Alfreton lose key ground

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Alfreton lost ground on Division One leaders Marehay as they fell to an 82-run defeat to Stainsby Hall, ending a run of 15 positive results.

Winning the toss and bowling first was the best possible start for captain Alex Mace, improved further when Jonathon Clarke removed Billy Holmes without scoring.

Opposition captain Tom Wood and Alan Worth shared in a stand of 68 before the latter was removed for 32 by John Aspinall with the score on 72-2.

Regular wickets stifled the progress of the visitors as Wood was the next to fall for a well compiled 57, Andy Gwatkin picking up the wicket.

Ben Gartside was the next man to fall, run out for two and then Gwatkin returned to take the wicket of Morris for 43, the score only on 155-5.

Ben Bignell (28) ensured the visitors posted a competitive 215-8, Gwatkin the pick of the bowlers with 2-44.

Alfreton’s chase went from bad to worse after Ryan Bramwell was first to fall for 15 to the bowling of Alan Worth.

Matt Lineker, who has scored two centuries in two games for the Unicorns, fell for 14 before Mace and Gwatkin were both removed quickly to leave Alfreton struggling on 43-4.

There was little chance of recovery from that point for the home side and proceedings were made worse when Tom Bentley was removed for 16.

Elliott Savidge and Aspinall shared in the home side’s best partnership of 31 but when the latter fell for the top score of 24, the tail followed soon after.

Savidge remained unbeaten on 19 at the close but that was not enough to prevent Stainsby claiming a comfortable victory as Alfreton fell to 133 all out.

Alfreton will look to get back on track when they host Rolleston on Saturday before Bank Holiday Monday brings the most important game of the season so far, the Marston’s Smooth Trophy Final against title rivals Marehay.