Matlock 2nd XI beat Alfreton by 124 runs
Matlock, riding on their Saturday win against Sandiacre, approached this “double header” determined to make the weekend a total winning hand for the club – and they succeeded.
Captain Paul Chadbourne’s day started early as he singlehandedly prepared the teas, set up the wicket, briefed his players, won the toss and opted to bat, with the aim of driving for maximum points.
The early loss of Matt Haywood, LBW to Rooke, proved to be a minor setback as Andy Roberts (18 including three fours) and in-form Tom Coey (37, including five fours and one six) savaged the Alfreton bowling.
It seemed cruel that skipper Chadbourne, following his earlier dedication, took an early dismissal but he need not have worried as Drew Mullaney and Rob Lowe increased the tempo.
The departure of Lowe, caught in the deep off Robins, when attempting another big hit, followed by the immediate loss of Dave Lander, put Alfreton back in the game. Mullaney assumed the role of anchorman, to be well supported by Ed Fletcher (29) who was run out when chasing quick runs and the hard hitting Tom Watkinson (10).
The late rally had lifted the score to 184-8 with Rooke (3-45) being Alfreton’s most successful bowler.
The last over arrived with Phil Braund on strike, who sacrificed his wicket when run out in giving Mullaney the strike.
With four balls gone and no addition to the score, Mullaneyhit the last two deliveries for a four and then a six into the football ground, to take the 46-over total to a respectable 194-9, ended on 56 not out.
The atmosphere was terrific as the game had now attracted a cross section of club players and officials, parents, girlfriends and a number of very welcome visitors from Alfreton.
As in recent games, skipper Chadbourne repeated his tactic of opening the bowling with pace (Tom Watkinson) and spin bowling (Drew Mullaney’s leg breaks and googlies).
Alfreton made a solid but slow start and ten overs passed before the first wicket fell at 29, perhaps a first indication that Alfreton were settling for a draw.
A quick run out one run later in the 12th over made this essential but by the 20th over and a score of 51-5, it became a matter of survival for Alfreton.
Hero of the day Dave Lander was already on the scene and continued to finish off the Alfreton innings, often rattling the stumps with a return of 6-16 in an all total of 70.
Matlock won by 125 runs, collected 27 points and jumped to fifth in the table but unfortunately do not have a game next week to maintain the momentum.
The sweetener was that all the Matlock team came through the club’s system, starting as juniors.