By Maurice Ingham.
Wirksworth & Middleton’s first XI fell to a six wicket defeat at Denby seconds on Saturday.
But for a ninth wicket stand of 38, the firsts’ meagre total of 106 all out would have been even more pitiful.
Michael Jefferiss, batting at number ten, top-scored with 31 while Jack Pollard made 19. For Denby the experienced Simon Mann took 5-26 and Nick Smith 4-24.
In reply, Najaf Shah and James Brierley took two wickets each but there were never enough runs to defend.
It is obviously too early in the season to be pessimistic and W & M surely have players talented enough not to be flirting with relegation. They will need, however, to start demonstrating their ability before too long.
The second XI comprehensively overcame Clay Cross 2nd XI by 176 runs.
An opening stand of 104 in 20 overs set the pattern for W & M’s innings with Liam Murphy making 38.
Sixty more runs, in under nine overs, saw Peter Ashurst make a breezy 41 before being brilliantly caught, followed soon afterwards by James Thompson falling for an excellent 77.
Tom Boylan made 21 not out and, before the declaration, Max Marshall clubbed an unbeaten 33 from 13 balls with six fours and a six. In a game sponsored by Macbeth, Cash & Co these were all sterling contributions.
The visitors, fielding five junior players, never gave up though; their fielding was keen and John Clarke, the pick of their bowlers, took 4-58 in 11 overs. Liam Whiting took 1-21, the wicket his first in senior cricket.
Wirksworth declared after 40 overs on 248-5, giving them 52 overs to bowl out their opponents.
In the event they needed just half of them. Marshall made an ea rly breakthrough in a good seven-over spell of 1-13, deserving more reward.
They were made to wait, however, until the 14th over when Stephen Lowe, continuing his rehabilitation, bowled the impressive Ryan Lyndley for 23 with the score on 53.
Thereafter it became something of a procession as Lowe and Garry McCabe finished with four wickets each.