Darley sit at top of table

Darley Dale 2nd XI beat Butterley 1st XI by 4 wickets.

Darley seconds returned to the top of the Division 7N and continued their unbeaten start with a fine win over Butterley.

On another overcast day at Station Road, Johnny Shaw won the toss and invited the away side to bat first.

Darley’s bowling has been in fine early season form and this was again evident when the opening pace pairing of Greg Ward (1-14) and Johnny Heath (3-22) had the Butterley batsmen in trouble from the first over. Ward struck early with Lounds caught by Richard Taylor.

The pair then kept the batsmen pinned down to a run an over during their impressive opening spell.

The ball was then thrown to vice-captain Stuart Taylor (4-36) who, with a wily slower delivery took the important wicket of Reast (15) and for the second successive week went on to take a quartet of wickets.

When Heath returned for a second spell, wickets tumbled, despite Darley putting down a number of simple catches. Matt Heath kept his concentration taking three catches and conjuring two run outs. Butterley limped to 77 all out.

In reply, Shaw continued his imperious form. His solid knock of 33 provided the foundation for Darley’s innings.

The only support for Shaw was supplied by Jon Cooper (12 not out) but when he suffered a blow to the head and had to be taken to the Whitworth (he was later given the all-clear) wickets continued to tumble.

Shaw, however, would not be moved and when he was eventually caught, Darley were just ten runs from victory and Ward and Lee Marsden saw them home with four wickets in hand.

This was a deserved win and the form of the captain and the bowling attack is encouraging but Darley must improve their fielding and bat with more consistency.

Darley would like to thank match sponsors Longcliffe Quarries for their continued support.