Matlock CC 1sts beat Marehay by seven wickets
A GAME which could have been a needle match with neighbours Marehay turned out to be a comfortable seven-wicket win, enhancing Matlock’s drive for promotion after last week’s wobble.
Marehay wickets fell at regular intervals to the Matlock bowlers (Peter Camm 2-59, Ed Lander 1-37, John Aspinall 2-32) until Marehay’s captain, former Matlock player Richard Wood (a defiant 39 not out) and Bill Hartley’s (15 not out) stubborn eighth-wicket unbroken partnership.
The Marehay total of 175 set a relatively easy 50-over target at 3.5 runs per over.
The normally lethal pair of James Kyte and Richard Wood opened the bowling, only to be met with a classic performance by Kevin Leatherday at his best.
Matt Cluer was an early victim to first change bowler Dean Mills (1-17), caught by David Buckley off a hard-hit but lifted shot.
Replaced by Devon Conway, the DCCL’s leading run scorer (1,114), the run rate quickened but with a nine-w-icket win in sight, Ben Perry-Taylor had Conway caught for 69.
Taylor (2-38) followed up by having John Aspinall caught by Richard Wood.
This, however, was to be the last wicket to fall as Leatherday (78 not out) the day’s star batsman and Peter Camm saw Matlock home with seven wickets to spare and 22 points in the bag.
The Matlock elation was tempered somewhat when the news came through that league leaders Eckington had captured a similar points total, thus setting up a nailbiting finish to the season.
Leaders Eckington (290 points) and second placed Matlock (286 points) each have two games left and third-placed Alfreton (263 points) have a game in hand but play Eckington on the last day of the season.
Place your bets but do not discount the weather.
Matlock’s final two games are both away fixtures, starting with fourth-placed Duffield this Saturday and finishing with fifth-placed Stainsby Hall in a match on the following Sunday.