A three-wicket maiden by bowler Matthew Wright and a half-century by skipper Dougie Briggs failed to earn the result they deserved in Darley Dale’s second match of the new Derbyshire County League season.
For the weather intervened, with stoppages turning their Division Four North clash at Ashover into a timed affair, and it eventually fizzled out into a rain-affected draw.
Having been bowled out for 142, Darley appeared to be in trouble as the home side eased to 87-3 in reply with 12 overs remaining. But the impressive Wright turned the game on its head, removing top scorer Andy Walker for 27 and then Alex Flint and Roger Bolstridge in the same over.
His burst persuaded Ashover to bat out the rest of their innings, which ended with them on 109-6 and Wright’s figures on 4-16 from seven overs. Darley were left to regret a couple of dropped catches but, neverthless, it was an encouraging performance.
Earlier Briggs had played a true captain’s innings, making light work of a lively wicket and difficult conditions to thump 62, including three glorious sixes.
He had gone in with his side labouring on 43-4, but was helped by James Marsden, who played beautifully for 30 in a partnership of 83 that changed the complexion of the game.
Briggs was eventually bowled by the home side’s most effective bowler, Ben Roche (4-36 in nine overs), but returned to rapturous applause from his teammates.
DARLEY Dale 2nd’s match at home to Morton Colliery 2nd in Division Six North was abandoned without a ball bowled because of rain, despite the hard work of the groundsmen. However, the third team posted an amazing eight-wicket win at Wirksworth and Middleton 4th in Division Ten North after skittling the home team for just 22!
With the storm clouds gathering, Harry Rudkin (4-9) and Ben Croney (4-10) ripped through the batting in deadly seven-over spells before Ben Sellors wrapped things up with his first delivery. In reply, Darley soon lost Sellors and Ben Jordan but eased home in 32 balls thanks to Aaron Frobisher (12no).