By Maurice Ingham.
There is surely only one thing worse than playing cricket in such miserable conditions, and that is watching it.
Nevertheless the players got on with it against Denby second XI and provided entertaining cricket of a high standard.
Put in to bat, W & M made a bright start with Andy Malia-Barlow looking in fine touch before he was very well caught and bowled by Rob Peat, who also dismissed Jack Pollard for a very well made 33.
Najaf Shah and Stuart Poplar took the score to 107-2 at the halfway point, but the curse of the drinks break struck again as one run later Poplar was out for 36.
Najaf went for an excellent 51, but James Thompson held the rest of the innings together with a solidly constructed 28 not out, aided by some lusty, last over boundaries from James Brierley to take the total past 200.Peat, having returned to the attack, took two more wickets to finish with 4-54.
He then opened the batting, after tea, with Ross Perry-Taylor, both of them playing cautiously against accurate bowling from Stephen Lowe and Shah.
The score was 29 from 14 overs when Max Marshall replaced Najaf and immediately found the edge of Perry-Taylor’s bat.
Edd Lowe, the former Matlock player, made 23 in a stand of 61 before Malia-Barlow had him LBW.
By now, though, it was drizzling, blowing a gale, the light was fading and after 34 overs the umpires decided enough was enough with Denby 86 runs short, Peat unbeaten on 57.
Elsewhere, bottom club Tutbury collected 12 points – as did W & M, while Sandiacre had 11. The firsts have to play them both in the final four games.
The seconds returned to winning ways with this comfortable victory against the division’s bottom team Clay Cross.
Jack Currell took 2-17, Liam Duffy 3-7 , Liam Murphy 2-9 and Joe Bradbury 1-13 as Clay Cross made 88-9. Paul Evans top scored with 32.
In reply, Dayle White and Murphy began with 38, after which Neil Taylor made 18 not out. Murphy finished on 48 not out to complete a fine all-round performance.