Tense match goes right down to the wire

Darley Dale 2nd XI lost to Butterley 1st XI by two runs.

Darley 2nds were left devastated after they tasted defeat for the second consecutive week in this fiercely competitive nailbiter of a game.

Butterley won the toss and opted to bat first but this looked an ominous decision when Johnny Heath took a wicket with the first ball of the game. Young Matt Wright then struck for Darley and it looked momentarily like the home side may collapse for a shockingly low score.

The batsmen dug in with Throw (81 not out), Lounds (56) and Clarke (34) making use of the short boundary. Stuart Taylor (5-64) took regular wickets but six dropped catches ultimately proved the old adage of ‘catches win matches’ to be true.

In reply, Darley started wonderfully with Johnny Shaw (76) and Lee Marsden (33) putting on 79 for the first wicket. When Marsden was bowled, Rob Smith (36) joined Shaw at the crease and they enjoyed a stand of 80. Darley were always up with the required run rate but when Shaw’s marvellous vigil came to an end, wickets started to fall.

Despite this, it looked like Taylor (22) and Heath had guided Darley to a winning position, needing just 13 runs off the last three overs. When Taylor out, three further wickets tumbled.

At 232 for 9, Darley needed two from the last ball for victory a run out saw Butterley win the game right at the death.