Darley Dale’s first XI crumbled to a heavy defeat in a game they would have hoped to pick up maximum points against lowly Holmewood on Saturday.
Batting first, Darley’s dismal effort was dogged by the loss of regular wickets. Only Charlotte Horton showed any form of resistance and top scored with 12 not out, Darley being dismissed for just 62 with most of the damage being done by Tim Taylor’s 6-31.
In response, Darley struck early thanks to Paul Carson and Doug Briggs, but it was only a fleeting wobble for Holmewood who cruised past the winning post with a flurry of boundaries to take 27 points.
Darley second XI achieved a winning draw with Stanton-by-Dale in a close-fought encounter at Station Road.
Asked to bat first, Darley’s top order were soon back in the pavilion after a succession of early wickets left the home side in crisis on 9 for 3 after just three overs.
Whilst captain Rob Smith (22) brought some much needed stability to the innings, wickets continued to tumble at the other end and when Smith was out to a tremendous catch, Darley were teetering on 50 for 6 from 28 overs.
Rather than collapse, however, the lower middle order rallied with Lee Marsden and Stuart Taylor enjoying a stand of 91.
Marsden played elegantly for a chanceless 41 not out whilst Taylor savagely punished the Stanton attack with an explosive 56 off 38 balls.
When Taylor was eventually bowled by the prolific Mahajan (6 for 33), wickets again tumbled and Darley finished on 152 all out.
Stanton looked nervous early on and when Dan Marsden (1 for 23) claimed an early scalp and Taylor (2 for 52) did likewise Stanton looked to be in trouble.
Opener Watson (66) took advantage of being dropped off Marsden’s bowling though and his scoring meant the away side kept the scoreboard ticking over. He had little support though with Tony Saddler (2 for 24) ensuring wickets kept falling.
When Watson was joined by Jackson (21 not out) it looked as though Stanton would achieve their target but tight bowling by Jonny Heath (1 for 27) and with Taylor eventually bowling the opener, Darley turned the screw and Stanton ended on 147, just six runs shy of a win.