Belper Amateurs 1st XI made the long trip north to Eckington on Saturday for a crunch match in Division 5 North of the Derbyshire County Cricket League.
On a dank day, the hosts were put in to bat by Jamie Deeming as Amateurs looked to make early inroads with the benefit of overhead conditions.
However, Jacob Kington (1-44) struggled for rhythm in his first spell, while Oliver Deeming (0-32) was also incapable of breaking the opening partnership between Danny State, 56, and Karlos Fields, 58, a partnership which surpassed the hundred mark by the 25th over of the contest.
Amateurs then turned to Paul Spencer, (2-47), who dismissed the two opening batsmen in the same over. Despite this small triumph, the platform set by the Eckington openers allowed their middle order in the form of Julian Carlile, 23 not out, and Chris Radford, 29 not out, to progress the home side’s score to an impressive 191-4 by the innings’ close.
In reply, Amateurs got off to an excellent start, with Oliver Deeming’s defensive gate appearing impenetrable, allowing him to progress to 44 before losing his wicket to the spin of Wayne Dye (3-30).
As Stephen Dymond entered the crease, an Amateurs’ win was a realistic outcome. However, in the overs between drinks and the 35th over, Dymond could not find a partner to bat with, and when he fell for 36 it appeared the match would peter out, resulting in a draw.
Nevertheless, Eckington persevered, despite having five wickets to take in the final six overs, and with an excellent spell of bowling from Alex Hardy (4-20), the home side managed to take the final two wickets in consecutive balls, dismissing the visitors for 123 on the penultimate ball, therefore receiving 27 points and pushing the residents of the Packhorse Ground back into mid-table, when they had been hoping to push on into the upper reaches of the division.