Half-centuries by Trevor Keen and Tom Roe, followed by fine bowling from Joe Wozniczka-Wells, were not enough to save Duffield from defeat in the Derbyshire County League.
Keen’s 75 and captain Roe’s 61 helped Duffield to a respectable total of 215-8 away to First Division title-chasers Langley Mill United.
And then Woznicka-Wells took 4-53 from 15 overs when the home side replied. But Langley Mill reached their target with three wickets and 19 deliveries to spare to leave Duffield hovering precariously above the bottom two in the table.
Opting to bat first, Roe’s boys could hardly have made a worse start as both openers, Tim Williscroft and Phil Jordan, were back in the pavilion for ducks after falling to Mohamed Dilshad (2-49 in 15 overs).
Ben Davies followed soon afterwards, leaving Duffield 19-3, but Keen masterminded the recovery, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 87 with a bullish Roe, who was responsible for most of those runs, whacking three sixes and seven fours from 48 balls.
Three wickets then tumbled in quick succession to Jay Holmes (3-59 in nine overs), reducing the total to 122-6, but Keen remained and put on 52 with Oliver Webb (31, one six and four fours) before finally perishing after a 127-ball vigil that featured one six and 12 fours.
More valuable runs were supplied at the death by James Hardwick (21no) and Jacob Melling (11no), and Duffield’s tails were really up when Wozniczka-Wells removed two batsmen for ducks at the start of Langley Mill’s reply.
The hosts were steadied, however, by opener Tom Brandrick (34, seven fours) and Matt Heafield (18, four fours), who took the total from six to 57, and a strong performance by their middle order took the game away from Duffield.
Holmes was the mainstay with 55 (five fours), while Danny Hanson hit 38 (six fours), George Brandrick 28 (four fours) and skipper Jack Scott 20no (four fours). A key partnership was one of 60 between Holmes and Brandrick.
The three other wickets to fall were claimed by Hardwick, Webb and Davies.