Gwatkin runs prove crucial

Alfreton Cricket Club 1sts managed a four-wicket win over Sawley and Long Eaton Park on Saturday in the Division One of the DCCL, thanks to a good all-round performance.

Winning the toss and bowling first was the best possible start for the firsts as Adam Burton picked up two early wickets.

David Cameron and Marius Conway-Jones put on 51 for the third wicket before Burton returned to remove the latter for 23.

That was the last of the good news for Alfreton as a 99-run stand between Cameron and Richard Lawton put Sawley in a dominant position with plenty of overs to spare.

However, Lawton became Burton’s fourth for 49 with the score on 158-4.

Cameron followed soon after, caught by Mace for 70 off the bowling of Lineker.

Late cameos from Danny Brown (19) and Paul Brunton (29*) pushed Sawley’s total to 222-6, Burton finishing with figures of 5-51.

In reply, Matt Lineker and Ryan Bramwell put up a solid opening stand, making 74 for the first wicket.

Lineker, who played for the Unicorns at Lord’s on Sunday, was first to fall for 39, caught by Dave Eckersley off Adam Swain.

Bramwell was unmoved and had added 39 with captain Alex Mace before the latter was Matthew Rhodes’s first victim, bowled for 20.

Opener Bramwell was next to fall for 46 and when Elliott Savidge fell for 3 to give Rhodes his third, the chase showed signs of unravelling on 134-4.

Andy Gwatkin and John Aspinall had other ideas as they set about rebuilding and inching towards the home side’s score.

Aspinall fell for 17 with the score on 171 but Gwatkin went to 50, only to depart on the same score with 20 still needed for victory.

However, Mark Stokes (14*) and Jonathon Clarke (7*) provided the steady heads to guide the side home with 11 balls to spare, despite Rhodes’ best efforts with 4-71.

Next up for Alfreton are Stainsby Hall on Saturday, where they will be looking to close the five-point gap between them and league leaders Marehay.