Geoff Cox Cars Division 5N
Ambergate 2nd XI (27pts) 167 all out [42.3 overs] (P Thompson 46, T Williscroft 4-33) beat Belper Meadows 2nd XI (7pts) 144 all out [43.3 overs] (T Williscroft 44, M Fairey 35*, T Rouse 4-28, M Wharton-Howitt 3-47) by 23 runs
THE Hurt Arms hosted a hotly-contested local derby between Ambergate seconds and Belper Meadows seconds with the hosts coming out on top by 23 runs.
The victory put Ambergate at the top of the table and left the Meadows bottom of the pile.
Ambergate were put into bat first on a very green wicket which offered a little bit of life for the bowlers, P Thompson (46) made light work of the bowlers, lofting some huge sixes on to the A6.
Belper Meadows replied well, taking wickets quickly and cheaply through good bowling from T Williscroft (4-33) and great catching. Not a single drop was recorded throughout the innings which will delight captain Pip Nightingale.
This young Belper side finished Ambergate, who were made up of mainly Division Two players, off within the allotted 46 overs, making this an outstanding performance.
After the break, Meadows began the chase of what seemed a small total on this ground and T Williscroft capped of a brilliant individual performance by hitting a quick 44 before being bowled by M Wharton-Howitt (3-47).
After that wicket the Belper attack appeared to crumble with no-one wanting to trouble the scoring, hope was renewed with a good, gritty partnership from ex-Ambergate pair M. Jones and Matt Fairey (35 not out) punishing the bad balls leaving Meadows needing only three an over to win the game.
Showing their class from playing division two cricket in the previous year, T. Rouse (4-28) and D Charlton bowled economically and got the crucial breakthrough wicket to leave the remaining batsmen of Matt Fairey and captain P Nightingale to battle for a well-deserved losing draw. However it was not meant to be as the last wicket of Nightingale fell with only a couple of overs to go.
Ambergate charge to the top of the Division 5 table with 27 points whilst Belper took a measly seven points to leave them rooted to the bottom.
Belper Meadows (5pts) 122 all out [45.4 overs] (P Bramall 39, R Lathbury 5-22, A Henshaw 3-29) lost to West Hallam WR (22pts) 124-9 [41.3 overs] (S Walker 51, P Bramall 4-31, W Salt 3-24) by 1 wicket
Belper Meadows were put into bat against a good West Hallam side; the innings didn’t get off to the best of starts as both openers were removed scoring 1 a piece by Hallam bowler R. Lathbury (5-22).
The returning P Bramall (39) smashed his way to a good score to kick start the Belper innings helped by a determined P Surve (20), both wickets fell quickly leaving captain on the day D Boyes in despair.
A small revival near the end pushed the score into three figures for the third week on the trot continuing the side’s recent improvement however the innings came to an end with good bowling from A Henshaw (3-29).
The West Hallam was a story of what could have been, the Belper bowlers bowled very well with P Bramall taking 4-31 and W Salt 3-24, making sure that the West Hallam didn’t reached the target comfortably.
Danger man S Walker hit out to a winning 51 but earlier in the innings he was dropped on just 12 showing that catches really do win matches and Belper surely do need that win to get them going.
Despite the loss, Meadows thirds made ground on the teams above them proving that there still is a way out of this current slump of results.