The Matlock CC 2nds’ double header required that they travel first to Duffield and the following day to Selston with the purpose of continuing their fight against relegation from Division 5N.
Third-placed Duffield 2nd XI proved to be a tough nut to crack. Batting first, they accumulated a daunting 239-7. Rob Lowe worked hard to take 3-66.
Matlock’s reply was dominated by a real captain’s innings by Paul Chadbourne, scoring 51 despite having a broken finger which received at least one blow during his time at the crease.
It was all in vain as he was last out in a total of 116 all out. Matlock lost by 137 runs but the inexperienced members won some of their private battles against bowlers of qualit.
Unchastened and without Saturday’s hero, Matlock visited Selston, led by captain for the day Rob Lowe, encouraged by the fact that two weeks ago they took 27 points from Selston Town 1st XI at Causeway Lane.
A confident start with Andrew Roberts top scoring with 55 plus help from Jonathan Gilberthorpe and Drew Mullany suggested a large score in prospect but Stephen Dennis (3-25) crushed these hopes as Matlock finished at a modest 175-7.
The Selston innings was tense throughout, swinging to favour first one team then the other. Losing an immediate wicket to Dave Lander, there were a series of threatening partnerships with dangerman Chris Knighton (29) spraying the boundaries until he too was caught by Gilberthorpe off Lander.
A winning total was now in sight at four runs per over with 12 overs to go but then off-spin bowler Lowe (3-44) and leg spinner Mullaney (3-49) tightened their grip, helped by four catches taken by Jonathan Gilberthorpe and one further wicket for Dave Lander.
So the experienced Selston were all out for 152 with nine overs remaining, beaten by a team whose captain, at 23, was their oldest player. Matlock have now won two games this seasom, both against Selston.
Matlock take 27 maximum points and although still next to the bottom are just six points below Denby 3rds with all to play for.
Next week they are away to midtable Belper Meadows.