by Derrick Taylor
A severely depleted Matlock side could offer little resistance at Spondon on Saturday as the hosts earned a ten-wicket win.
Following the previous week’s nine wicket defeat to high-flying Ockbrook, Matlock were weakened by a sudden and abnormal non-availability of players for reasons ranging from illness, mid-season transfers, injury and holidays which ravaged the whole club and caused the conceding of the third team’s fixture with Kirk Langley.
The 1st XI imported former captain Steve Pell to cover for wicket-keeper Drage Thompson and had to make a last minute call up for promising youngster Ed Fletcher to replace Ed Lowe, now transferred to Denby CC.
The Spondon welcome was to put Matlock in to bat, so eliminating the option of a Matlock losing draw, and wicket keeper Adam Findlay to take three consecutive catches to remove the in-form Kevin Leatherday, Chris Fletcher and captain Matt Cluer with only eight runs on the board.
The belligerent James Smith (23) and ever aggressive Peter Camm (35 in 48 balls), promoted to number five, gave some respectability to the situation but when both plus Josh Womble fell to Wassem Fazal (3-22) the tail was exposed and with six wickets down for 65 runs in 68 balls, the end was in sight.
The tail may not have wagged but it certainly defied, consuming 134 balls, 32 by the ever improving Drew Mullaney (12) and 77 by the tenth wicket pair, the two Edwards Lander(9) and late addition Fletcher (9) heroes in a dismal 43 over all out total of 115.
The total was surpassed by openers Drysdale (48*) and Oliver Baum (57*) in 20 overs, a ten wicket victory putting Spondon fourth in league and pushing Matlock into bottom place following Eckington’s victory over Chesterfield.
Matlock’s saving grace is the two games in hand and a chance to turn the tide next Saturday with a home game against mid-table Ticknall and then a visit to Chesterfield on Sunday.