Matlock lose relegation clash with Alfreton in the final over

SHIPLEY Hall cricket update.
SHIPLEY Hall cricket update.

Despite a good performance, two boundaries in the final over saw Matlock beaten by relegation rivals Alfreton last weekend.

Matlock are steadily improving, however, currently sit in the relation zone with Alfreton and Clifton poised narrowly above them.

So there was no avoiding the fact that it was a big game for both sides as Matlock travelled to Alfreton on Saturday.

After the victory at Alrewas, Ed Lander was considering batting first before the game, allowing his side to bat without scoreboard pressure.

However, after seeing the wicket, it looked like one for Matlock’s seam attack.

The decision was made easier when Alfreton’s Mace won the toss and put Matlock into bat.

This brought the ever reliable Andrew Paulett to join in-form Mark Burton at the crease and they began to build another partnership, carrying Matlock to 88 before Paulett (22) was also deemed lbw to Briggs.

However, Burton batted steadily through and built a second important partnership with Pyne, who quickly reached 50 as the two pushed the score along.

When Burton was eventually dismissed for 48 it was left to the lower order to push on, and Ed Lander did this well with a quick 20, bringing the innings to an end on 215.

It was a score that, though Matlock would have taken at the start, was definitely within Alfreton’s reach.

An early breakthrough was needed and, although Pemberton and Lander bowled relatively tightly, they were not able to find a wicket.

Lander then called on Mullaney to vary the attack and this decision paid off as Stokes’ attempted late cut found the gloves of Rob Lowe who held on to the difficult chance. This left Alfreton at 48-1 but still firmly in the driving seat.

Waterfall and Savage then began to settle and all signs pointed towards Alfreton cruising to victory. Matlock then brought back the opening attack to try and make a breakthrough and the plan succeeded as both bowlers removed Savage and then Aspinal, setting the hosts back.

The wickets slowed the run rate and Pemberton and Lander took advantage of this bowling good lines and restricting the batting of Waterfall (78) and Savage (36). But with three overs left Lander (1-66) and Pemberton (2-50) had bowled their allocated overs.

This left a close finish on the cards with Mullaney and Dave Lander to bowl the last three overs.

Lander started well as he claimed the wicket of captain Mace (25) and then Drew Mullaney took a pressure catch to remove Jake Simpson.

This left a nervy final over with eight needed, but Alfreton’s Ashley Holland was up to the challenge as he struck two fours to win the game.

Although disappointing, when Matlock look back they will realise they played very well in a competitive game.

This weekend Marehay will visit Causeway Lane where Matlock look to make amends for the previous game against them.