Denby’s promotion hopes received a dent when they fell to a seven-wicket defeat at second placed Clifton.
The home side won an important toss and Denby found themselves batting in quite difficult conditions.
Up against the experienced Simon Moore and with the outfield slow, runs were hard to come by. Nick Hopewell picked up 3-20 as the innings slumped to 82-4.
Batting became easier and the run rate was improved as Pete Burgoyne hit a run-a-ball 47 and with brother Dan making 20, Stuart Poplar 24 and an unbeaten 24 from Greg Cork, the total was lifted to 214-9.
The wicket eased somewhat after tea and, with the outfield drying out, Clifton were able to keep in touch with the run rate despite tidy Denby bowling.
They eventually recorded a comfortable win with ten balls remaining. Clifton took 22 points to Denby’s five points and cut the Denby lead at the top of Division One to six points.
Denby look to get their season back on track with a home game against Rolleston on Saturday, starting at 1pm.
Denby 2nds took the honours in their home game against Nutbrook. The visitors were restricted to 174 against a tidy Denby attack, well led by Fraser Kirk who took 2-45 in 14 pacy overs.
The initial Denby response was quite frenetic with boundaries scored and wickets falling regularly as the innings was reduced to 57-5. Mark Payne and Rob Peat then gradually gained the upper hand, taking their team to victory without further loss. Both reached deserved half centuries.
The victorious thirds bowled Clowne out for 154 with Steve Bullock taking 4-40.
In response, Richard Greenhalgh scored another 50 and Ian Glenn a fluent 41. The job was finished by Steve Bullock who struck four boundaries in his unbeaten 20.
With the other top sides all suffering reversals the division is looking extremely tight with 15 points covering the top four teams and with the top three teams still to play, their destiny is in their own hands.
This Saturday Selston Town visit the Copper Yard in a game that starts at 1.30pm.
Denby 4ths won their game against Awsworth but dropped to second place as their main challengers Calow gained a maximum 27 points.
Awsworth were indebted to G Magdalano who made 70 not out from an innings of 132-6.
Harry Gee with 2-20 was the most successful Denby bowler and there was an impressive first game for Danesh Hussain, who bowled a full allocation of 14 overs taking 1-20.
Neil Cox maintained his good recent form with a fluent 73 to make short work of the small target and put 60 points between Denby and third placed Awsworth.
This Saturday, Denby make the short journey to Codnor with the match starting at 1.30pm.