Division One – Elvaston 292/7 (8pts) lost to Marehay 293/6 (22pts) by 4 wickets
Marehay travelled to strugglers Elvaston on Saturday and won an exciting high scoring game, knocking off what is believed to be a record first team run chase.
The visitors were surprised to arrive at the picturesque Elvaston ground to find a parched outfield but a green wicket and on winning yet another toss, skipper Rich Wood opted to bowl first.
The Elvaston openers made a steady start against the new ball attack of Wood and James Kyte reaching 34/0 after eight overs before Wood made a double breakthrough, having Nick Briars (10) caught behind by ‘keeper Waldo Lategan and trapping Lee Archer LBW for a third ball duck.
This brought the dangerous Charlie Ault to the crease and along with Matt Archer they built a good partnership for the third wicket as both looked to play their shots taking the score to 109/2 at the half way mark. Archer, who had been batting with a runner, was the next to go to end a partnership of 96 as he was adjudged LBW to Dean Mills for a well made 57 – a decision he didn’t look pleased with.
Ault had also passed his half century at this point with new batsmen Dave Lewis happy to take a single to get his established partner back on strike as he only contributed 13 to a partnership of 94 for the fourth wicket. Ault was in dominant mood, picking off any loose bowling and dispatching to the boundary with ease but had a moment of fortune when he appeared plum LBW hit on the full off Gaz Buckley only for the umpire to turn the appeal down.
After this he went on to pass a well deserved century from 105 balls before changing gears to add a further 45 from 23 deliveries. Kyte returned to have Lewis (13) caught behind and Ault’s fine innings of 145 was finally ended when he picked out Dave Buckley on the deep mid-wicket boundary to leave the score 245/5 in the 44th over. Kyte (4/64) also accounted for John Mills (2) and Jake Harrold (13) both clean bowled and he thought he had his fifth wicket after bowling Gareth Charlesworth (19 not out) only for the umpire to call no-ball.
The innings closed on 292/7, with the 94 runs coming in the final ten overs to give the score a real boost.
Although a formidable total, Marehay felt they had a chance of chasing down the runs considering the quick scoring nature of the ground and opened up with Mat Bailey and Martin Camm taking the score to 31/0 after seven overs before Bailey (13) was bowled by Ian Hall.
Camm was joined by Andy Walters, and this pair built a good platform for the innings after seeing off the new ball they began to find their stride with a number of well timed boundaries as they added 66 runs between the overs 10 to 20.
Camm passed 50 from 62 balls before caught by Ault attempting to hit spinner Lewis over the top for a well made 57. Lategan (2) had dropped down from his normal opening role to bat at number four but didn’t last long as he was given LBW off Lewis and at drinks Marehay were reasonably well placed at 133/3.
Walters continued to time the ball nicely and found a good partner in Stephen Lee as this pair added a further 68 in just 12 overs. Walters passed his 50 from 56 balls and was looking in really good touch but having hit Lewis (3/58) for a straight six tried to repeat the shot and was stumped by Lee Archer for a run-a-ball 79.
With a further 100 required from 15 overs Marehay still had work to do but Lee batting confidently he added more quick runs with Jonno Bradder, who looked to continue from his fine innings last week. This pair added 56 in just seven overs as the Elvaston bowlers could not contain the scoring or stop the flow of boundaries.
They did get some assistance from the on-field tree as three times Bradder and Lee hit big shots destined to clear the boundary only for them to hit high up in the tree and only receive two runs as per the local rules!
By the time Bradder was out for 37 victory was well within sight for the visitors as Kyte and Lee looked to guide them home. Lee reached his second successive 50 but holed out of Hall (3/60) looking to close the match to leave Kyte (22 not out) the honour of hitting the winning boundary to record a four wicket win with 4.3 overs to spare.
This was an excellent run chase for Marehay, showing confidence throughout the batting line up to take 22 points which closes the gap on the teams above them in the table.
This weekend they face another away game, this time making the long trip north to face Eckington.
Division 4 North
Saturday - Ilkeston 2nd XI 137 all out (3pts) lost to Marehay 2nd XI 139/2 (22pts) by 8 wickets.
