Confident Langley Mill United celebrated their return to Division One of the Derbyshire County League with a much-deserved victory in their first match of the season, writes Andy Heafield.
Not since the club’s glory days of the mid-1990s have the Millers played at such a lofty level. But that didn’t show as they dismissed visitors Alfreton for just 81 for a five-wicket triumph.
Seeking continuity and consistency, Langley Mill have brought in only two new signings -- opening bowler Ben Ladd-Gibbon to replace Josh Lacey, who has joined Premier Division Ockbrook, and South African Ruan Van Der Walt to replace his compatriot Lance Humphreys.
But the opening-day honours went to a seasoned campaigner, Jay Holmes, who ripped through the Alfreton batting to take 5-21 from 12 overs to mark the start of his 13th season with the club.
The off-spin of Simon Lacey also yielded 3-15 from 8.2 overs, while skipper Jack Scott (2-31 in 13 overs) took early wickets, alongside Ladd-Gibbon, who bowled a nice line and length.
Alfreton’s bowlers battled back well on a slow wicket, reducing the Millers to 41-4. But after a rain break, the hosts regrouped and an unbeaten 43 (one six and four fours) from opener Van Der Walt on his debut steered them safely home