Depleted Matlock admit they now need a spectacular finale to their promotion challenge after a heavy defeat in a crunch match against Rolls-Royce Leisure.
The match began with Matlock sitting second in the Derbyshire County League, Third Division table, behind only probable champions Spondon.
But it ended with them down to fourth place after a 148-run reverse at home to Rolls, who are now eight points above them in second with four rounds of matches to go.
Hamstrung by injuries and work commitments, Matlock were on the back foot from the off against a full-strength Rolls outfit, and this probably contibuted to captain Ed Lander’s decision to bowl first.
Lander himself picked up an early wicket with a good delivery, as did Dave Lander, but the visitors were soon in command and on their way to a daunting total of 248-6 before the declared early after 43 overs.
Their mainstay was opener Omar Yusean, who carried his bat for an unbeaten 112, which contained one six and 16 fours. Kashif Junior Hussain (66, one six and eight fours) also reached his half-century, and the pair shared 131 for the third wicket.
Of the other Matlock bowlers, Andy Roberts (3-58 in eight overs) did his best to stem the flow of runs, removing Hussain, and Namal Kobbewela (1-45 in 12 overs) also did well. But with a relatively defensive field, they struggled to kep the scoreboard static.
The declaration left Matlock 49 overs to reach their target or survive. But they were bowled out inside 36 for just 100, collapsing dramatically from 96-3 against a varied Rolls attack.
Only Dave Lander (37, three fours and four fours) and Mark Burton (28, three fours) offered much resistance as Naeem Aktar led the visitors’ victory charge with 5-23 from 10.3 fine overs.