by Derrick Taylor
Struggling Matlock endured another tough weekend with defeats in league and cup.
Against Alvaston & Boulton in the league on Saturday, Matlock elected to bowl first, Peter Camm first to strike having Steve Stubbings caught behind at 40-1 .
Wicket keeper Steve Pell then retired hurt, Matt Cluer replacing him, but wickets were hard to get until Steven Chapman tempted McIlroy (43) into giving a catch to James Smith.
Camm took the wicket of Ault (96) then Jamie Rowland (20) and O’Brien in successive balls but Adris Azam’s 35 helped A&B to close on 254-8, Camm taking 4-76 and stand-in keeper Cluer three catches.
Hopes of a competitive reply were dashed when the in-form Leatherday gloved a ball to the keeper with only eight runs on the board, but Smith
When James Smith joined Cluer the tempo changed until former Matlock overseas star Iai O’Brien took 4-47 to help his side along.
Cluer made 50 and Pell led the resistance from the tail before he was bowled by Wheatcroft and Matlock’s innings fell 106 runs short.
On Sunday, Matlock were dumped out of the Premier Cup by Eckington.
Matlock elected to bat and got off to a steady start until Cluer, unable to repeat his heroics of Saturday, fell to the professional pace bowler Kyle Heyns.
Smith became the second wicket to fall after a 15-run partnership with Leatherday (19) and Fletcher made a stylish 15 before being caught at slip off a turning ball from Adam Leonard.
Drew Mullaney (33) also fell to Leonard (2-50) before Camm added 21 runs in 20 balls, putting Matlock the driving seat until he was caught and bowled by Bridgeman.
Heyns ended Smith’s run-a-ball innings of 76 and Matlock were eventually all out for 202.
Eckington’s innings followed a similar profile to that of Matlock.
Middle order batsmen Musselwhite and Spence dug in until Chris Fletcher applied the brakes by getting Musselwhite (33) leg before and adding then two more wickets.
However, Michael Spence (73*) took charge to help his team reach a winning score of 205-6.