The ongoing struggle between Elton and Ashford for village cricket bragging rights intensified last week with each club claiming silverware at the other’s expense over the space of just 48 hours.
Elton claimed first blood on Wednesday evening when they clinched a record-breaking fifth consecutive Longstone League title.
Ashford have been hot on Elton’s heels in the upper reaches of the league table of late and won their final league game against Darley Dale with some comfort.
Disappointingly, Elton’s final game at Baslow was called off but the points allocated to them as a result were enough to put them out of Ashford’s reach, but only just.
A couple of nights later, Ashford had the perfect opportunity to give vent to their frustrations when the two clubs squared up to each other at Longstone in the League Cup Final (see page 31).
Meanwhile, back in Elton generations of villagers have marvelled at the exploits of the Elton team of the 1920s which won the Longstone League three years on the trot.
A plaque on the wall at the Duke of York pub in the village celebrates that achievement to this day. As Elton struggled mid-table year after year, no-one dared to imagine that it might happen again one day.
But the current Elton team have now comfortably eclipsed their forebears with five straight titles.
Over the five-year period that they have completely dominated the Longstone League, Elton have played well over 30 league games and, with the single exception of a tied game in 2011, they have won every one of those matches. Bearing in mind that the accepted view is that any one team is capable of beating any other over 15 overs on the night, this is a remarkable achievement.
You would have to go a very long way, in any sport at any level, to find a more impressive record over such a long period.
No prizes for guessing the identity of the opposition in that single tied game last year which spoils Elton’s otherwise perfect five year record. Naturally it was Ashford.
Elton now have an early opportunity to bounce back from their cup final defeat. They travel to Stanton tonight (Thursday) to play their rain-delayed Orme Shield quarter-final game.