Marehay hold title favourites

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Marehay travelled to face league favourites Swarkestone on Saturday, and after denying them promotion on the last day of the 2010 season, this time denied their opponents maximum points in a high scoring draw.

Rich Wood won the toss and opted to bowl first in blustery conditions, with former Marehay player Ben McGonigal opening the innings along with Jamie Guthrie.

The innings got off to a flyer with the 50 coming up inside the tenth over, before Guthrie (21) was surprised by a Wood bouncer and provided a simple return catch.

McGonigal was in good form, showing attacking intent early on and after being dropped on 40, he went on to anchor the innings.

Luke Thomas was the next wicket to fall, being run out by Gaz Buckley when well set on 36. This brought Derbyshire all-rounder Ross Whiteley to the crease and the scoring accelerated with a number of cleanly hit boundaries punishing some loose Marehay bowling.

McGonigal reached his hundred in the 43rd over but was out in the next over skying a catch to Tom Burke at fine leg and Whiteley followed in similar fashion off the bowling of Wood for a fine innings of 58 from just 32 balls.

Derbyshire keeper Tom Poynton continued the impetus in the closing overs, finishing unbeaten on 30 and was well supported by Chris Fulton (19 not out) to record a final score of 318-5 from 50 overs.

Wood returned figures of 3/85 as all the bowlers proved expensive.

In reply, Marehay knew they had to get off to a good start to have a chance of knocking off such a big score and despite the early loss of Andy Walters (9), were very well placed after 11 overs at 74-1.

Waldo Lategan and Jonno Bradder developed an excellent second wicket partnership full of attacking intent and took the score to 96 when Bradder (29) sliced a catch to the cover boundary.

Lategan displayed his full range of shots as well as working the ball in the gaps and along with Stephen Lee kept the score rattling along at the required rate.

Just when the visitors looked well on top, Lategan fell to the returning Mitch Wilson, clipping the ball to mid wicket for a well made 88.

Lee continued to play his attacking game and hit some lusty maximums before edging Whiteley through to Poynton for 62. At this stage Marehay were 223/4 from 35 overs and all results were still possible. However, the fall of James Kyte (15) and Dave Buckley (14) in quick succession left the lower order batsmen the task of seeing out the remaining overs.

When Wood became the third victim of Mike Scott (all to leg side stumpings off the excellent glove work of Poynton) there were seven balls left for last pair Burke and first team debutant Chris Bradder to negotiate.

This they did successfully with a mature innings from Burke (17 off 45 balls) to claim a well deserved ten-point draw, closing the innings on 274/9.

Scott finished with 3-14 and Wilson 3-74 for the hosts.

This Saturday Marehay first XI are home to staveley Welfare.