Millers return to form in nail-biter

Holmewood (8pts) 264-8 [46 overs] (G Horton 135, J Horton 83, J Scott 5-47) lost to Langley Mill Utd (22pts) 265-7 [45.5 overs] (J Salmons 102*, P Bailey 48, A Bailey 30, J Horton 5-66) by 3 wickets

LANGLEY Mill’s first XI returned to form with a three wicket victory at windswept Holmewood on Saturday.

Jamie Salmons carried his bat through the innings recording his second century of the season to finish unbeaten on 102 as the Millers inched home with one ball remaining.

Skipper Andrew Bailey won the toss on a cold, blustery afternoon and, for a change, decided to put the opposition in. This decision looked to have been correct as Holmewood slumped to 32 for 3.

Danny Ashley was first to go, keeper Andy Sibley taking a great diving catch off Jack Scott to send the batsman back with just four to his name.

On 5, Holmewood lost their second wicket when Phil Stone left a ball from Grant Ball which cut back in and bowled him for a duck.

With the score on 32, Scott struck again removing David Gray, clean bowled for 12, but opener Gavin Horton and Josh Goodhand revived the hosts, taking them to 64 before Scott bowled Goodhand for nine.

Horton was then joined by his twin brother Jamie and the pair thrashed the Millers bowlers to all parts putting on a 155 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Jamie was particularly destructive hitting 11 fours and 3 sixes in a 68 run 83 before he was caught by Sibley, off Ball, with Holmewood on 219.

Gavin Horton reached his hundred before Scott struck again, removing Chris Goodhand, trapped leg before without scoring. Horton went for one big shot too many with the score on 261 and he picked out Andrew Bailey on the square leg boundary and departed for 135, giving Ball his third wicket. Horton’s innings included 17 fours and 5 sixes in a knock lasting 131 balls.

Michael Saville didn’t trouble the scorers as he was clean bowled by Scott, who picked up his fifth victim, but Luke Slater (2 not out) and Tom Taylor (5 not out) took the hosts to a very respectable 264 for 8 at the end of their 46 overs.

For the Millers. Scott bowled particularly well in the wind returning figures of 5 for 47 and Ball’s figures were 3 for 72 on a difficult day for the bowlers.

Holmewood’s side was weak on bowling due to unavailability and injury so skipper Gavin Horton needed to juggle his attack around to try and skittle the visitors. Jamie Horton picked up a quick three wickets removing Aaron Tullett, caught by Bradley Walker for 13, Sajendra Thimal, caught behind by Ashley for 2 and Scott, leg before for 19.

At 68 for 3, the Millers were looking shaky, but Salmons held his end up well and he and Paul Bailey put on 102 runs before Bailey was also caught behind, this time off Bradley Walker, two runs short of his fifty. Andrew Bailey took over from his brother and some tight bowling saw the Millers getting bogged down as the run rate started to climb.

Salmons reached his ton and soon after Bailey was caught by Gavin Horton, off his brothers bowling, for 30. With the overs running out, Jeff Wharton hit a brisk ten runs to put the Millers back on top before he was well caught by Taylor, off Gavin Horton.

Jamie Horton clean bowled Andy Sibley first ball as this see-saw game swung once more, but Salmons and Rich Krupiak (3 not out) took the Millers to an excellent 22 points in the final over. For the hosts, Jamie Horton returned 5 for 66 and there was a wicket each for Walker and Gavin Horton.

An excellent game played in difficult conditions, but in great spirit, which saw the Millers rise to sixth place in the table, two places behind Holmewood and 14 points behind leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash.