
Matlock won the toss and made what turned out to be a wise decision to bat on another wet, green, soft Causeway Lane wicket in a fixture which matched brothers Martin and Peter Camm on opposing sides.
Chris Fletcher and Ed Lowe continued their recent successful opening sequence until Lowe (17) got a leading edge to a ball from Mills and was caught at gully.
Burton de Wett, making his last appearance prior to returning to South Africa, had his hopes of another high-scoring innings dashed when he was bowled by Martin Camm for 12. But progress was hardly interrupted as Fletcher, now growing in confidence with shots all round the ground, built a 100-run partnership with Kevin Leatherday (43) and a further 73 with Nick Rosling (43) to ease the score to 227-4.
Change was ignited by the departure of Fletcher (88), LBW to left-arm paceman Dean Mills just 12 runs short of his century. Mills (2-61) immediately repeated the dose to Minesh Keshwala with what must rank as the best ball of the match.
This gave promoted second-team captain Mark Burton the privilege of facing the hat-trick ball, which he survived and indeed to the last over of the innings, in which he pushed a single to give strike to partner Peter Camm in aggressive mood to hit three successive sixes, attempt a fourth which had the height but not the distance, only to be dropped by the retreating bowler, during which the batting pair scampered the final runs in a total of 259-6.
The opportunity to start the response was given to Marehay’s openers Waldo Lategan and Martin Camm (scorer of a big century in his last outing). Lategan (12) looked to mount an early attack but had the misfortune to be given out caught behind by wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein off Eddie Lander following a period of deliberation.
With only 14 runs on the board, Martin Camm and Andy Walters had to overcome the early setback, successfully achieved until Martin Camm (15) skied a catch to brother Peter off Ed Lowe to end a 50-run partnership.
At this point, Marehay were ahead of the runrate and Walters continued in the same vein, with Matthew Bailey as partner, until the spin bowling of Burton de Wett and Nick Rosling (1-43) was introduced. Rosling was successful with his very first delivery when Walters (29) misjudged the change in pace to give a simple catch to Peter Camm.
Not to be outdone, de Wett (3-65) trapped Lee lbw, had Jonathan Bradder caught halfway to the boundary by David Lander and bowled James Kyte, all in a period when only 17 runs were scored. At 99-6 and with 20 overs remaining, Matlock’s chance of earning maximum points (27) looked probable.
Batsmen Bailey and new partner Tom Burke had other ideas, scoring with increasing confidence as the slow bowlers used up their allocation, in increasing gloom and with the threat of rain.
With eight overs left and the score at 161-6, the pace attack, minus Peter Camm, who was suffering from an injury sustained during fielding, was reintroduced but with no success until the final ball of the game when Bailey’s matchsaving innings of 65 was ended, caught by Rosling off Lowe (2-30).
A finishing total of 213-7 left honours even, with 17 points to Matlock and ten to Marehay, putting Matlock joint fourth in Division One of the Derbyshire County Cricket League.
This weekend brings a double-header finale to the season, a visit to Eckington on Saturday and at home to neighbours Clay Cross on Sunday, both starting at the earlier time of 12noon.