Heanor 1sts had the better of both their league fixtures this weekend but were left frustrated as they failed to claim maximum points.
On Saturday, they made the short visit to Ilkeston Rutland 2nds. Heanor elected to bat first and the blossoming opening partnership of Ali Dixon and Joshua Brear took the attack to the hosts. They put on a tremendous display and compiled 243 runs before Josh Brear was cruelly run out two short of his maiden league ton.
Ali Dixon passed three figures and remained unbeaten on 119. Heanor finished on 248-2. In reply, Ilkeston were soon in trouble in the face of an excellent opening spell by Kev Barber (4-37) and Chris Pick (2-66). They slumped to 69-6 and then 109-7 but Chris Palfreyman took advantage of two missed catches to steady the ship and went on to score an unbeaten 91.
Heanor could not press home their advantage and only took one more wicket in the final 19 overs.
The home side finished well short but secured a losing draw. On Sunday, Riddings 1sts were the visitors to the Town Ground. Heanor’s depleted squad was short of five first team regulars and were asked to bat when Riddings won the toss.
Once more, the opening partnership of Ali Dixon and Josh Brear set the tone and set about where they had left off the previous day. They put on 127 before Dixon was caught behind for 70. Captain Andy Brear came in and hit a couple of lusty blows before being bowled for 24 and then, with ten overs remaining, Trevor Hessey joined Josh Brear at the crease.
They put on exactly 100 in quick time, Hessey finishing unbeaten on 64 and Josh Brear carrying his bat with an excellent unbeaten 95. Heanor set their visitors a challenging 263 runs to win. In reply, Riddings were soon in trouble when Chris Pick (2-44) had Fenn caught by Ali Dixon in the first over, and then clean bowled North with 21 on the board.
Captain Hibbert and A Steele put paid to any hopes Heanor had of a quick finish. Hibbert was finally caught and bowled by Ali Dixon for 41 and Steele, 64, was caught by Farren Packard on the boundary, one of two excellent catches by the 14-year-old. Dixon finished with 3-43 but Heanor once again couldn’t press home their advantage. Riddings finished 39 runs short on 223 for 7. Belper Amateurs 2nds were the visitors on Saturday at Heanor 2nds. Skipper Steve Morley won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first.
Belper were soon 30-3 and were eventually dismissed for 128. Heanor set about the small total with caution, taking only 28 from the first 12 overs. However this brought the introduction of the change bowling as Mark Fletcher (74 not out) and Paul Barlow (36) began to score freely, helping them to the win.
This was a good win for Heanor and consolidates their position just in the top half of the table.
It was good to see four under 14s in the side and 2 of them taking wickets.
Their enthusiasm in the field is very refreshing.
With three recent good performances in a row now from Heanor, in what has been an inconsistent season, the signs of a strong finish are possible.