Langley Mill Utd (18pts) 265-2dec (N Wing 161*, A Ball 51*, N Wright 38) drew with Cromford Meadows (8pts) 209-6 (A Mottershead 63, K Tomlinson 41, J Thompson 38*)
Opener Neil Wing blasted a magnificent unbeaten 161 as the Millers’ seconds picked up another winning draw to keep the pressure on Sandiacre Town at the top of Division 6N.
Despite being bothered by a finger injury picked up in training a couple of weeks ago, hard hitting Wing hit 22 fours and six sixes in his 120-ball knock.
On a glorious afternoon, Cromford Meadows skipper James Thompson put the Millers in on a good batting track which offered little for the bowlers.
Wing and fellow opener Nick Wright started steadily but soon upped the tempo, hitting a 103-run first wicket partnership. Wright was the first wicket to fall when he chipped a ball from Martyn Buswell straight back to the bowler for 38. Alex Bacon was the only other wicket to fall, caught by Andrew Mottershead for two giving Buswell his second.
Andrew Ball then joined Wing and the pair put on an undefeated 134 before skipper Rich Davey called them in at the end of the 40th over, the declaration coming with the score on 265-2. Ball’s innings of 51 not out included five fours and a six. Buswell was the only wicket taker for the Meadows, returning figures of 2-56 from his ten overs.
Any thoughts the Millers had that the visitors were going to roll over were soon dispelled as Mottershead and Simon Bunting raced off at over 10 an over.
Mottershead did the damage, hitting the Millers’ opening attack for 33 off the first three overs before Bunting was trapped leg before by Steve Walker for a single.
On 37, a mix-up in the middle left Buswell stranded and Davey easily ran him out without troubling the scorers.
Mottershead and Liam Martin kept up the momentum, taking the visitors to 80 and it took the introduction of ex-Derbyshire bowler Paul Aldred to make the breakthrough.
Aldred removed Martin, clean bowled for 19, and Mottershead, caught by Davey for 63 to leave the visitors on 115-4 with 30 overs still remaining.
Meadows gave up all hopes of victory and settled for maximum batting points when Danny Wilson was bowled by Davey for 9 with the score on 131. Karl Tomlinson and skipper Thompson safely saw their side to 200 before Tomlinson was caught by Aldred off the bowling of Bacon for 41, his patient innings using up 103 balls.
Thompson stayed there until the end, hitting 38 from 69 balls, aided by James Redfern who finished unbeaten on 6.
For Langley Mill, Aldred returned figures of 2-46 with Davey taking 1-23.
Langley Mill’s Sunday side made a first ever visit to Mansfield & Pleasley last week and came away with another 20 points which sees them remain in joint second with Anston. Frecheville Community lead Section Four, 16 points ahead of the Millers, but having played three games more.
Batting first, Langley Mill racked up 245-8 from their 40 overs with Ryan Brunelleschi top scoring on 73. Alex Bacon hit a rapid 52 and Nick Wright 30. Rich Krupiak contributed an unbeaten 25 at the end.
For the hosts, Steve Jenkins was pick of the bowlers with 3-55 and there were two wickets each for Tom Machin and Adrian Spray.
In reply, the hosts were never up with the asking rate and finished 88 runs adrift on an all out total of 157 with only nine balls remaining. Steve Walker was top scorer with 41 and Spray hit 39.
Rich Davey continued to pick up the wickets with 4-9 from his nine overs, taking his season’s tally to 41. Jay Holmes returned figures of 2-55 and there was one apiece for Kyle Barton, Luke Rowley and Ryan Brunelleschi.
Langley Mill’s second team could see the whole complexion of their season change this weekend with vital games on Saturday and Sunday. They make a first ever visit to Breaston Cricket Club on Saturday for a game against leaders Sandiacre Town in a game which could go a long way to decide the 6 North title, with half the season still to go. Sandiacre took over at the top on Sunday by virtue of playing an extra game, so the Millers will be looking for at least a winning draw to re-take the top spot.
On Sunday, the seconds travel again, this time to face Nutbrook in the quarter finals of the Wright Cup. The hosts are challenging for promotion in 6 South and will be tough opponents for the Millers. The hosts beat Langley Mill in the semi finals last season by 11 run and this promises to be another nail-biter.
The firsts welcome Spondon to Station Road on Saturday. The visitors sit comfortably in mid-table which probably reflects their standard. A Millers victory here will see them at the top of the division as the halfway point is reached.
All games start at 1.30pm.