Matlock fell to their second consecutive defeat as a tough start to the season continued at home to Stainsby Hall on Saturday.
Home skipper Kevin Leatherday won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat, feeling that the pitch was prone to deterioration and would be more difficult to bat on as the game went on.
This decision looked dubious as the top order fell cheaply. First Eddie Lowe received a seaming delivery which knocked back is off stump, followed by Leatherday and Vassili Orross who both flashed to deliveries wide of the stumps and were caught behind. The home side were reduced to 33-6 with early finish on the cards.
However, Steve Pell battled hard for 15 runs and importantly used up several overs which began to steady the side.
Andy Roberts followed suit with a gritty 26, which under the circumstances was a crucial innings and moved Matlock towards a more respectable total.
The rest of the tail all dug in, with Chris Pemberton (21) playing a few shots at the end, and carried the home side to 119, a score that Matlock would have taken given the situation earlier in the innings.
Matlock’s bowlers took to the field with confidence after tea as they looked to continue where they left off from the previous week, also knowing that Stainsby had fallen for just 90 runs in their opening game.
Pemberton began well as he bowled openers Torr and Wood for just four between them.
Mehmoon Tariq (26) adopted an aggressive approach and was backed up by Alan Worth (20) and Andrew Stanley (21) who didn’t allow Orros to tie Stainsby down. They saw the visitors through as they reached 120-6 after 29.6 overs.
Consecutive defeats leave Matlock at the foot of the table after two games.
There are definite positives to be taken out of the the games though, not least the ability for the lower order to dig in if the openers fail.
A combination of the two performances would have been enough to win, and therefore if Matlock can deliver an all round performance they will have the fire power to succeed.
Sawley Park visit Causeway Lane this Saturday (3rd) where a win is much needed to get Matlock’s campaign on track.