Confidence boosted by a timely victory

W & M 1st XI 180 all out (27 points) beat Walton on Trent 1st XI 113 all out (6 points) by 67 runs

After two successive draws, W & M’s third win of the season underlines the team’s recent improvement, which will hopefully boost their confidence for the second half of the Derbyshire County League Division Three season.

It was by no means a flawless performance. Once again, the batsmen fell short of a par score. While the top six all made starts, no-one was able to make a really significant contribution.

Jack Allen (27) and David Greatorex (38) shared 51 for the fourth wicket – the highest of the innings – before Vyash Gobind top scored with 43. He threatened a lot more but, having hit two fours and a six in successive balls, he was then bowled attempting a paddle sweep from the next one. The bowler was off-spinner Philip Preston, and the visitors’ most successful, returning figures of 6-51.

The visitors would have fancied their chances of winning but with Stephen Lowe keeping one end shut (seven overs for just seven runs) Gobind at the other end ripped into the top order. Before too long, the score was 30-5. Gobind had four of them and the other was a brilliantly effected run out by Jack Pollard.

Greatorex used four spinners after that as Andy Barlow and Jack Allen took a wicket each. James Brierley was successful as well, courtesy of a stunning, running one-handed catch by Iftikher Ahmed. Gobind returned to clean up the tail in irresistible style and finished with his best figures of 6-37. The match was generously sponsored by Westons and this win should provide the spark to ignite the rest of the season.

Riddings 2nd XI 212 -9 (18 points) drew with W & M 2nd XI 181-8 (11 points)

The seconds’ sequence of six consecutive victories in Division 8N came to an end with this losing draw against an improving Riddings side. One seasoned W & M campaigner suggested these opponents are the best team they have played this season.

Details of who did what exactly are sketchy but Lewis Heap, recruited again from the 3rds, was the most successful bowler with 3-41 and there were a couple of wickets for Martin Dance and Neil Doxey and one for Jack Currell.

In reply, W & M, without captain David Hopkinson for this game, were struggling somewhat at about the halfway point.

Andrew Redfern made 26, Tom Boylan 25, Peter Ashurst 31 and Jack Currell hit 56.

It was a comfortable enough draw and the points keep them on top of the division.

W & M 3rd XI 226-7 (27 points) beat Eckington 3rd XI 84 all out (3 points) by 142 runs

With captain Colin Julian unavailable, as well as three or four other regular players elsewhere, this might have appeared to be a weakened side.

Far from it; the youngsters who filled the gaps – along with a couple of more senior players – performed with great distinction.

This was the 3rds’ ninth win of the Division 10N season and they now have 245 points – more than their total for the whole of last season.

Dale White and Mike Harwood got the innings away to a productive start with the latter making an assured 67. Tristan O’Boyle, who hasn’t really played enough this season, made 35.

The innings of the day, however, was a thoroughly mature 63 from under 15s captain Jack Canham, his first half century in senior cricket.

If the batting performance was good, the bowling matched it.

As well as a run-out, there were two wickets each for Gareth Bates and Tim Shepherd, O’Boyle got another, while Adrian Smith led the way with 4-5. The ground fielding and catching was exemplary to round off another highly convincing victory.

Eckington 63 all out lost to W & M 281-6 by 218 runs

A magnificent opening stand of 195 set up another resounding win for the Sunday side.

Tom Boylan fell just six runs short of a deserved century while Michael Jefferiss retired on 101.

After that, James Brierley made 35.

In Eckington’s reply, Lewis Heap completed an excellent weekend’s bowling, claiming 5-21 and there was a wicket each for Jack Griffiths, Neil Doxey and Colin Julian.