Matlock CC fail to bring life to end of season after narrow Clifton defeat

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With Matlock all but relegated, Clifton travelled to Causeway Lane where a win for the home side might add some life to the end of the season.

Although the conditions looked to favour bowling, Matlock captain Ed Lander knew Matlock needed to put pressure on the opposition and so decided to bat.

This decision looked dubious when both Lander and Burton were removed early on by Edward Wilson.

However, Pyne and Paullett steadied the innings and began to build a more solid base for Matlock.

When Pyne was eventually removed for 26 Andrew Roberts came to the crease and a second Partnership developed.

The pair batted watchfully and put away the bad ball well. Roberts found the form that he had been promising for a while as he reached 40 before a failed sweep saw him caught behind.

However this dismissal was the cue for Paullett to tee off, which he did in style.

Timing the ball well and punishing anything in his ark, he reached a well-deserved hundred, and one that has been coming for several weeks now.

Matlock had batted well, particularly Paullett who finished on 117 not out, leaving Matlock with 218.

This was exactly what Lander had hoped for when winning the toss as his side now knew they had something to bowl at, even if the pitch had dried out considerably.

Pemberton started well when opener Jack Moran was bowled with Clifton on 7-1. Matt Wilson then came in number three and although Lander and Pemberton beat the edge repeatedly they were unable to make another breakthrough.

Clifton never got on top of Matlock, but they steadily pushed on towards their target and were on course at half way, aided by the partnership between Wilson and Wooliscroft.

Dave Lander managed to break this partnership when he had Wilson (37) caught behind off a fine delivery, and then Yardley by another one that nipped away and took the edge, ending with figures of 3-56.

This however was too little too late as the experienced Kahn (34) and Will Harvey (38) saw Clifton across the line with two overs to spare, in what was a well-controlled run chase. Matlock once again competed but just fell short, which has been the theme of the season overall.

Next week sees a visit away to Rolleston, who are fighting for promotion, followed by a home match to bottom of the league Ambergate, where a win could be some consolation for a hard year.