On warm and humid Saturday Belper Meadows first XI hosted Sandiacre third XI at Christchurch Meadows.
Meadows won the toss and inserted Sandiacre to bat on a wicket that had been previously used for the three-day Derbyshire second XI game.
Sandiacre got off to a positive yet slow start, gradually raising the tempo as a partnership of 79 was put on for the first wicket as the gong was tough for the seam bowlers.
Spin was introduced and this changed matters considerably as the visitors found themselves at 89 for 6 with Dave Jenkins and 15-year-old Wykeham Bosworth-Nightingale turning the screw.
A number of dropped catches meant the next pair could chance their luck and put on a further 72 runs before a further bowling change gave Matt Jones and Neil Horton two wickets a piece as the Sandiacre innings closed on 167 all out in the 46th over.
For Meadows the wicket takers were Jenkins with 4 for 40, Bosworth-Nightingale 2 for 29, Jones 2 for 56 and Horton 2 for 18. Joe Slater bowled economically 0 for 18 from 7 overs.
In reply Meadows took about the target in positive fashion as Ben McGonigal played the aggressor with Slater happy to stroke the ball around with ease.
These two put on 86 which was a solid foundation in less than 18 overs before McGonigal holed out for a fine 59 from just 42 balls with seven fours and two sixes.
Slater moved onto 41 before he was caught with the score on 121 again, showing sound patience when needed at the start of the innings.
This left Horton (23) and Mike Cox (6) to move the score along to 146 before Mitch Robinson (13) and George Hudson (16) knocked off the winning runs in the 34th over in what was a resounding six wicket win to leave Meadows in third in the division.
Having remarkably forced a tie away at Ashover in their previous game, Belper Amateurs first XI were involved in another enthralling match on Saturday which kept the neutral at the Packhorse Ground guessing right up until the conclusion.
Batting first on a wicket which offered hope to both bowler and batsman, the Amateurs openers fell early to Tom Pickup (1-33) and Sam Stephens (2-33).
Stephen Dymond added stability to a potentially faltering innings with 44, however when he was trapped by David Lincoln (3-69) the out of form Amateurs middle order was exposed with a responsibility to post a respectable total on their shoulders.
Such lack of form was not evident as Chris Maleham, with 44, and captain Deeming, 77 not out, not only dug Amateurs out of a hole with their hundred-run partnership but posted a formidable total of 223-6 from their 46 overs.
Amateurs’ opening bowlers Jacob Kington (1-55) and Maleham (0-21) set about the task of picking up Darley’s prize wicket, Tim Pickup, but he and his partner Brierley, 32, got to 70 runs with no wickets lost and a license to commit fully to the run chase.
In trouble, Amateurs called on David Nightingale (1-65) and Paul Spencer (4-56) who picked up crucial wickets, yet not that of Pickup which the Amateurs craved.
Nevertheless the wicket that would settle the game did come, as no sooner had Pickup brought up an excellent century, Kington in his second spell bowled him out for 102.
With this, a relieved Amateurs fielding outfit saw out the final overs as Darley Abbey closed on 205-6 to claim a draw.