Wirksworth & Middleton 1st XI 172-8 (15 points) drew with Holmewood 1st XI 142-7 (9 points)
The 1sts extended their unbeaten run to four games in Division Three of the Derbyshire County League, although this one will have felt like points lost rather than gained.
In a match reduced to 35 overs a side (from 46), and without two top order batsmen, W & M batted very well throughout to reach a competitive total.
After tea, Holmewood, fourth in the division and just seven points behind the leaders, were reduced to 39-7.
This is not the first time this season that W & M have had the opposition seemingly well beaten but have been unable to complete the job.
In a game sponsored by the Royal Oak, this appeared to be another example of major carelessness but one must acknowledge that the two Holmewood batsmen involved, Phil Stone with 57 not out and Tom Taylor, 45 not out, batted very, very well.
Before any of this though, W & M had lost two wickets for 18, after which Aafan Janjua, at his most elegant, and Jack Pollard, added 64 in good time. When the latter was out for a well-made 35, Jack Allen, captain in place of the absent David Greatorex, continued the good work.
At the crease he is a busy player both in his strokeplay and his running and he ensures those around him are busy as well. He had made 25 when he was disappointed to be adjudged lbw. Janjua, meanwhile, looked set for a really big score but mistimed a drive and was caught for 42. Vyash Gobind made 14 and at the end Michael Jefferiss was 14 not out as he and Stephen Lowe plundered 17 from the final over.
Gobind and Lowe then took a wicket each in their opening overs, the first an excellent slip catch by Pollard, and wickets continued to tumble.
Then came the match-saving partnership as Allen used five other bowlers to try and shift them. Apart from a number of near misses, the batsmen remained immovable. Gobind finished with 4-34, Lowe 2-35 and there was a run out as well. So, frustration for the 1sts as they look to climb up the table but this is why we love cricket.
Sawley and LE Park 4th XI 192-5 (4 points) lost to W & M 2nd XI 193-1 (22 points) by 9 wickets
There was some morning discussion about whether this Division 8N game could go ahead, with W & M’s captain David Hopkinson much the keener to play.
Remarkably, it began almost on time with only a few overs deducted. For the home side, Acklan and Robins scored the runs, both making 70s while for W & M Max Marshall took 3-49 and Gary McCabe the other two wickets.
In reply, the 2nds’ opening pair, maintaining their fine form, made short work of the target.
Neil Taylor made 92 and Andrew Redfern 88 not out as W & M won with eight overs to spare.
W & M 3rd XI 134-5 (11 points) drew with Brailsford 4th XI 136 all out (12 points)
A delayed start saw this Division 10N game between the top two sides reduced to 33 overs each. For the visitors, Derbyshire top scored with 38, Rost made 32 and Dakin 28.
For W & M, Lewis Heap was again in irresistible form, taking 6-20, and there was a wicket each for Matthew Daldorph, Joe Bradbury and Adrian Smith.
In reply, the 3rds, 60 points ahead of Brailsford at the start of play, found themselves in a spot of bother. Dale White made 23 but, after 27 overs, W & M were 69-4.
Thanks to a typically belligerent innings of 50 from Bradbury, however, they then made 65 in the final six overs to nearly snatch what would have been a remarkable win. Jack Griffiths remained 27 not out at the close.