W & M 1st XI 189-7 (7 points) lost to Pilsley 1st XI 193-6 (22 points) by 4 wickets.
It is usually foolish, and always disrespectful, to regard a team as a ‘one-man-band’.
There is no doubt, however, that any side able to dismiss Pilsley’s Saeed Bin Nasir cheaply has a decent chance of success. This is a batsman who last season scored nearly 1,900 runs with nine centuries and seven 50s.
His first contribution though, was with the ball, taking a wicket in the second over of the match.
W & M then made sedate progress on a seemingly tricky surface as David Greatorex made 29 and Andy Barlow 33, while using up plenty of overs in the process.
Luke Boden made a valuable 43 and Jack Allen 29 as they looked to increase the tempo.
Vyash Gobind hit 16 but all three, with time running out, perished in the attempt to lift the total. Once again this season, the final score looked to be 30 or 40 runs short.
In reply, the visitors made a confident start before Chris Worthy went with the score on 59. At the halfway point, they were 83-2 (20 more than W & M).
The bowlers stuck at it though as Gobind got two wickets, Stephen Lowe, Jack Pollard and Owen Kernan one each, as well as a run out to leave Pilsley on 150-6. But that was the last success as the winning runs were scored off the final over of the game.
And Bin Nasir? Well, last season his batting average was an astonishing 135 per completed innings.
W & M at least kept him below that – if only by two or three runs.
On the other hand, he wasn’t dismissed and, in a supremely classy knock, he never looked like getting out.
In a game sponsored by Peter Bell, there wasn’t a single appeal against this highly talented cricketer.
Morton Colliery 2nd XI 230-4 (9 points) drew with W & M 2nd XI 305-4 (17 points)
After the loss an early wicket in this Division 8N game, Andrew Redfern scored 94 and James Brierley 36 in an excellent stand for the second wicket.
When Brierley was out, the tempo increased rapidly as Mike Whittall hit an exuberant 114 with shots all round the wicket.
Later on Tom Boylan, also in excellent form, weighed in with 40 not out.
The 2nds’ problem this season has been in bowling sides out and this one was no exception.
Darren Caunt scored a century for the hosts as only Max Marshall and Whittall, completing a fine all-round performance with 3-26, enjoyed any success.
The 2nds have now drawn all four of their games but a decent haul of points still sees them in a healthy position.
W & M 3rd XI 82-2 (22 points) beat Kirk Langley 2nd XI 81 all out (1 point) by 8 wickets
An excellent bowling performance and sound batting saw the 3rds to their fourth win from four matches in Division 10N.
Gary McCabe with 4-14 (from 14 overs) continued his fine start to the season – a dozen wickets already. Martin Dance, with another three, gave great support and Joe Bradbury (2-9) and Jack Griffiths (1-9) were also successful. In reply W & M slipped to 27-2 of which Peter Ashurst made 23.
But after that Mike Harwood, 22 not out, and Gareth Bates with a fine 29 not out, saw the hosts through to a comfortable win.
Finally, the Sunday side’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end with a three-wicket defeat to Ashover.
A somewhat careless batting performance saw the side dismissed for 126 and, unforgivably, gifted the opposition 11 extra overs.
This gave them 51 overs to score the runs, which they did for the loss of seven wickets.