With the horrific news of the death of former Amateurs opening batsman Neil Dalton reaching the club on Wednesday, cricket fell in to insignificance as Belper Amateurs remembered one of the kindest and most vibrant characters to have ever graced the Packhorse Ground.
With a trip to face Alfreton 2nd XI scheduled for Amateurs’ 1st XI in Division 5N, Amateurs lost the toss and were put in to bat.
As a mark of respect, shortly before the game’s beginning, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Neil, prior to which Oliver Deeming read a touching message dedicated to his friend.
No sooner had respects been paid in a minute’s silence, than Deeming found himself at the crease and, like all of the other ten players, needed to compose his emotions.
However, despite the best efforts of the visitors, a cricket match amidst a horrendous week appeared too much, as Callum Spencer (5-36), ripped through the Amateurs’ top order, followed by Daniel Robbins (3-40), mopping up the majority of the tail caused the whole of the Amateurs’ innings to be a struggle, as they closed on 129-9 from their 46 overs.
Paul Spencer top scored with 24 not out.
In reply, the hosts got off to a shaky start with Jake Kington, (1-15) dismissing Andrew Simmonds early on.
But with the entrance to the crease of Jonathan Evans, 45 not out, and Tom Pawelski, 46 not out, the hosts knocked a modest total off inside 29 overs for the loss of two wickets, on a day when Belper Amateurs mourned the loss of Neil Dalton.
He will be sorely missed by all at the club.
n This coming Sunday (August 17) marks the final of the DCCL Wright Cup, to be hosted at Heanor Town Cricket Ground.
The first ball will be bowled at 1.30pm, and the game is contested between Belper Amateurs and Rolls Royce Leisure.
Belper Amateurs CC is calling on the people of Belper, given good weather, to come along and roar on the side as the club plays its’ biggest game of the past ten years and aims to lift the silverware.
n Turn to page one and six for more of the tributes that have been paid to Neil Dalton.