Marehay’s second team faced a big weekend with matches against the bottom two teams which were ‘must win’ for their promotion challenge to remain on course.
They achieved this aim, recording two comfortable victories with good all-round displays.
On Saturday, they faced second bottom Ilkeston at the Maryfield and bowled their opponents out for just 137 inside 44 overs. The visitors were in trouble right from the start as they lost Matthew Wakefield (0) in the first over, bowled by Chris Bradder and he was quickly followed by the run out of Damien Jones (1) and Martin Brandrick (3) to leave them reeling on 7/3.
The only resistance came from the middle order pair of Ryan Clarke (36) and the experienced Richard Kelleher, who eventually ran out of partners to finish unbeaten on 60. After three wickets in his opening burst Bradder returned to pick up two of the order to have excellent figures of 5/25 from 13 overs. With Darren Hooley on holiday, fellow slow bowler John Longdon bowled a tidy spell in the middle overs taking 2/40 from 14 overs.
Marehay’s reply got off to a disastrous start as both Dan Palmer and Craig Robinson were bowled by Chris Palfreyman to leave them struggling on 8/2.
However, Marc Pykett and Tom Burke played positively as they started to rebuild the innings.
Both batsmen regularly found the boundary as they raced towards the modest total with Burke in particular proving almost impossible to bowl to. All of the bowlers used took some punishment as Marehay strolled towards victory with Pykett and Burke both passing 50 in the process.
Victory was achieved in just 18.1 overs with a run rate of almost 8 per over as Pykett (58 off 56 balls) and Burke (66 off 44 balls) showed their class.
Match sponsored by Barry Soult.
Sunday – Alfreton 2nd XI 214/7 (8pts) lost to Marehay 2nd XI 215/6 (22 points) by 4 wickets
On Sunday, Marehay travelled to Alfreton Park to face the league’s bottom side. Having been promoted together from Division 5 North last season, both teams have had very differing seasons with Marehay pushing for consecutive promotions and Alfreton seeming destined to return to the league below.
Having lost the toss, Marehay were denied the opportunity to go for maximum points as Alfreton chose to bat first. They put in a credible performance with the bat in making 214/7 from their 46 overs thanks largely to Andrew Simmons (74) and Matthew Rooke (52). Chris Bradder continued his good weekend with the ball, picking up 3/52.
In reply, Marehay lost Marc Pykett early on but Mat Bailey was batting fluently following his return to the seconds after two games in the first team. After the dismissal of Craig Robinson, Bailey was joined by Tom Burke and these two once again showed their ability in a match winning partnership. Bailey (52) reached his half century but then fell as Gaz Wilson (22) added quick runs with Burke. Burke coasted to another half century but was dismissed for 74 looking to finish the game off. Alfreton did pick up a couple more wickets as Wilson and Bradder both went but Ady Vickerage saw his team home by 4 wickets with eight overs to spare.
The 44 points from the weekend, take Marehay into second place but the table is difficult to judge as the as the five teams involved in the promotion race have played a different amount of games. Marehay face a home game this Saturday against sixth placed Breadsall.
Division 7 North
Mugginton 1st XI 162/6 (16pts) drew with Marehay 3rd XI 87/7 (5pts)
Marehay’s third team had to settle for a disappointing losing draw away at Mugginton after another poor batting display. The home side batted first and made a modest score of 162/6 from 46 overs thanks to useful contributions from Kevin Clarke (23), Andrew Docherty (45) and David Heath (36 not out). Sam Burrell (3/32) was the pick of the Marehay bowlers, with Joe Spray (2/46) also successful but slightly costly.
Marehay’s reply never really got started as openers Spray (3) and Matt Wilkinson (7) both fell early.
With Reece Edwards (6) and Andy Bromley (17) being bowled by John Ford and being quickly followed by Connor Walters (6) and Jack Spencer (1) the visitors were in real trouble at 48/6.
However, some resistance was shown by Ronnie Bromley and Ben Fletcher (10) and it was left to Bromley (19 not out) to guide Marehay to the losing draw but could only muster 87/7 in the process.
They slip a place to fifth in the table but will be looking to improve on this with two games this weekend, away to Allestree on Saturday and at home to Sawley on Sunday.