Although high on confidence after a fantastic win over Alrewas, Matlock could only gain a losing draw against Derbyshire County Cricket League Division One leaders Cutthorpe at Causeway Lane.
Last time the sides met the weather cut the game short after only a few overs.
However, with the weather set fine Matlock knew they would have to face up to the strong side this time around. Cutthorpe won the toss and, with a good looking track, decided to bat first.
Matlock knew their only chance was to take early wickets and, with his very first delivery, Lander bowled the dangerous Thompson leaving Cutthorpe in trouble. A tight spell then saw ex-Matlock player Cluer removed lbw by Lander (3-82) before the aggressive Birdett edged one through to Rob Lowe after making a brisk 29. A great start for Matlock then continued with Mullaney removing both Barlow and Kingham cheaply.
At 75-5 Matlock were flying, but overseas player Joshua Savage had other ideas. He came to the crease and quickly began striking boundaries. The damage didn’t stop and even though captain Lander tried to rotate his bowlers, the effect was still the same.
Savage ended up with 128, helped by batting partner Butt, who finished with 53.
David Lander did eventually manage to take both their wickets, but Cutthorpe decided they had enough after the 48th over, declaring with 271 on the board. Matlock were somewhat disheartened given their start, however, at the same time had expected a strong batting performance from top of the table Cutthorpe. The job now was to ensure wickets remained intact to make sure the overs were seen out without defeat.
Openers D. Lander and Burton started their task well, but Lander received a pacey yorker from Savage which saw him bowled before Ed Lowe, also unable to keep out a delivery from the South African, was dismissed. Matlock now relied on Andrew Paullett and Burton to steady the ship, and the pair did just that.
Burton has looked in good touch recently and he extended this with a well-earned half-century. The partnership lasted until after drinks and was eventually broken when Burton was trapped lbw by Chapman.
Cutthorpe now had a glimmer of hope that was soon stifled by Joe Pyne who saw out the last of the innings with Lowe after Paullett had been caught behind, giving Savage figures of 3-63, Matlock ending on 161-6. Although it had been a tough day, Matlock will be pleased when they reflect on the game against a strong side.
This weekend will be a different scenario as they face Alfreton, who sit just above them in the table, in what could be a big game for both teams.