Amateurs hold their nerve to earn narrow win

Belper Meadows v Belper Amateurs. Bowling for Belper Amateurs, Jacob Kington

Belper Meadows v Belper Amateurs. Bowling for Belper Amateurs, Jacob Kington

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The title race in Division 6N of the Derbyshire County Cricket League is wide open again after Belper Amateurs grabbed a last gasp victory over local rivals Belper Meadows on Saturday.

This means that Amateurs have reduced Meadows’ lead at the top of the table to just two points after narrowly coming out on top in a low-scoring game.

Amateurs won the toss and decided to bowl first.

Meadows endured a tough start with three batsmen in their top five being dismissed for a duck as they struggled to 34-5 and then 45-7.

At that point, Neil Horton (23) had made half of the runs scored but it took a partnership of 49 between skipper Peter Brookes and wicketkeeper David Farnsworth to take Meadows within sight of three figures and the hope of having something to defend.

Eventually, Brookes was dismissed for 44 and Farnsworth for 15 as Meadows were bowled out for 105 in the 41st over.

All the Amateurs bowlers gave little away but the standout performer was Jake Kington with 6-32 from his 14 overs. David Nightingale chipped with two wickets.

In reply, Amateurs also had three ducks in their top five as they found batting equally difficult.

Opener Oliver Deeming did well with 31 and he put on 40 crucial runs with Paul Spencer (23).

Chris Maleham (13) and David Nightingale (16) combined well to add 27 runs but the ninth wicket fell with 12 still needed.

So it was left to the last-wicket partnership of Josh Pickering and Pip Nightingale to see their side home and earn the victory for Amateurs. Joe Slater took 4-18 for Meadows and David Jenkins 2-5.

Amateurs took 22 points from the game.

This Saturday, Amateurs entertain Clowne Town and Meadows are at Staveley.