Belper gain tense victory

Belper Meadows 2nd XI 98 all out beat Ambergate 2nd XI 91 all out by 7 runs.

Belper Meadows 2nds played host to high-flying Ambergate, on a bowler-friendly afternoon at Christchurch Meadows after some overnight rain.

Ambergate skipper Shuttleworth won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that seemed to have paid off when Meadows were 21-5 after 11 overs after some disciplined bowling by Dave Nightingale and Mark Wharton-Howett.

However, a sixth-wicket partnership of 43 from Pete Brookes and Phil Hudson restored hope of a recovery as the total reached 64 in the 24th over before Hudson (14) misjudged an off-break from Nat Bramson which lead to a further collapse of wickets to give young off-spinner Bramson figures of 4-11 from seven overs.

At 75-9, Meadows skipper Brookes had to dig in with another vital partnership of 23 with Matt Jones which saw the total move to 98 in the 39th over before the returning Nightingale had Brookes trapped lbw for 40.

The home side had to be disappointed with a belowpar score of 98. Ambergate’s Dave Nightingale was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-16. Belper Meadows knew they had to chuck everything that they had got at Ambergate, who were packed with experienced first team players and that they did as Matt Jones, against his old club, captured Mark Heath for 0.

The going was certainly slow for the visitors as, in the 11th over, the score had reached 16 then Jones had skipper Shuttleworth (14) well held at cover by Tom Buckley.

A partnership of 39 then followed as the score moved onto 45 after Matt Jones and Murfin finished good opening spells to give Meadows the start they were looking for.

It was young Ben Buckley who captured the prize wicket of Rob Heath (22) with another dipping leg spinner which Heath missed and Hudson was there to do the rest behind the stumps.

At 45 for 3, there was a clutter of wickets to Ben Buckley as the youngster began to turn the screw. At 75 for 7, with 24 overs to bowl, it was now quite evident Meadows were in with a really good chance.

However it was Belper’s Dave Nightingale who turned the game further as he captured Wharton-Howett for a duck to give Hudson his third victim behind the stumps, then the dangerous Rob Marshall (18), who had just hit Buckley for a six in the previous over to ease the pressure on Ambergate, this time chipped one back to the bowler to leave the visitors on 91 for 9.

Then Belper’s Dave Nightingale clean bowled Mitch Palmer for a duck to send the Belper lads ecstatic, knowing that they had pulled off a memorable victory in a tense local derby clash.