Belper Meadows clinch final-day promotion thanks to narrow victory

editorial image

Belper Meadows pulled off a remarkable promotion from Division 5 North - by virtue of winning one more game than rivals Allestree.

Meadows were tied on 414 points for the season with Allestreee, after a dramatic finale which saw Staveley Welfare crumble to a losing draw at Christchurch Meadows when a win would have seen them promoted instead.

Staveley won the toss and had no hesitation in inserting the hosts who found themselves 1-2 in the fifth over with the prolific Slater and Whiteley gone.

A partnership of 37 witnessed some good line and length bowling from the opening Staveley pair as Pete Brookes and Mike Cox dug in for survival.

A bowling change saw a further wicket as Brookes (10) fell leg before wicket.

There were three more steady partnerships as Horton, Holland and Hunt helped the score along to 86, whilst Mike Cox had reached his 50 and was the backbone of the innings.

At 119 in the 40th over, Cox was bowled for a fine 65 and knew that he had put his side in with something to bowl at.

This was further confirmed when a superb partnership of 39 between Rob Marshall (36) and Dan Kelly (21) saw the Meadows reach 158-7 from their 46 overs.

Staveley set about their task in steady fashion as a partnership of 50 was put on in 17 overs before a smart bit of work by Neil Horton resulted in a run-out.

Three overs later and Joe Slater caught Joe Bullimore (33) off his own bowling with a remarkable one-handed catch.

At 63-2 Meadows and pulled themselves right back into the game before a partnership of 44 between Tom Bullimore and Hardwick saw the visitors take control of the game again.

The returning Dan Kelly, however, had other ideas as he removed the dangerous Bullimore for 18 LBW.

107-3 saw the Meadows now take control of the game again as wickets tumbled at regular intervals, with Kelly picking up three more.

One was the aggressive Hardwick for 38, with Neil Horton bowling well at the other end and picking up a wicket himself before the prize eighth wicket of the day was taken in the 43rd over as Joe Slater had skipper May well held by Matt Jones.

Belper Meadows had now obtained the target of 16 points and virtue of one more win throughout the season to gain promotion to Division Four for the 2016 season as the game ended in the 46th over with Staveley on 119-8.

The result meant Staveley would miss out on promotion themselves and end the campaign fourth behind Allestree.

• On the final day of Division One, Duffield were denied maximum points by a stubborn last-wicket partnership at Marehay and finished the season in third position.

Ben Patterson, the Australian all-rounder, finished the campaign in a manner that has typified his form as he scored an unbeaten 118 (including 12 sixes) before posting 5-49 with ball in hand.

Patterson, aged 20, has taken 70 wickets in his 26 games this season and scored 572 runs at an average of 30.11 per innings.