Clatter of late wickets is costly in opening game

Holmewood 1st XI 225-1 beat Wirksworth & Middleton 1st XI 223-8 by nine wickets

THIS was hardly the result W & M wanted or, indeed, might have expected, from the opening league fixture.

While they didn’t deserve to win the match, the margin of defeat was surprising and somewhat misleading.

Holmewood, having gained promotion to Division Three behind W & M last summer, were largely indebted to their captain, Gavin Horton, an imposing figure at the crease with an uncomplicated technique. He hit an unbeaten 120 with 17 fours and five sixes in an innings of often raw brutality. It was not always elegant but it was mightily effective. Matt Ryalls made 66 not out as Holmewood reached the target with six overs to spare.

Before all this, W & M had worked hard to set a decent total. Aafan Janjua scored a fluent 36 before hitting the worst ball he had faced straight into square leg’s hands. David Greatorex made a measured 62 while Luke Boden scored a polished 74. On an occasionally uneven pitch, 250 would have been a good score but in an effort to get there, a clatter of late wickets put paid to that.

Owen Kernan, a left-arm opening bowler on debut for W & M, bowled with good pace and heart, missing the outside edge several times. He also twice had Horton perilously close to LBW early on, as did, later on, Andy Barlow, making a welcome return to the club. But it became more and more evident that it was Horton’s, and Holmewood’s, day.

W & M 2nd XI 158 all out drew with Sawley & LE Park 4th XI 70-9

The seconds were frustrated by the visitors’ last pair whose rearguard stand lasted nearly 14 overs in Division 8N.

A blustery wind was a factor in the game and W & M had slumped to 40-4 before Neil Taylor, with 33, and Mike Harwood (45 not out) batted sensibly to post a total that was at least defendable. In fact, it was more than that and Sawley were soon in deep trouble themselves. Gary McCabe bowled his 14 overs right through and finished with remarkable figures of 6-12.

There was a wicket for Jack Currell and two for Neil Taylor but, as captain David Hopkinson shuffled his bowlers, that final wicket (and ten extra points) eluded them. The side should be strengthened shortly with the return of Neil Doxey and Paul Baines, both unavailable for this game.

Brailsford 4th XI 243 all out lost to W & M 3rd XI 251-7 by eight runs

This was a marvellous game decided on the very last ball when a run out secured the win for the 3rds in Division 10N.

W & M fielded an engaging combination of youth and experience and owed their impressive total to Dale White with 52, Gareth Bates 47, James Brierley 30 and Keith Williams with 18. In reply, Brailsford made a spirited effort to win the match led by the experienced Phil Derbyshire who scored 99. Gareth Bates, with a fine all-round performance took five wickets.

A mention also for two 13-year-olds making their senior debuts. Oliver Julian, son of captain Colin, kept wicket impressively while Tim Shepherd scored some neat runs, took a wicket and fielded brilliantly.

All in all, a wonderful advert for cricket in this division.

As for Sunday cricket, this season the club has entered a side in the Mansfield B & M Steel Sunday League and, after three games, sits at the top of their division.

All matches are 40-overs-a-side and W & M are captained by Jack Allen.

In the matches, they beat Papplewick by eight wickets, drew with Chesterfield in a high-scoring game and beat Chesterfield Barbarians.