It has been a long season for Matlock but one that they are happy to have made it through, given their position at the start of the year. The final two games fell over the customary double header, with Rolleston away on Saturday followed by Ambergate at home on the Sunday, sides at completely opposite ends of the table.
Rolleston required 16 points to secure promotion, and so they took the safer option of bowling first with the pitch looking fairly green. Matlock struggled against the bowling of Dent as openers Burton and Lander were both removed cheaply.
Rob Lowe, Andrew Paulett and Andrew Roberts provided some resistance as they took up some time in the middle but eventually they were overcome by the bowling of Rolleston and were bowled out for their second lowest score of the seas, 65.
Rolleston needed only these runs then to secure a slot in the Premier League next year. They went to these runs in some style, only losing two wickets with Mohammad Zaroob and Tom Liversage seeing the side home. This is the first time the club have been to the Premier League and they deservedly went on to win the Division One title on Sunday.
This left bottom two, Ambergate and Matlock, who were already relegated to confirm their positions in the table before the end of the season. Ed Lander won the toss at Causeway Lane and elected to bat, hoping to put a score on the board.
Johnny Ford and Mark Burton batted well together, and with the help of some extras got Matlock off to a great start. Mark Burton looked in great form, which he deserved after a good year opening the batting.
He was eventually bowled by the pick of the bowlers, Matt Ball, for 38. This didn’t deter Matlock though as their batting lineup showed depth with Andrew Roberts chipping in with 25 and Drew Mullaney finding his form with the bat with a well earned 44.
Before the innings closed Ed Lander also made the most of the base Matlock had built with 45* leaving his side on 261-8 after the 50 overs. This was their highest score of the season and one that Ambergate were unlikely to chase.
Pemberton made sure of this by removing both openers, Ball and Heath whilst Lander had a Beveridge caught at slip. After this start the game was really Matlock’s for the taking. Dave Lander and Drew Mullaney made sure of this taking 2 and 3 wickets respectively. The only real fight came from numbers 9 and 10 who put on a stand of 30 to frustrate Matlock.
But Pemberton eventually came back and secured his third wicket, giving Matlock maximum points and a big win. This really was justice for Matlock who have battled hard all season and did not deserve to finish below Ambergate.
The team will now have to go about re-building over the winter in an attempt to get the club back on its feet. But with the spirit the club have shown this summer, hopes are high that Matlock will come back strong next April.