Promotion push is over for Belper Amateurs 1sts

Belper Amateurs 1st XI’s promotion push came to an end as, on Saturday evening, it was discovered that Alfreton had been victorious against Ilkeston Rutland.

This therefore maintained their unassailable 60-point lead ahead of the Amateurs, with only two games remaining of the Division 5N season.

Saturday began for the Amateurs with the visit of Ashover 1st XI, a side that, like Amateurs, required a win to sustain their pursuit of promotion. With rain on Friday night, an extremely wet wicket persuaded Ashover captain Andy Walker to ask Amateurs to bat.

The wet wicket presented the Amateurs batsmen with their toughest task of the year. As a result of this, wickets fell frequently in an innings where the balance between bat and ball was firmly in favour of the bowlers. Any substantial score from a batsman would most likely be telling, and this came for the Amateurs in the form of Steve Dymond, who amassed a patient 53, before the hosts were dismissed for 113. James Norman (3-27) and John Green (3-23) were the pick of the Ashover bowlers.

In reply, Ashover struggled much like the Amateurs had in their innings, with wickets again falling in regular succession. On a seamers’ wicket, the Amateurs’ premier seamers Jake Kington (5-23), and Chris Maleham (3-23) appeared unplayable at times, as they dismissed the visitors inside 31 overs for 74 runs to record a win by a margin of 39 runs.