Bottom-of-the-table strugglers Matlock slumped to another defeat in Division Two of the Derbyshire County League -- this time at the hands of Sandiacre Town 2nd.
Sandiacre eased to a five-wicket success after restricting Matlock to a modest total of 117-8 in their allotted 40 overs. Now Ed Lander’s boys are stranded at the foot of the division with only 31 points from seven matches, 29 adrift of their closest rivals.
Home skipper Ben Ruhrmund had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first when he won the toss. And he was rewarded as the likes of Anthony Taylor, Jordan Roberts and Jodie Dibble bowled effectively.
Ruhrmund himself then took charge of Sandiacre’s reply, stroking an unbeaten half-century as his side reached 118-5 inside 32 overs to record what was a much-needed tally for them of 22 points after a slow start to the campaign.
Going in at number three, the hosts’ captain hit four boundaries in a sensible 71-ball 50 that received solid support from opener David Jordison (23, one six and two fours) and Tom Priestley (13, two fours).
Ruhrmund put on 31 with Jordison and 32 with Priestley and although the Matlock bowlers kept nibbling away, prising batsmen out at regular intervals, they couldn’t remove him.
Of those Matlock bowlers, the duo to threaten the hosts’ dominance most were Lander with 2-31 from ten overs and Drew Mullaney with 2-35 from 10.5 overs, although Steve Haslam (1-21 in four overs) did also pick up a wicket.
Skipper Lander had earlier made 15 with the bat and, at one stage, he helped Matlock to 42-1 alongside opener Jonathan Ford (35, five fours) as they tried to recover from the loss of Andrew Roberts for a duck in the opening over. But once the visiting skipper had gone, caught by Ruhrmund off Taylor, Sandiacre took command and Matlock found run-scoring increasingly difficult.
Taylor ended up with fine figures of 3-23 from 14 overs, and he received good back-up from Roberts (1-35 from 12 overs), who removed Matlock’s last resistant, Mullaney (25), and from Dibble, who took 1-39 from 14 overs.
There was also a cameo effort from Neil MacNamee, whose three overs featured two wickets, including that of top scorer Ford, whose departure as sixth man out on 106 signalled the end of Matlock’s efforts to build a respectable total.
This Saturday, Matlock return to Causeway Lane, hoping to kick-start their campaign into life when they entertain fellow strugglers Ambergate, the team directly above them in the table and also waiting for their first victory.