Wirksworth and Middleton 1st XI beat Marehay 2nd XI 116 all out by 36 runs
Wirksworth and Midddleton 1sts clinched the Derbyshire County League Division Three title on Saturday with a 36-run victory over Marehay.
Buoyed by an unbroken eighth wicket partnership of 46, which lifted W&M from a precarious 106-7 to a more competitive 152-7, the 1sts took tea in a lighter frame of mind. It was excellent fare as usual provided by Rex Hopkinson.
The visitors, belying their lowly position in the table, (second to bottom and facing relegation) bowled and fielded very well. Alex Park made a patient 28 for W&M, just what was needed from an opening batsman on a sluggish pitch, while his opening partner Andy Malia-Barlow looked in sublime form.
He had made 21 before Marehay’s wicketkeeper, Andrew Rice, took an astonishingly difficult catch, a superb one at any level of cricket. The middle part of the innings was an absorbing period of attrition as wickets fell and every run had to be scrapped for.
Dinesh de Silva got a few and Aafan Janjua 19 as both of them dug in admirably. W&M limped from 75-3 to 106-7, scoring just 31 runs in 16 overs. And then came that crucial stand led by Jack Allen. He made 39 not out, a wonderfully assured display of batting, while David Greatorex, calm and composed, made 12 not out, in a final total of 152-7.
In reply, Stephen Lowe and de Silva took a wicket each in their opening spells to leave Marehay 28-2. The next wicket doubled that but not before the halfway 23-overs point was reached.
Greatorex rang the bowling changes. Paul Hindmarch bowled a very tight spell (1-9 from seven overs), there were 14 overs of spin from Allen 1-17 and Malia-Barlow 2-30 (one of them a finely judged catched by Jack Pollard).
Jimmy Redfern, though wicketless for once, bowled a few tight overs but it was the return of de Silva that tipped the outcome of an intriguing game in W&M’s favour. He took the last four wickets in four overs (including the defiant Matthew Bailey for 49) to finish with an impressive 5-24. Marehay were dismissed for 116.
After the game, there was evidence of celebratory champagne as the players let their hair down. Nothing too excessive, obviously, and nothing the match sponsor, Ian the Hairdresser, wouldn’t be able to put right.
Mugginton CC lost to W&M 2nd XI by 4 wickets
Andrew Docherty (the leading run scorer last year in Division 7N) top-scored for the home side with 42, while M. Whitcroft hit 37 in a total of146-7.
It was rather slow going, however, as Max Marshall – back to his best – took 4-23. Jacob Bradbury had 1-7 and Neil Doxey 2-29. In reply W&M were always in control while inflicting only Mugginton’s second defeat of the season. Neil Taylor led the way with 32, and Michael Jefferiss and James Thompson both scored 25 as the 2nds reached the target in 32 overs for the loss of six wickets.
The win takes them back to the top of the table and needing about 18 points to secure promotion for the third season running. This weekend they play their final two games: lowly Belper Amateurs at home on Saturday and away to Cutthorpe on Sunday.
W&M 3rd XI beat Ilkeston Rutland 3rd XI by 193 runs
On Saturday, three substantial partnerships, all of them featuring the evergreen Keith Williams, saw the 3rds to a commanding total of 215-6 and, with the resulting 27 points, secure the divisional championship.
Williams, batting throughout the innings, hit 105 not out. A second-wicket stand of 50 saw Peter Ashurst make an assured 33. After that, a wobble saw four wickets fall for just five runs to leave the 3rds 74-5. Young Ollie Julian, showing great maturity, then scored 13 as he and Williams added 77, followed by Ollie’s dad, captain Colin Julian, who made 37 not out in an unbroken stand of 62.
After tea, the visitors, with four wins this season, had no answer to W&M’s four youthful bowlers. Matt Daldorph and Gareth Bates took three wickets each, Ally Beardmore and Toby Howard two each with the whole affair lasting just 11 overs as they were skittled out for just 22.
Awsworth CC lost to W&M 3rd XI by 31 runs
On the Sunday, the 3rds faced a much sterner test.
Mike Harwood made 19, Keith Williams, after his heroics of the previous day, scored 25. Peter Ashurst top-scored with 26 and Jack Griffiths got 25. Captain Colin Julian felt 147 all out was 60 runs short of what they should have made but, to be fair, Awsworth bowled and fielded very well. Jake Keetley took 3-33.
In reply, Jack Griffiths bowled an excellent spell of seven overs for 2-19.
After that Matt Daldorph, 4-45, and Mike Whittall 4-46, bowled enough good balls, supported by decent fielding and catches, to secure the win.
This was the 3rds 11th victory from their last 12 games with one draw. Worthy champions of the division indeed.