Determined Denby failed by a whisker to pull off their first win of the season after an exciting thriller against fellow strugglers Wirksworth and Middleton.
The teams might be occupying the bottom two slots in the Premier Division of the Derbyshire County League at the moment, but there was no shortage of quality on view as Denby fell just three runs short in their run-chase.
In pursuit of Wirksworth’s 218-8, the visitors slid to 94-5 and 149-6, but were hauled back into it by an unbeaten 48 (three sixes and five fours) from Ameer Ahmed and a patient 37 from skipper Daniel Burgoyne.
Burgoyne perished on 187, one of three scalps for home bowler Joe Greenhalgh (3-58 in ten overs), and two more late wickets fell before Denby finished on 215-9 for a losing draw and 12 welcome points.
Earlier the hosts had recovered from losing both openers with only one run on the board. Captain Ben Perry-Taylor led by example with a fine knock of 68, which contained five sixes and six fours, and he shared a key fourth-wicket stand of 113 with Jack Allen, who compiled a measured 42 (six fours).
Greenhalgh weighed in with 33 (one six and six fours) and Michael Jefferiss with 32 (two sixes and three fours), but Denby’s bowlers kept plugging away, most notably Harry Wanford (3-58 in ten overs) and James Parkin (2-36 in 12 overs).
In reply, the away team lost opener Chris Fletcher for a duck and struggled to get into a rhythm, despite 33 (five fours) from Kudzai Oliver Maunze (33, five fours). It took skipper Burgoyne to steady the ship, initially with a stand worth 55 alongside Parkin (31, five fours), and then with the help of Ameer.